Decision-making deadlines arrive. DoJo and Roddy are out of favor. Delonte is out of rope -- and at exactly 3:16 p.m. Tuesday, is waived. Cunningham has a bum thumb. 'Is your roster set, Rick?' 'It depends what you mean by 'set,' Carlisle responds this afternoon. Making sense of the wacky and fuzzy last-minute Mavs thinking:
As of Monday midday, the Mavs were finishing up practice, boarding a plane for LA, trying to figure out what to do with West, and trying to trade Dominique Jones, and so lacking in trust for other PGs on their roster that we're told they are in search of a veteran body who can hold down the fort so Collison doesn't have to play 48 minutes against the Lakers.
Some of this was -- before the official ax came down on West and before Dallas opted to eat that $1.2 mil salary -- being couched within the idea of "finding room for Curry." And that's a misnomer, because the Mavs had already committed financially to Curry (and 15 others). The need at that point was to be free of the player you need the least, keeping 15.
The Mavs were/are trying to trade Dojo, but finding no takers, with a fall back plan to waive West. They reportedly would've preferred to keep West until Dec 15 when he can be traded.
While this was a way to get the roster to 15, on some levels their process makes no sense.
Our thoughts just before the transaction: In considering West, supposedly the purpose for the attempted trade of Dojo is to be able to keep West around until he can be traded (Dec 15). But even after 12/15, West has to agree to any trade. But assuming he would agree, and if they think they can get REAL value for West (a pick or a useful player), keeping him until he can be traded makes sense.
But if they believe this to be the case, why is keeping him dependent on a trade of Dojo?
On the other hand, if their plan in keeping West is simply to be able to trade him in a giveaway (someone willing to take his contract off their hands) but not for real value, and they've decided that they can't use him, why wait? Why haven't they already waived him? If teams would want him for free, but not for more, the Mavs can put West on waivers now, and any team with some interest can have him at the cheapest contract possible (he's being paid minimum salary with a large portion subsidized by the NBA).
Now, fast-forward to post-West: Mixed into this mess ... The search to find a body who can be a backup PG ... something Delonte was supposed to do ... something rookie Jared Cunningham cannot do at this moment - even if he were ready - because he's come down with a sprained thumb. (Ah yes, another Mavs injury, joining Kaman, who is on the team place but has been ruled out for the Lakers game.) Our man Coop floats the name of ex-Wiz Shelvin Mack. ... a former second-round pick.
At 3 pm, DB.com noted another name, as Shaun Livingston was cut by Houston.
You heard us: There is actually a reason to discuss the possibility of Shelvin Mack or Shaun Livingston being more trustworthy than present backup bodies.
In either case with West, what would be gained in keeping Dojo (with no value to them or anyone else)? Isn't he sunk cost (money already wasted, no matter what you do)? Does anyone really think he could somehow turn into a useful player down the road somewhere?
a - It appears Dojo has no value to the Mavs or anyone else. But the money has to be paid regardless. So he's sunk cost. Might as well go ahead and waive him, freeing up that needed roster slot.
b - We believed earlier today: The decision on West can then be made independently of what happens with Dojo. If he has actual trade value, wait until Dec 15 and get it. If not, waive him now and hope some team claims him.
And waive him it is.
If Dojo is too lousy to play (and at this moment he seems to join Roddy B in that category) and West is too much of a headcase to keep around, and neither player has any trade value, this team should be getting rid of whomever asap and bringing in players who can help. Excluding Roddy B's situation: It's relatively minor money, money spent either way, and the total player cost this season is under $60M, while in prior years they've regularly shelled out in excess of $90M in salary and tax.
So the Mavs are in LA preparing for Darren Collison to serve as the PG and to play until he drops ... or until Dallas solves its wacky and fuzzy backup problem.