Now’s not the time.
Not to condemn the Mavericks to the NBA Lottery. To burn Mark Cubban in effigy. To put your season tickets on Craigslist in exchange for a bottle of Patron.
No, that was last week.
When the Mavs decided in the summer of 2011 to not return the roster that won an NBA title, they simultaneously crafted Plan A. That was to maintain financial flexibility in an attempt to sign one of 2012’s game-changing free agents: Chris Paul, Dwight Howard or Deron Williams. Problem.
On the way to Plan A Paul got traded to the Clippers, Howard opted to sign a 1-year contract extension in Orlando and Williams, The Colony native, decided to stay put with the Nets in Brooklyn. At that point it officially became a bummer summer that not even a week of cool rain could salvage.
There was a distinct fork in the Mavs’ road. With Plan A blocked by Williams’ decision, Plan B is now fully in effect. And it ain’t pretty. It goes something like this: Try to be competitive in 2013 while – stop me if you’ve heard this one – keeping the powder dry for another free-agent class next summer that might include Howard, Paul, Andrew Bynum and James Harden.
I’ve heard and read critics ripping the Mavs’ signing of Chris Kaman and for not more aggressively pursuing Luis Scola. Look, the Mavs are executing their plan. It just happens to be Plan B. And, again, the main objective in play these days is to not to win a championship next season, but rather to have financial flexibility next summer.
It’s not sexy. But it is so.
As of today the Mavs’ roster:
PG: Darren Collison/ Jared Cunningham
SG: Vince Carter/ Roddy Beaubois/ Dahntay Jones/ Dominique Jones
SF: Shawn Marion/ Jae Crowder
PF: Dirk Nowitzki/ Elton Brand
C: Chris Kaman/ Brandan Wright/ Bernard James
The Mavs still have $4 million to spend including a cap exception that will likely be used to re-sign Delonte West. But let’s not kid ourselves, Kaman and Brand peaked six years ago, Collison isn’t a consistent shooter and none of the three draft picks will generate wins or interest. In 2013 Dallas won’t compete for a championship on any level: NBA Finals, Western Conference or even Southwest Division. This is a 43-win team with a best-case scenario of getting a 6 seed and winning a playoff round.
And if all goes according to Plan C – finally landing a big fish next summer – players like Kaman and Collison and Brand will be merely stop-gap cameos.
Kaman does bring with him to Dallas two interesting facets. He’s already the best offensive center in franchise history. And he has a 150-pound dog named …
“Jet,” Kaman revealed last week. “Hey, I guess he can be Dallas’ new Jet.”
Too soon? Indeed.
Now’s not the time.
(© Copyright 2012 CBSDFW.COM, CBS Local a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Also Check Out:
- North Texas Middle School Principal Indicted
- Dallas Mavericks: Destruction Complete!
- Motorcyclist Dies During Garland Police Chase
- Drivers Stop I-30 Traffic To Watch Fair Park Fireworks
- Children Stranded In Dallas After Mother Dies