Hey Mavs fans I'm back!
After a long summer of extreme bargain hunting I am exhausted.
No one can say the Dallas Mavericks sat on the fence and watched the world pass them by this summer.
Owner Mark Cuban and GM Donny Nelson have been a pair of busy customers.
First they emptied their wallets, second they maxed out all their credit cards, and finally they broke their piggy banks.
I warned everyone that this summer's shopping season was going to be a crazed frenzy, and it did not disappoint.
Did we find everything we were shopping for? Of course not, but we did the best we could hope for given the availability of choice players, and the attitudes of certain teams.
So let's unpack our shopping bags and see what the Mavericks brought home.
Our shopping trip started on July 7th with draft day. After much finagling the Mavericks found themselves with the 25th pick.
Hmm...I'm thinking this year maybe something a little more couture...possibly French.
If you don"t think I'm excited about our latest draft pick Rodrique Beaubois (Roddy), then you haven't been reading my articles.
Putting Roddy under the wings of Kidd should get every Mavs fan on the edge of their seats.
Stay tuned, in a couple of years we might just witness the passing of the torch at the point-guard position.
And a big FYI for everyone, Roddy was this year's Summer League star.
Next stop re-signing Jason Kidd:
Just as I predicted the biggest chunk of change, $25 million over 3 years to be exact, of our summer shopping budget went to re-signing point-guard Jason Kidd.
Kidd was fought over like two girls fighting over the same dress...Okay so it looked better on me anyway.
The New York Knicks seriously thought they had a chance of stealing Kidd right out from under our noses. Credit Cuban's midnight rendezvous with Kidd, for making sure that wasn't going to happen.
The essential essential, Kidd is the core to the Mavericks master plan this coming season. Let's face it Mavs fans, there just wasn't anyone else on our radar for starting point-guard.
Shopping the Matrix!
The Mavericks next shopping stop put us in Toronto, were we snagged ourselves a big name big man in Shawn Marion.
This was the wildest and most complicated player exchange made by any team this summer. My head is spinning tying to keep all this straight.
Adding Marion to our collection was by no means an easy trick. In total it involved four teams and nine players.
First the Mavericks sent Jerry Stackhouse, Devean George, and Antoine Wright to the Raptors.
The Raptors sent along with Marion, Kris Humphries, Nathan Jawai, and Greg Buckner to the Mavericks.
The Raptors then sent along with Stackhouse, and a future second-round pick to the Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies would incorporate Stackhouse's $7.25 million contract, and turn around and buy him out for $2 million.
The final team in this trade was the Magic. They would send Hedo Turkoglu to the Raptors in exchange for a trade exception.
Marion is such a complete package too, we get size, strength, scoring, defense, and attitude.
After surviving on a diet of humble pie on going nowhere teams for two seasons, let's see if Marion will be more of a team player with the Mavericks.
And FYI, during Marion's rookie season he did play with Kidd.
No Magic in Orlando!
The biggest disapointment came early this summer on the shopping trip for Orlando Magic's center Marcin Gortat. We made a top dollar offer for Gortat that the Magic decided to match.
Let's face it, they got down right catty with us. Our hopes for getting this big guy were dashed to bits.
It wasn't like Orlando didn't have a starting center already, that's what the Mavericks had planned for Gortat. But hey, if Orlando wants to pay $35 million for a backup center, go knock yourselves out.
So we screamed, cried, and curled up in a fetal position. We pretty much thought our season was over before it had a chance to start. But our Mavericks were not done shopping yet...
Good things do come to those who wait!
You could have knocked me over with a leaf on this one Mavs fan, 'cause I didn't see it coming either. Still determined to find that elusive big man, the Mavericks made a huge score.
Out of the blue, free agent Drew Gooden is signed to a one year hitch. And the sun shines again in Dallas.
Gooden may prove to be a better bargain than Gortat talent-wise. His price tag is much better and has a warranty so that if he doesn't work out, no big loss, no hard feelings.
But since it's a partially guaranteed contract, it has nice tangibles ($$) that might motivate Gooden to play his best game ever.
Repairs under warranty!
Getting healthy was also high on the Mavericks todo list this summer. Sending both JJ Barea and Josh Howard to the repair shop for surgery and reconditioning, both are expected to be ready to go for the start of training camp.
After needed shoulder surgery, JJ will be pain-free for the first time in years. Unfortunately Cuban had to be the bad guy and break our little JJ's heart.
The FIBA America's games were played this summer in Puerto Rico. Of course being the star of the Puerto Rican Nationals, JJ had high hopes of playing for the home crowd.
Cuban did not want to expose the still rehabbing shoulder of JJ to potential injury. So permission was denied for JJ to play in the FIBA America tournament.
Howard's long over due surgeries to his left ankle and left wrist were successful, and the rehab in Dallas has been better than we could hope for.
The Mavericks have the big idea of putting Marion in the small-forward position, and move Howard to the shooting-guard. No question we need to find an answer to the 2-guard spot.
To be honest I like the thought of Howard being the wide-receiver for Kidd in the transition game. But Mav's fans, I this idea may only look good on paper.
Howard has struggled in the past at the 2-guard. He will have to use his best salesman abilities to convince me and everyone else, that he is the Mavericks shooting-guard.
If Howard is not able to hold his own at the two, with an expiring contract, he might have to be traded. But only if the Mavericks have a chance to land a true 2-guard and/or a quality center.
New accessories for the bench!
Even with all the shopping the Mavericks did for essentials they didn't forget to pickup accessories for the bench.
Center/Forward Nathan Jawai rode to Dallas with Marion. It's fun finding deals at the checkout. Jawai is not guaranteed a spot on the Mavericks roster. It will be interesting to see how hungry he is to earn a spot on the team.
Forward Kris Humphries was another pickup with Marion. Humphries is a little damaged as he recovering from a broken fibula. It's unknown when he will be able to contribute to the bench.
Forward Tim Thomas was among the free agents finds and was signed to an undisclosed contract.
Guard Quinton Ross was another free agent find. After four seasons with the Clippers and one with the Grizzlies, this Dallas native can't wait to be finally on a contending team.
Guard Greg Buckner: Yes he's back and hopefully not for long. Let's hope the Mavericks can cash in on a last minute sale to rid themselves of Buck once and for all.
Rolling out the latest Mavericks starting lineup!
Our 2009-10 Dallas Mavericks starting lineup should like this:
The Mavericks want Gooden to avg. 30 minutes a game. Unless we find a suitable upgrade, Eric Dampier will be called on in certain match ups.
Marion is planned to slide over to the power-forward as Dirk's backup, and also in the small-ball lineup with Dirk playing center.
Josh will move back to his familiar small-forward spot to make room for two of the following guards Kidd, Barea, Terry or Roddy.
It took a lot of work to get this lineup Mavs fans. I believe we have a team we can be proud off. LETS GO MAVERICKS!!!