We are all entitled to pipe dreams, even if ultimately they hardly ever pan out. We’ve all done it. Any of these sound familiar? Honey, next summer we’ll take a whole month off and tour Europe like we always wanted. Man, we’ll apply to the same school and be roomies. Someday, I’ll run with the bulls in Pamplona.
Rarely, though, do these fantasies become reality. Stuff happens. Couples get pregnant, high school pals go their separate ways and people recognize that possibly being stampeded to death by two dozen thousand-pound beasts really isn’t the way they wanted to go.
My pipe dream at the moment, besides running with the bulls, is for the Dallas Mavericks to somehow land Deron Williams via free agency next year. It’s at least plausible, right? With the power of Mark Cuban’s bottomless pockets, mixed in with a championship pedigree, the Big D suddenly sounds like a pretty desirable place to play hoops.
Oh, I also forgot to mention that Williams grew up around Dallas, attending The Colony High School. Now I understand that with today’s superstars having as little regard for their homes as Charlie Sheen for sanity, this could mean next to nothing, but D-Will was seen donning a Rangers cap in the Mavs locker room during the NBA Finals, which HAS to count for something.
Imagine Dirk Nowitzki and D-Will absolutely abusing other defenses on the pick and roll, with Jason Terry camped out in the corner like a homeless man under an overpass. Deron Williams is also an extremely competent defender, something the Mavs require at the point guard position with Dirk and Jet, two suspect defenders, logging so many minutes together.
A crunch-time lineup of D-Will, Jet, Dirk, Tyson Chandler and Shawn Marion/Small Forward X would absolutely contend for a solid four to five years. This would also take an enormous load off Dirk, allowing Deron the pressure of being “the man” on most nights, especially during the regular season, considering the mileage Dirk is beginning to accumulate at age 33. Save the heavy lifting for May and June, when the Mavs really need Dirk’s crunch-time chops. Could this be any more perfect?
Let's switch gears from the future to the now. The Mavs' number one goal going forward, in order to have any chance of winning another title in the Dirk era, must be to re-sign Tyson Chandler. Elite defensive centers are ridiculously difficult to find. One plays in Orlando, and the other played in Dallas for a championship team.
Whatever it takes, Mark, shell out the money. If that means letting J.J. Barea walk, letting Caron Butler go or dumping Brendan Haywood’s contract on someone else, so be it. I’ll say it once more: We will NOT win another championship in the Dirk era if the Big German’s backcourt mate is neither Tyson nor Dwight Howard.
The Mavs desperately need that force protecting the rim, erasing Dirk’s defensive mistakes and walling off penetration. Chandler has filled the decade-long void that Shawn Bradley, "Erica" Dampier, DeSagana Diop and approximately 73 others could never satisfy. Providing that the Mavs spend wisely and Tyson doesn’t sign for $98 million and the key to Toronto with the Raptors, our missing link will re-sign with the champs, and my dynasty theory can work.
Oh yeah, and barring Deron suffering a horrific injury in Turkey, the Mavs not leaving cap space, the lockout resulting in a hard cap and a Jason Kidd basketball version of a “c-block,” the Mavs have a great chance at the D-Will sweepstakes. Dang pipe dreams.