Mavericks Overall Team Grade
I am actually a little confused by what the Mavs did. They needed to get a center since both of theirs could be gone this summer, and found a great value in drafting first-round prospect Solomon Alabi with the 50th pick. However, Dallas turned around and sold his rights to Toronto. I liked Jones at South Florida, but where does he fit in the Maverick backcourt? (Grade: C-)
25. Dominique Jones, G, South Florida
Mark Cuban just couldn't resist spending some money and bought this pick from Memphis. Jones is a natural scorer who might be able to play the point in the NBA. I think he will be a nice NBA player but I don't see him getting significant minutes this season since Dallas has a pretty crowded backcourt. Cuban was actually thinking future with this pick? (Pick Grade: Meh)
2009-10 Season Summary:
The last few seasons have been very similar in Dallas. Make a key move or two during the offseason or at the trade deadline that will supposedly get the Mavs over the hump; finish the regular season with one of the best records in the Western Conference; then suffer an early playoff exit causing Mark Cuban to look absolutely stunned and probably forcing him to shed a few tears behind the scenes.
It was more of the same this past season as Dallas made moves to bring in Shawn Marion, Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood which helped them finish with the second seed heading into the playoffs. Like clockwork, recent history then repeated itself once again as the Mavs were ousted in the first round of the postseason by their in-state rival Spurs. It was certainly another disappointing finish for a team that was once again massively hyped in the preseason.
2010-11 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Brendan Haywood/Tyson Chandler/Ian Mahinmi
PF: Dirk Nowitzki/Alexis Ajinca
SF: Shawn Marion/DeShawn Stevenson
SG: Caron Butler/Jason Terry/Dominique Jones
PG: Jason Kidd/Roddy Beaubois/J.J. Barea
NBA Free Agents:
PF Tim Thomas (UFA)
2010-11 Team Salary: Approximately $88.2 million
2010-11 League Salary Cap: $58 million
Mavs acquire C Tyson Chandler and F/C Alexis Ajinca from Charlotte for C Erick Dampier, PF Eduardo Najera, SG Matt Carroll, and Cash considerations
Mavs sign F/C Ian Mahinmi to 2-year, $3.8 million deal
Mavs re-sign C Brendan Haywood to 6-year, $55 million deal
Mavs re-sign PF Dirk Nowitzki to 4-year, $80 million deal
Mavs acquire G Dominique Jones (25th pick) from Grizzlies for Cash Considerations
Mavs acquire 2013 2nd Round Draft Pick and Cash Considerations from Raptors for C Solomon Alabi (50th pick)
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. Don't Let Dirk Leave- All signs are indicating that Dirk will opt out of the final year of his contract that would pay him more than $21.5 million next season and become an unrestricted free agent. Cuban can't and won't let him leave. Everything the Mavericks franchise has done the past several seasons has been built around Dirk being their alpha dog. If Nowitzki picks up and leaves, that would put Dallas in an awful situation since they would not have the cap space to sign a suitable replacement. Dirk needs to be re-signed because if not, Dallas could quickly fall out of the playoff picture out West.
Another option is using Dirk in a sign-and-trade situation. Unless they are getting Chris Bosh or one of the league's top players in return (and I exclude Amare Stoudemire from this list), Dallas would be dumb to agree to it unless they believe they have no chance of him returning next season.
2. A Big Man- Dampier has a non-guaranteed contract worth more than $13 million next season. Unless the Mavs are going to use him in a sign-and-trade deal, there is no chance in hell Dallas will bring Dampier back for that amount of money. Haywood, who was acquired during the season, is an unrestricted free agent leaving the Mavs with no true center. We have seen how much more productive Dirk is when he has a legitimate center to play alongside, making this need vital to their success. I would expect them to make a run at re-signing Haywood and then possibly use their mid-level exception to add another big body.
3. Don't Do Anything Rash- Cuban is not afraid to open up his checkbook. This we all know. But what Cuban tends to do is panic after a disappointing season and overpay players who are not worth the contract they are signing (see Erick Dampier.) Assuming Dirk re-signs, there are solid pieces around him like Jason Kidd, Butler, Marion and Terry. Cuban will certainly do something to add another player to the mix, but must make sure that player is a good fit with their current core and is not another awful contract added to an already monstrous team salary.