34 Mavs Donuts Dissecting The Tyson Trade
OVERVIEW NOTES ON THE MAVS SITUATION
DONUT 1: As we stand, the revised Dallas Mavericks depth chart to start the summer (including Dirk) now looks like this:
C – Chandler, Wright
PF – Dirk
SF – Crowder
SG – Ellis, Ledo
PG – Felton, Mekel
Free agents - - Blair, B James, Marion, Carter, Harris
DONUT 2: The Mavs' spending room to start the summer will be reduced somewhat. There will be an extra $3.5M-ish in salary (counting Chandler's $500K) trade kicker, plus they will now have to pay for 2 more empty roster slots. The net will leave them with a total of about $37.33M. If the cap lands at $63.2M as has been projected, they will be left with $25.87M before a deal with Dirk. The details to date:
DONUT 3: The Mavs will also pick up a Trade Exception in the deal, in the amount of Larkin's salary ($1.53696M). But unless that Trade Exception is used in the next five days, it is unlikely tolast. TE's consume a like amount of cap room, so it will likely get discarded in favor of cap space in July, and we've excluded it.
DONUT 4: It should be noted that a TE can be traded for a player making up to the TE + 100K, but that's the limit. It can't be combined with anything to bring back a bigger salary, so the limit of a contract that the Mavs could obtain using this one would the$1.63696M. Since such an incoming player would also use up cap room in July, the Mavs are more likely to simply discard it for cap space rather than use it.
DONUT 5: Barring further moves, the Mavs' intentions to pursue LeBron or Melo (see Your Mavs Free-Agency Guidebook here) took a hit in one way, and improved in another.
The trade answers the Mavs need for a center who might be more appealing to LeBron or Melo (you can bet Dallas views this trade as FA bait), but it complicates the ability to fit a max salary for either into the mix.
DONUT 6: LeBron's expected max of around $20M or Melo's max of about $22.5M would seem to be undoable if Dirk gets $10M of the remaining $26M or so. But there's always the possibility that the Mavs have intended to include salary management and shared sacrifice as part of their vision to lure either star onto the Dallas team.
DONUT 7: Or there may be another move or three on tap that will alter the equation between now and then. For example, if the Mavs have a way to trade Brandan Wright for cap space, that would add another $5M of cap room and leave them with plenty.
DONUT 8: The Mavs' biggest need heading into the summer remains the SF position, so obtaining LeBron or Melo still would be an ideal summer acquisition.
DONUT 9: We believe Melo has scheduled a trip to Dallas to explore the idea of signing here as a free agent, and it is said that Chandler and Melo have been close friends in NY. But it remains to be seen how (or if) this trade changes Melo's thoughts about either NY or Dallas.
NOTES ON TYSON CHANDLER AND THE C POSITION
DONUT 10: This move ends the Mavs' search for a starting-caliber center this summer, thereby removing Asik, Gortat, Sanders, and others as free agent or trade targets.
DONUT 11: However, the Mavs always liked Chandler as a center who split minutes with Haywood, reducing the potential impact from foul trouble in games or from injury, so it cannot be stated definitively that they have closed the door on a further acquisition at that position.
DONUT 12: If the Mavs intend a paired center concept again with Chandler to maximize his value, we have yet to learn if they see Wright as the answer, as they are more alike than different. Neither is an answer to the bulkier centers, but they both are agile leapers that provide the same sort of easy baskets.
DONUT 13: Dalembert's contract can be almost entirely erased by NY if he is waived, with the amount due being reduced to $1.8M and the ensuing cap impact stretched over 3 seasons. That would certainly help the Knicks in their cap management if they don't like Dalembert as a solution at center. But it he was waived by NY, he couldn't be reacquired by the Mavs for a year.
DONUT 14: However, if Dalembert were to be traded by NY to another team and then get waived, the Mavs would then be eligible to sign him if they wanted to. Under that circumstance, would it be possible to sign him for the minimum of $1.45M-ish?
DONUT 15: Another possibility for a sturdier center to complement Chandler is for the Mavs to re-sign Blair, who played well when used in the playoffs against the Spurs.
But in any event, know this: Regardless of whether you like the plan, recognize that chasing Chandler was by design. ... and we wrote exactly that in our story of how Dallas ranked its center targets here.
NOTES ON RAY FELTON AND THE PG POSITION
DONUT 16: In Felton, the swap adds a PG whom the Mavs considered trading for in the past, when he played for Charlotte.
DONUT 17: But now he comes with major issues. He was overweight and ineffective when he arrived at Knicks training camp last fall, and he has had recent criminal issues (felony gun charges) in which he reportedly will be able to avoid the possibility of significant prison time by a plea agreement.
DONUT 18: The Mavs traded their top two returning PGs, leaving only Mekel plus the incoming Felton.
DONUT 19: It appears that this move also has created a big hole at PG, assuming Felton is not up to the task. But we believe the Mavs had already unofficially decided they prefer to re-sign Harris to be their starter alongside Ellis, prior to the decision to dispose of Calderon.
DONUT 20: There's also a chance that a higher-profile addition like Kyle Lowry may be on the Mavs' summer radar now.
DONUT 21: The trade of Calderon removes the negative of the poor defense in pairing him with Ellis,
DONUT 22: But it also removes a superior shooter from the mix. Felton is not the answer, and neither are Mekel or Harris. Bringing back Carter now has to be high on their list of priorities.
DONUT 23: In theory, Felton is more of a two-way PG than Calderon. But in practical terms, last season he was a squatty fat out-of-shape guy who was awful, and that was not the first time in his career he has earned that label.
GENERAL ROSTER CONCLUSIONS
The Mavs' summer shopping list now looks a bit different than it did a day ago.
If they don't land LeBron or Melo ...
DONUT 24: First let's pencil in Harris for the $3M he wants, and Carter for the $2.7M room-MLE. We'll also assume they plan to keep Wright. That leaves $13M to spend elsewhere.
DONUT 25: The remaining needs would then be (a) SF, (b) shooters who can play defense (3-and-D guys?), and (c) backup center/PF help.
DONUT 26: Marion might end up in that mix, and Blair as well.
If they do land LeBron or Melo ...
DONUT 27: There would clearly no longer be a SF need!
DONUT 28: They would still need to address PG and shooting, and to that end we would still expect them to pursue both Harris and Carter. But they would only have the room-MLE and minimums to work with.
DONUT 29: DB.com was present (at Dirk's baseball game) when Harris suggested he wants $3M (more than the room-MLE limit of $2.7M-ish) and 3 years (more than the room MLE limit of 2 years), the same deal he took last summer before he was injured. It is unknown what Carter is seeking, but assumed that the room-MLE (similar to his salary last year) would work.
DONUT 30: They could still make one of them happy, and offer Carter the room-MLE, but then would have no cap room for Harris.
DONUT 31: Or perhaps Harris could be persuaded to take the room-MLE and Carter the minimum?
DONUT 32: Another option - one that's way less desirable, and much harder to sell – would be to somehow get Harris to return for one more season at the minimum, with an understanding they would make it up to him with a big raise next summer once he has Early Bird rights. That would also help their cap room in 2015, if that's a concern. Devin is MFFL and all that. But it would be tough to get Harris to do that deal, since players want the sure thing, rather than an understanding.
DONUT 33: They would still need backup help at C/PF.
DONUT 34: It's assumed that it will take more than the minimum to bring back Marion, so in this setup he would be unaffordable, but with LeBron or Melo, Marion's position would be well manned anyhow.
Those would mark monster moves -- unlikely and yet necessary to attempt -- to follow up on this big bang. Tucked into the above 34 Donuts is a thread of certainty: Dallas' offseason, with Dirk as a privately willing recruiter (and TY as his sidekick) is just getting started.