The Dallas Mavericks remain the only team that has sunk the Miami Heat in the playoffs during the Big Three era. Of course, they’re specters of their former selves with Jason Kidd now a head coach, Jason Terry a somewhat valuable trade piece, Tyson Chandler a Knick, J.J. Barea somewhere in not-Canada USA (Minnesota to be exact), and DeShawn Stevenson lost in the dark alleys of the Eastern Conference. In two years time, they went from Heat killers to victims of friendly fire―since Mark Cuban decided to fire everyone in the botched attempt to clear cap space.
The Mavs were hoping to turn their luck around this offseason by chasing Dwight Howard. As we all know, he liked a different part of Texas more. Losing shooting guard O.J. Mayo, they went after veteran disappointment Monta Ellis in a three-year signing that is going to come back to haunt them sooner rather than later. Why not just sign him to a lucrative one-year deal, or a two-year deal with the second season as a team option when the 2014 offseason is going to be such a lucrative one?
Mark Cuban has made it known he’s desperately trying to get Dirk another chip before he retires―he’s 35 now and his knees are going the way of the dinosaurs―but this offseason makes it seem like Cuban reached the heights of his goal with the 2011 trophy. And the Dallas Titanic has not stopped sinking ever since.
Signing Jose Calderon is a B-, maybe B, move that can work out well if Dallas can get a rim protector to make up for the Spaniard’s matador defense. The acquisition of the Israeli League’s MVP Gal Mekel can prove to be another good one as he reminds me of a bigger, more transition ball-capable J.J. Barea, who had success with Dallas.
Dallas also signed Devin Harris, making their point guard rotation four-strong―you know, because they have no need for quality centers or a small forward that isn’t 200 years old―but then scrapped the deal after a reported toe injury on Harris’ foot. They might pursue him again in the regular season after he recovers, but for the time being they only have Mekel as a backup PG. To make a bad situation worse, their top pick Shane Larkin has broken his ankle. This will put him out for 2-3 months, which means he’ll miss most of training camp and will have to get acquainted to NBA ball on the court.
All signs point to Dallas hooking big man Samuel Dalembert, who would be a workable pickup, but at 32, he’s not a player that will help bring another championship home. At the moment, Dallas only has Monta Ellis signed to 2014-15, so they can pursue big time names in that free agency. For the time being, the Dallas brass has effectively turned a contender into a walking shipwreck within two years time. This free agency isn’t helping in the slightest. Too bad there’s no trophy for that.
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