Mavericks Additions - Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Marcin Gortat

Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
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Mavericks Additions - Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Gortat

In an offseason where the top teams in the NBA have made substantial moves to improve their roster, Mark Cuban and the Mavs are trying to keep pace. Dallas has been active this summer re-signing point guard Jason Kidd, acquiring Shawn Marion in a four-team sign-and-trade deal, and signing Magic free agent center Marcin Gortat to an offer sheet.

Despite being 36 years old and averaging the least amount of points last season during his 15-year NBA career, Kidd still has some gas left in the tank. He agreed to a 3-year, $25 million deal after reportedly having several teams including the Knicks show interest. From a financial standpoint, it was a no-brainer for Kidd seeing as the Mavs were really the only team able to offer him more than the mid-level exception. Plus, the allure of staying in Dallas rather than sign with a Knicks team in transition gives Kidd a better, albeit slim chance of winning his first championship ring.

Some people think Kidd is washed up and will only be able to play at a high level for another year or two which puts the length of his deal somewhat in question. I wouldn't be too concerned considering Kidd played in all but one game last season and averaged nearly 36 minutes per contest. He is the quarterback of the Mavs' offense and needed to be re-signed if Dallas wanted to have any chance of improving from their sixth seed in the Western Conference.

Cuban recognized the need to also bring in some outside talent which is why he pulled the trigger on a four-team deal that sent Marion and Kris Humphries to Dallas while only having to ship out Jerry Stackhouse, Antoine Wright and Devean George. Marion comes to the Mavs with a very affordable 5-year, $39 million deal and in need of a revitalization of his career.

With the Heat and Raptors last season, the 31-year-old Marion's points per game dipped five points below his career average as his three-point percentage was abysmal. He clearly missed playing alongside Steve Nash in the Suns up-tempo offense, and should benefit running the floor with Kidd, Josh Howard and Dirk Nowitzki.

Dallas was also very aggressive in their courting of Gortat, who used a terrific postseason to catapult his free agent status. Gortat and the Mavs agreed to a 5-year deal that would use up Dallas' entire mid-level exception which is set at $5.85 million a year. Gortat gives the Mavs a center option besides Erick Dampier, who has been a major disappointment since signing a huge 7-year, $73 million deal five summers ago.

The Magic will have seven days to decide whether to match the offer or let Gortat walk. Orlando general manager Otis Smith is reportedly still weighing his options, but it is more than likely that Gortat will call the Big D home next season.

Is it me or could this Gortat addition be similar to when the Knicks overpaid to sign Jerome James away from the Sonics after James had a few productive games in the postseason? The big Pollack posted double-digit points and rebounds just once in 24 playoff games for Orlando, and that's when he started in place of the suspended Dwight Howard. But with NBA teams desperate to find serviceable big men, he was bound to cash in this offseason.

With these three moves, Dallas may have moved into the top four teams in the West. But in my opinion, they are still not talented enough to dethrone the Lakers, Spurs, or even the Nuggets, as the team to beat out West.

Written by Paul Banks of NBC Chicago and the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to: [email protected]

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