Walt, you need to put Texas LT Connor Williams on this list. Dude is going to be one of the best LT's in this class. He'll be a JR this year, but former TE with outstanding movement and pass blocking skills. Dude is a stud and Freshman All-American. First time in a while I've been excited for our Offensive line.
Turning the 26th and 57th picks in a weak draft into a proven player who can contribute off the bench only adds to a championship core. I would make this deal 100 out of 100 times. (Team Grade: LOVE IT!)
Live 2011 NBA Draft Grades:
26. Jordan Hamilton, F, Texas (TRADED TO PORTLAND AND THEN DENVER)
I have no idea how he fell this low and this is a HUGE steal for Mark Cuban who then turned around and dealt Hamilton to Portland for Rudy Fernandez. With Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, and Peja Stojakovic all free agents, Fernandez provides an experienced wing player and all it cost was the 26th pick? Great deal. (Pick Grade: LOVE IT!)
*** 2011 NBA Offseason Needs and Free Agents listed below this comment box. ***
2010-11 Season Summary:
Vindication! After years of disappointing early exits from the postseason and falling short of the NBA's crown jewel, Mark Cuban's franchise finally brought home the NBA title; and in the process became 99 percent of America's new favorite basketball team since they took down the hated Miami Heat.
The Mavs were not a team of superstars; they were a team. Led by Dirk Nowitzki, who reached greatness with his masterful play in the postseason, Dallas came together as a unit of veterans who each knew exactly what was expected of them even after Caron Butler when down with a season-ending injury.
Jason Kidd was the floor general, orchestrating the offense. Jason Terry was the sharpshooter, while DeShawn Stevenson and Peja Stojakovic chipped in with their ability to knock down threes. Tyson Chandler and Brandon Haywood brought the muscle inside. Shawn Marion was the team's best defender who used his versatility to cause problems for opponents. J.J. Barea provided great energy off the bench.
And through it all, Cuban actually managed to stay somewhat subdued.
2011-12 Projected Depth Chart:
C: Brendan Haywood/Ian Mahinmi
PF: Dirk Nowitzki
SF: Shawn Marion/Corey Brewer
SG: Jason Terry/Rudy Fernandez/Dominique Jones
PG: Jason Kidd/Roddy Beaubois
NBA Free Agents:
C-Tyson Chandler (UFA)
SG-Caron Butler (UFA)
PG-J.J. Barea (UFA)
SG-DeShawn Stevenson (UFA)
SF-Peja Stojakovic (UFA)
PF-Brian Cardinal (UFA)
Mavs acqruire SG Rudy Fernandez and rights to G Petteri Koponen for 26th and 57th picks
2010-11 Team Salary: Approximately $63.2 million
NBA Offseason Needs:
1. Re-sign Chandler and Barea:
Just looking at their stats doesn't do justice for how much of an impact these two players made in the Mavs' run to the title. Tyson Chandler provides a toughness and defensive presence in the middle which perfectly complements Dirk's ability from the perimeter. J.J. Barea is a spark plug off the bench with his aggressive on-the-ball defense and ability to create on offense. Both guys will be due a pretty significant pay day this offseason, but if there is one thing we know about Cuban, he is not afraid to open his wallet and shell out some cash.
2. Wing Help:
With Caron Butler, DeShawn "LeBron, How's My Dirk Taste" Stevenson, and Peja Stojakovic all free agents, it leaves the Mavs with a hole on the wing. Since they are over the cap and limited in what they can do in free agency, I would expect Cuban to try and re-sign Butler and Stevenson if the price is right. Still, Dallas should also have its eye on the market to see if they can bring in a veteran to help the Mavs make a run at a repeat.
3. Wing Defender:
I am knit picking at this point, but Shawn Marion is the only returning player who is capable of guarding a LeBron James-type player especially since the undersized Jason Terry plays a lot of minutes at the two. Butler and Stevenson are not known for the defensive abilities, so even if they return, Dallas needs to find another player capable of locking down on the opposition's best wing scorer. Corey Brewer could potentially become that player.