Keep 'Em or Trash 'Em? Solutions to the Dallas Mavericks' Free Agency Situations

Sashi BodavulaContributor IIIJune 24, 2011

Keep 'Em or Trash 'Em? Solutions to the Dallas Mavericks' Free Agency Situations

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    DALLAS, TX - JUNE 16: Owner Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks during the Dallas Mavericks Victory celebration on June 16, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Wade/Getty Images)
    Brandon Wade/Getty Images

    The 2010-2011 World Champion Dallas Mavericks currently have six unrestricted free agents, players who will officially have the right to choose whatever team they want to play for, as long as that team offers them a contract.

    Lets look at these six players, from the least priority to the No. 1 priority and whether it's best for Dallas to keep them or let them go.

Peja Stojakovic

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    Why Keep 'Em

    Stojakovic is a great option for an outside threat. When put on the floor with Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, Stojakovic can be extremely deadly, as showcased in the series versus the Los Angeles Lakers.

     

    Why Trash 'Em

    Yeah, Stojakovic is in fourth place all-time in regular season three-pointers made, but the vast majority of that record was claimed during his stays in Sacramento and New Orleans. He is a complete liability on defense. It's even to the point where his own teammates question why he's guarding certain players.

    Do you guys remember this?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX97JXD0Uv0 Ouch. This all started with Stojakovic. Brendan Haywood, the posterized man—and Stojakovic's teammate in Dallas—questioned why Stojakovic was guarding Kevin Durant in the first place.

     

    The Decision: Trash 'Em.

DeShawn Stevenson

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    Why Keep 'Em

    Now we start getting to the controversy. (As always, comments and discussion about your agreements/disagreements is encouraged!) DeShawn Stevenson was a key factor in the Mavs' amazing playoff run. While he did hit a lot of key three-pointers, it's what he did on the defensive end that is convincing the Mavs' brass to keep him on the team.

     

    Why Trash 'Em

    There's only one reasonable argument here. Stevenson signed for a little upwards of $4 million last year. Based on his play this year, he deserves a pay raise.

      However, if Stevenson requests an amount of money the Mavs just cannot accept, it would be sensible to trash 'em. Remember, we do have another great young defensive-minded player who can also contribute at the right time on the offensive end. If Stevenson leaves, and that's a big if, look for Corey Brewer to get a significant increase in minutes off the bench and try to fulfill Stevenson's role.

     

    UPDATE:

    RUDY FERNANDEZ HAS BEEN TRADED TO THE MAVERICKS IN EXCHANGE FOR THE DRAFT RIGHTS TO THE MAVERICKS' 26TH PICK (JORDAN HAMILTON).

    Well...there goes Stevenson.

     

    The Decision: Trash 'Em. (Stevenson is a personal favorite of mine, I'm sad to see him leave.)

Brian Cardinal

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    Why Keep 'Em

    I don't know how old this guy is right now, but I know he's definitely somewhere in his mid thirties, judging by that Mr. Clean-esque head of his. An hour before the tipoff of Game 6, Cardinal was reportedly seen tagging along with teammate Jason Kidd on Kidd's daily trip to drink from the Fountain of Youth.

    In all seriousness though, this guy throws his body out there on the court every night. He is affectionately known as The Custodian! Some people might not get why, but it's because of all the dirty work he does—drawing charges and fouls and rebounding the ball in traffic. Apparently, his constant diving for loose balls cleans the floors?

     

    Why Trash 'Em

    The only reason there is to trash 'em is because of his age. I just found out he is 34 years old! Based on what I've seen him do on the court during the regular season and in the Mavs' incredible postseason run, it doesn't look like the Boilermaker's motor is rusting.

     

    The Decision: Keep 'Em. (This is one of those situations where you do one-year contracts every year.)

Caron Butler

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    Why Keep 'Em

    Caron Butler was beast for the Mavs until he screwed up his knee. That was a huge blow for Mavs' fans everywhere. Butler was the second-leading scorer on the team and, arguably, the second-best player. 

    Butler has expressed a burning desire to stay in Dallas. He was extremely happy to leave a pitiful place like Washington and to come and help play a role for a championship contender. Now that he's a champion, his passion to stay in Dallas has taken a meteoric rise.

    The Dallas Mavericks' organization has also expressed interest in keeping Butler. Butler, like his teammate Tyson Chandler, is a huge vocal force in the locker room. His emotion is contagious to the other players. Overall, he is just a great player and a great influence.

     

    Why Trash 'Em

    There's really not much to say here—but I guess there is one worthy argument to bring up. Some people might ask, "Why should we bring back a 31-year-old man who just scrapped his knee?"

     Well, Butler is extremely dedicated to getting his butt back on a basketball court. We saw that as he tried to make the NBA Finals, which was a few weeks in advance of when he was set to be recovered.

    This really isn't an argument though, Butler is a great player, and I'm sure he'll be ready to go by the start of next season. He has the entire offseason, and then some, to heal and practice.

     

    The Decision: Keep 'Em.

José Juan "J.J." Barea

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    Why Keep 'Em

    Its elementary, my dear Watson. No Barea, no championship. Everyone wants the "Pride of Puerto Rico" this offseason, and for good reason. He terrorizes defenses to the point where certain centers elbow him to the ground in frustration.

    But seriously, this guy is the pride of Dallas and a huge fan favorite. The Mavs' brass, players, organization and fans would like nothing more than to keep Barea.

    Barea's agent said he will do whatever it takes. It's clear Dallas is the only place where Barea can play his unique style of play.

     

    Why Trash 'Em

    No reasons exist to let Barea go. There is simply no Mavs fan on this planet who wants him gone.

     

    The Decision: Keep 'Em.

Tyson Chandler

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    Why Keep 'Em

    The defensive mastermind for the Mavericks has to stay. Remember the historic comeback for the ages, the one Dallas pulled off vs. OKC in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals?

    Dallas went on an 18-2 run, at least that's what Nowitzki said when I listened to the radio. (103.3 FM is the Ben and Skin show where they regularly interview Chandler and Nowitzki and other Mavs' players throughout the season, if you live in the Metroplex.)

    Now 18 points isn't too bad, but the fact that Dallas only gave up two points in six or seven minutes is unfathomable. Being the center, Chandler gets some automatic credit. The rest of his credit comes due to his vocalization and his leadership. He leaves it all out there every night and his emotion and passion are contagious to the other players.

     

    Why Trash 'Em

    No Discussion.

     

    The Decision: Keep 'Em.