DONUT 1: The Next Jet...
No, not O.J. Mayo ... though we are trying to get comfortable with our stat study that says it just might be so.
The next "Jet'' is a dog.
Chris Kaman is already the best offensive center in franchise history and that comes without ever having donned a uniform. (A Dallas Mavericks uniform, that is; I'm sure he's already donned hunting gear, orange vests, camo, and the like.)
Kaveman is also ... well, "spirited.'' "Quirky.'' "Fun-loving.'' All that makes him sorta like Jason Terry, too, except ...
The "Jet'' in question is actually Kaman's dog. He's 150 pounds. Chris jokes that he's half-dog and half-bear.
“His name is 'Jet,” Kaman says. “Hey, I guess he can be Dallas’ new Jet.”
Are we OK with a little humor? At times in the past couple of weeks, it seems we could use a laugh.
DONUT 2: Not a lotto ...
You're going to need something of more value than ESPN Insider to show me that Dallas is an NBA Lottery team. You're also going to have to convince me that the summer-of-2011 decision to to not return the roster that won an NBA title was the wrong one because that team was destined to again win big going forward.
It's the Debate Immortal. I think it's OK to defer to a Cuban/Donnie/Rick decision made about a player (TY) they know and love even more than you do and even more than I do.
DONUT 3: So along comes Plan A ...
And it's a logical-if-inherently risky plan: Maintain financial flexibility in the patience belief that a future (that is, 2012 as the immediate "future'') free agent could be lured here.
Chris Paul? Dwight Howard? Deron Williams? The Mavs had long coveted all three. Howard and Deron reciprocated the love, placing the Mavs on their short lists of preferred destinations.
The logic? Obvious. This is a SuperTeam Era. Dirk Nowitzki is aging. The baton must be passed. A team of Marion-level players -- skilled and hard-working and versatile and second-tier stars -- would be a good team. But it wouldn't beat LeBron/Wade/Bosh.
The risk? Maybe not so obvious. If you can't beat LeBron/Wade/Bosh, shouldn't you put every available resource into being able to do so ... maybe for as long as it takes?
DONUT 4: The pain of patience ...
Plan A suggested Instant Reward. That's not the same as a "promise,'' and those who insist otherwise are trolling. There is no "promise.'' This is sports, not a 401K.
So, Plan A has gone unfulfilled. Dallas issued two years of very serious offers -- remember "The Kitchen Sink''? -- for Paul. But got traded to the Clippers. Howard opted-in with the Magic. And Williams, The Colony native, let his heart and head drive him toward a homecoming before his wallet and, weirdly, Joe Johnson, helped him decide to stay put with the Nets in Brooklyn.
So that's that, right? Remember the concept of "Deron or Bust'' and how I fought against it?
Time to fight.
DONUT 5: "So-And-So Or Bust'' ...
As you surely see now, there is no "bust.'' We're not burning down the AAC. The franchise isn't moving to Seattle. Cuban's not selling, Donnie's not fired, Dirk's not traded.
When you strike out in the first inning -- and Dallas certainly did that with Deron, because if he didn't hear the message properly, it's the fault of the messenger -- you grab a damn bat and step back into the box in the second inning.
DONUT 6: So where are we now? ...
Well, we're excited and frustrated at the same time. A DB.com reader hit me this week with concerns about the 2012-13 Mavs "being a middle-of-the-road 50-win team,'' and look how lofty are standards are!
Good for us ... good for all of us ... but 50 wins is NOT MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. Fifty wins is a milestone ... Dallas having done so in 11 straight full seasons is a terrific accomplishment ...
I'm excited that this year's "Dirk & Depth'' team might be able to do that again.
As a fan of the NBA's "second season'' -- free-agent shopping and trades -- I'm excited by Dallas' ability to assemble puzzle pieces.
DONUT 7: Check out the so-far depth chart ...
DONUT 8: Follow Fish and the Mavs Twitterverse! ...
DONUT 9: Thanks to the good people of McKinneyDentist.com ...
My family has been going to see Dr. Berlin at McKinneyDentist.com for 15 years and there is a reason. They are the very best ... the best dentists in all the land. They love their Mavs and they love DB.com and we're proud of our association with McKinneyDentist.com!
DONUT 10: In that depth chart ...
There is some versatility in there (Brand at center) and there is some unknown disguised as "versatility'' (what positions are Roddy B and DoJo and Cunningham truly capable of mastering?). But that is a sound roster and coached by Rick is better than most. Oh, and there's The UberMan and the sheer idea of him as the centerpiece of a losing team is an insult to his greatness.
DONUT 11: Want more Mavs? ...
the best and deepest coverage of the Mavs available anywhere ... take our free seven-day trial and then get your Mavs gold for pennies! Go Mavs and Go Premium!
DONUT 12: Aurora and How We Comfort Ourselves With Pretense ...
We warn, we debate, we embrace. Nothing really protects us except for a social contract that is easily broken by the dangerously antisocial. My essay on the real takeaway from Aurora ... and something I'll discuss today at noon, Dallas time, on SiriusXM Radio channel 86.
DONUT 13: The Final Word ...
In one very real sense in a SuperTeam Era, Dallas' front-office efforts and Dallas' fanbase, too, is focused on the latest on Dwightmare. At the same time, they've got to plug away at assembling a credible, competitive roster ... and I, as a Mavs follower, have to find away to savor the title won just 14 months ago while also enjoying the reloading process.
I'm workin' on it.