DONUT 1: Big eggs, big baskets ...
The Dallas Mavericks are continually being linked to undersized guards, so much so that it almost seems like an orchestrated smokescreen.
Especially when what they really want or need in a trade or free agency is a big man.
Depending on how chips fall in the coming hours and months, there will eventually be a deeper list that includes names like Dalembert (a stop-gap) and Pekovic (a restricted free agent who would be a long-term Gortat-like solution). But immediately, here's the short list of viable options there ... and watch where we end up:
* Dwight Howard - He's not getting dealt this week. But obviously, he is worth prioritizing, if he's willing to flee LA come July 1. We believe he will not leave the Lakers. We also believe Cuban when he says he's got lots of eggs in lots of baskets.
But this is the big egg and the big basket and worth Plan Powdering for.
* Andrew Bynum - He may be the most talented option of all. But with his knees, he is probably not the guy to build your future around even though he's only 25. We'd be hesitant to turn over the max-money franchise keys to him. The Mavs may end up with this being the best-yet-risky option.
*Demarcus Cousins - This is where we've continued to loop back to for a month. In the next 48 hours, if the Kings make him truly available in trade, he will be the Mavs' No. 1 target. The risk is his dangerous level of knuckleheadedness. The rewards, though, are grand. No one else is close IMO. But if the Mavs hope to land him, they will have to be willing to give up anything the Kings want - picks, young talent, cap relief - because there will be plenty of competition for him.
"It's very unlikely we'd move any of our top players at this point," basketball president Geoff Petrie tells the Sacramento Bee -- and maybe the reason is that ownership/hometown limbo puts all Kings move on "freeze.''
Our annual feature "Trade Rumor Traffic'' handles all the up-to-the-second news, gossip and analysis of the Mavs' work at the NBA trade deadline ... One-stop shopping in TRT. It's the best in the business.
By the way: We've just developed the DB.com Mavs app for Android. (With Apple on its way). It's FREE and ready (I think!) for Mavs fans just like you!
DONUT 2: The hardness of Dirk ...
Once upon a time, Dirk Nowitzki was referred to as "soft.'' It had to do more with his skin color than it did with his game.
The erroneous scouting report was likely buried in the 2006 NBA Finals. And certainly in the 2011 Finals. But just in case ...
DONUT 3: Jordan on The UberMan ...
ESPN The Magazine asked Jordan: Which current NBA players could be nearly as successful in his era?
“I’ll give you a hint,” Jordan said. “I can only come up with four.”
MJ's Fantastic Four? LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Nowitzki.
We talk a great deal on DB.com and across DFW about Dirk being disrespected, and about us being the only ones who know that Nowitzki is iconic, a lock Hall-of-Famer, a face of the franchise deserving of having a statue of him outside of the AAC just as Jordan's statue rises outside the United Center in Chicago.
For the story, Jordan repeatedly termed today's players “soft, coddled and ill-prepared for the highest level of the game.” And he called Nowitzki just the opposite. He essentially called him "Jordanesque,'' maybe the highest basketball compliment there can be.
DONUT 4: Dallas mentioned by rote ...
From our brothers at FOX Sports Ohio:
"Sources all but guarantee Atlanta forward Josh Smith will be moved. No one is quite sure where he might go, although Brooklyn, Dallas and Phoenix are mentioned most as possible destinations.''
No disrespect intended to our brothers, but "the Mavs might be the possible destination" is a cut-and-paste sentence that has, for more than a decade now, been lazily dropped into every speculative NBA trade deadline story. As others continue to make hazy mention of the Mavs' interest in Josh, we've been shooting down Josh-to-Dallas for a week.
At this time -- with Josh eyeballing a future max deal -- there is no there there.
DONUT 5: Collison "assurance''? ...
At various points during this deadline process, one begins to wonder whether folks are making stuff up just to fill space -- "folks'' meaning maybe the media, maybe the players, or maybe the "sources close to'' the players.
From Hoopsworld: "There is a market for Darren Collison, although sources close to Collison say he’s been assured he’s not going anywhere.''
I will see Collison in a bit. I will ask him point-blank whether he's been told any such thing. I will do so fully armed with the knowledge that such a claim is untrue.
I bet DC himself says he knows nothing about this. And then I will report back to you, just as we did with the bogus story of Vince Carter being "guaranteed'' he won't be dealt.
DONUT 6: My Four-Step Fix To All-Star Weekend ...
Step 1: Dump the Skills Competition for a concert. The concert features whomever from the world of music (Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Jay-Z) ... but just as importantly features whomever from the world of basketball desirous of being in music. That's right: An "American Idol'' competition among NBA players.
Something more "blown up'' than occurred this weekend in Houston:
Step 2: City-vs.-City 3-On-3. LA is repped by a three-person team of Magic, Kobe and Lisa Leslie. Dallas is repped by Dirk, Ro Blackman and Nancy Lieberman. Let's play!
Step 3: A Draft. Mark Cuban chooses for the West. Mikhail Prokhorov drafts for the East. They pick players from any conference, any team, any combination. On live TV. It'd be more exciting than the actual NBA draft! (And maybe more exciting than the game itself, especially as it unfolded Sunday.)
Step 4: A 2-Mil Slam-Dunk Contest. $1 mil goes to you, LeBron/Wade/Kobe/Durant/Dwight if you win, and another mil goes to your favorite charity. Who is going to turn down a chance to raise a million bucks for charity. All it takes is for one star to say yes. The fun, the peer pressure and the money will have other superstars following suit.
DONUT 7: The Greatest (At Avoiding Injury, Too) ...
Overkill on Michael Jordan turning 50 on Sunday?
Yes, overkill on Michael Jordan turning 50 on Sunday.
He was the toast of Houston over the weekend (Dez Bryant enjoyed getting a photo taken with the "greatest'') and many redundant words were typed on the subject.
But here's a note worth taking, from DB.com injury analyst Jeff Stotts: Michael Jordan's durability and resilience is a foundation factor of his success. In his 13 years as a member of the Bulls, Jordan missed 69 games due to injury. And 64 of those 69 missed games came in his second season after Jordan fractured the navicular bone in his left foot.
So in 12 other years as a Bull, MJ missed five games.
DONUT 8: Want more Mavs? ...
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DONUT 9: White Men Can Jump (like that) ...
My friend Eytan Shander notes of the Saturday night featured event in Houston, "I've seen better dunk contests in all-white neighborhoods.''
DONUT 10: Thanks to our sponsors! ...
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DONUT 11: Mavs All-Stars? ...
Dahntay Jones tossed a lob to Utah’s Jeremy Evans in the Dunk Contest. Toronto's Terrence Ross beat Evans in the finals while including in his act an homage to former Raptor Vince Carter: Ross wore the No. 15 Vinsanity jersey. And now the "fun'' is done ... the Mavs practice today at the AAC and yes, DB.com will be there.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
The new sleeved Warriors jerseys? If you understand marketing, you realize that it's not about how the shirts look on the players -- it's about how the paying customers think they'll look on the paying customers.