Five Moves the Dallas Mavericks Can Make To Return To the NBA Finals
Despite giving Dirk Nowitzki the best supporting cast of his career, the Dallas Mavericks couldn't even reach the second round of the playoffs this year.
This calls for Mark Cuban to work his magic and try to land good players while dealing with the salary cap.
The following slides will examine the five moves Cuban and management can make to piece together a championship team.
The moves are based on how well they would fit with The Mavericks and how likely a deal would happen.
Deals involving guys like LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire haven't been included because either I don't think they will happen. Or they don't fit as well as the other players on this list.
5. Sign and Trade for Joe Johnson
Dallas Gives: Erick Dampier, JJ Barea, cash, cash, cash
Dallas Gets: Joe Johnson
Will it happen? Joe is my favorite player, and as much as I would like to see him in a Dallas uniform, he's not the best fit in this lineup.
Teaming up with Jason Kidd in the back court creates the strongest tandem in the league, but couple that with Kidd's age and Johnson's size, neither of them will be able to guard Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Rajon Rondo, etc.
Johnson will, however, give The Mavs a true shooting guard who can score, pass and take over a game when necessary.
What about The Hawks? They don't plan on letting Johnson walk, and are even going to sell their first round pick for extra money. The Mavs can give them a cheap contributor in Barea and all the cash they want.
4. Trade for Mario Chalmers
Dallas Gives: JJ Barea
Dallas Gets: Mario Chalmers
Will it happen? Quick point guards have made life miserable for the combination of Kidd, Jason Terry and Barea.
Swapping a bargain player in Barea for a proven defender and distributor in Chalmers may be the only thing The Mavs need to contend for the title.
What about The Heat? After a good rookie season, Chalmers has been riding the bench this year because of his poor decision making. He will probably need a change of scenery to get his career back on track.
Trading for a offensive spark plug in Barea will at least give Wade, if he resigns, some scoring help from the backcourt.
3. Trade For Chris Kaman; Sign Drew Gooden
Dallas Gives: Erick Dampier
Dallas Gets: Chris Kaman, sign Drew Gooden as free agent
Will it happen? Gooden played in Dallas this year before being traded and held hostage by Donald Sterling, and has expressed desire to return to Dallas. Kaman played with Dirk in the Olympics.
Dallas has an all-star at every single position except center, which also happened to be where they got nearly no production from in the playoffs.
Kaman and Gooden can solidify the center position and provide Dirk with some real scoring help.
What about The Clippers? They get to save $30 million of Kaman's remaining contract, and pay nothing thanks to Dampier's non-guaranteed contract.
This may happen just because the Clippers are completely starting over, as seen by their moves to get rid of Dunleavey and Camby earlier this year.
2. Trade for Andre Iguodala and Elton Brand
*I actually came across this on the Dallasbasketball.com message boards, so the credit goes mainly to them.*
Dallas Gives: Erick Dampier, Jason Terry, Caron Butler
Dallas Gets: Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand
Will it happen? This was actually rumored at the trade deadline, but it is unknown if anything really materialized.
This trade makes sense on both sides, as Dallas gets a jack-of-all-trades slasher who can team up with Shawn Marion to form the best pair of wing defenders in the league.
Dallas will also get a true post player in Brand, who was still able to produce 20-10 when given playing time in Philly.
What about the Sixers? They look like they will end up having a Wizard-style giveaway.
They have bad contracts with players they don't want to keep, making guys like Iguodala and Brand available via trade for cap space.
Dampier can be waived right after the trade, Butler only has one year left on his contract and Terry's deal is much easier to swallow than Iguodala's or Brand's.
1. Trade for Stephen Jackson and Tyson Chandler
Dallas Gives: Erick Dampier, Jason Kidd
Dallas Gets: Stephen Jackson, Tyson Chandler, DJ Augustin
Will this happen? Chances are Mark Cuban won't give up Jason Kidd for anyone because he would then have to admit he was wrong to trade for Kidd.
He should, however, because this trade could put the Mavs over the top.
Roddy Beaubois and DJ Augustin would pair up at point guard and Stephen Jackson would give The Mavs a play-maker and a defender, along with the toughness he brings.
A healthy Tyson Chandler can still potentially average 10-10 given a fair share of minutes.
An eight man rotation of Roddy, Augustin, Jackson, Butler, Dirk, Chandler, Marion and Terry can compete for the title.
What about The Bobcats? Trading for Chandler made no sense in the first place for a cash-strapped franchise and the goal of making the playoffs by trading for Stephen Jackson has been accomplished.
Michael Jordan would probably be willing to give up Augustin, who hasn't played much this year, if it meant he wouldn't owe $31 million to two players not in his future plans.