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How to 'Moneyball' the MAVS: Summer 2012

How to Moneyball the Dallas Mavericks

A ton of variables may affect the free agency and trade possibilities for the Dallas Mavericks this offseason. Will Jason Kidd and Vince Carter retire? And, if not, are the Mavericks interested in bringing them back? Is Jason Terry willing to take a huge pay cut in order to stay with the team and allow them to sign some free agents? Is Deron Williams a lock to sign with the MAVS? Will other teams exercise their amnesty clauses as expected, on Marvin Williams (ATL), Tyrus Thomas (CHA), Corey Maggette (CHA), Al Harrington (DEN), Metta World Peace (LAL), and Josh Chilldress (PHO)?

This is an exploration through a handful of different scenarios of how the Dallas Mavericks can assemble a very competitive roster while simultaneously staying under the cap and avoiding bad, immovable contracts. The new CBA requires teams to be a lot smarter than in the past, and the Mavericks have made it clear that they are no longer willing to pay an exorbitant amount of luxury tax and take on unwanted contracts in this new era. The new-look Mavericks will try to get younger and stay under the cap, while continuing to build around their all-world power forward, Dirk Nowitzki.

Assumptions:

The scenarios below are constructed under the following assumptions:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->1. <!--[endif]-->J-Kidd, your services are no longer needed:

I know, I know. He’s a Hall of Fame PG with off the charts basketball IQ and he is definitely one of the best MAVS of all time, but anyone who has watched the MAVS during the 2011-12 season knows that his skills have diminished significantly since the championship run and his body is falling apart like a freshly cooked stack of ribs. He is suddenly prone to turnovers and poor decision-making, and cannot play more than 30 minutes with needed rest during any stretch of consecutive games. He says he wants to play again next year, but I think it is time he hangs it up and these scenarios do not include him in the mix. The only situation that I could see in which the MAVS re-sign him would be if their other FA signings push them over the cap and they have exhausted their other salary exceptions, as using their Bird rights on him as another cap exception would be their only option for a backup PG. Hopefully, it doesn’t get to that point.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->2. <!--[endif]-->MAVS are favorites for D-Will:

He is a DFW native, has expressed interest in the MAVS, and would play alongside a HOFer. ‘Nuff said.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->3. <!--[endif]-->Brendan Haywood + Amnesty = Common sense:

He has two more years left on his HUGE contract and will be nearly impossible to move as he gets older. If the MAVS are to make a move for D-Will, then they need to amnesty Hay-Hay in 2012-13.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->4. <!--[endif]-->Matrix will not be amnestied, but bought out next year:

Matrix makes just as much as Haywood this year (8.4), but a team can only use their amnesty clause once during the whole tenure of the current CBA. For the reasons above, Marion should be spared of the amnesty provision and kept, for at least one more season. As productive as he’s been this year, it is hard to imagine letting him go just yet. He will probably see a buy out of his contract in the 2013-14 season to clear cap space.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->5. <!--[endif]-->Welcome back (Mahinni, Delonte) …Peace Out (JET, Vince Carter, Yi, Azibuke, The Custodian):

Delonte West is definitely a Carlisle guy - two-way player who prides himself on defense and loves the ball in the clutch. He should definitely be in the long-term plans for the MAVS. Mahini is still a project, but if he can consistently get better and stay out of foul trouble, he has the potential to be a serviceable starting big man. The aforementioned other players simply do not fit into the long-term future as their age and talent do not match the salaries they would command.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->6. <!--[endif]-->Arnett Moultrie, John Henson, Tony Mitchell will be taken in the 1st round:

The Mavericks mediocrity in a way played to their advantage this season, as their draft pick traded away to acquire Lamar Odom was top-20 protected, and they should now be sitting at No. 18 in this summer’s draft. That means one of the above talented players could be available, and although they may not be immediate contributors, they are definitely starter worthy with a little development.

Note: $61 million salary cap in 2012/13. Anything past that threshold is BAD NEWS for the MAVS & Co., and we have to assume Cubes is trying to avoid this given his recent business decisions.

Here is a breakdown of the projected salaries for next year:

Scenario #1: Trade Lamar Odom expiring contract to the ATLANTA HAWKS for Marvin Williams.

Sign Courtney Lee with $4M of Mid Level Exception.

PG - D-Will / Delonte

SG - Roddy / Courtney Lee / Dojo

SF - Matrix / Marvin Williams / (1st AM,JH,TM)

PF - Dirk / Marvin Williams / B Wright

C - Mahini / B Wright / (2nd rd Draft Pick)

Here is a breakdown of the projected salaries:

2012/13

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In this scenario:

The MAVS trade Lamar Odom’s mostly non-guaranteed contract for the inflated Marvin Williams contract. The Hawks are motivated to do this deal since Marvin has a Team Option for next year, and they are probably not going to exercise it. This way, they get some compensation for him now instead of nothing later and remove about $6M off of their salary cap. They can also now use their amnesty clause on another player.

Courtney is signed for $4M of the MLE, which does not count against the salary cap. He had a HUGE improvement this year, and could start for most of the teams in the NBA.

Matrix is bought out in 2013-14.

<!--[if !mso]-->
<!--[endif]--><!--[if !mso & !vml]--> <!--[endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->
<!--[endif]-->2013/14

DIRK

20,907,128

22,721,381

D-Will

17,400,000

18,183,300

MATRIX

8,396,964

0

MARVIN WILL

8,300,000

3,500,000

Courtney Lee

4,000,000

4,180,000

RODDY

2,227,333

3,271,954

VC guaranteed if waived

2,000,000

0

DOJO

1,276,560

2,299,084

MAHINI

2,000,000

2,100,500

DELONTE WEST - 1.23

1,230,000

1,600,000

B WRIGHT

915,852

0

1st RD caphold

1,100,000

1,100,000

2nd RD caphold

473,604

473,604

TOTAL

64,227,441

59,429,823

Bottom Line: Marvin Williams and Courtney Lee are both good, but not great players with no true weakness. They have tons of potential but have both been in the league long enough to reach it. The Mavericks would probably not do this deal, as they would rather wait and see if Marvin Williams gets amnestied first in order to sign him for much less than his $8.3 and avoid going into the luxury tax ($61M) that this scenario causes.

Scenario #2: Trade Lamar Odom contract to severely over the cap Miami HEAT for Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony. Sign either Courtney Lee or Leandro Barbosa under the MLE.

HEAT

-Haslem 4 (4 years left)

-Joel Anthony 3.7

PG - D-Will / Delonte / Barbosa

SG - Roddy / Barbosa / Dojo

SF - Matrix / Haslem / (1st AM,JH,TM)

PF - Dirk / Haslem / Joel anthony / B Wright

C - Mahini / B Wright / Joel Anthony / Haslem

2012/13

<!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shape id="_x0000_s1027" type="#_x0000_t202" style="position:absolute;margin-left:62.9pt;margin-top:-54.55pt;width:304.2pt; height:218.35pt;z-index:251659264;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical-relative:text" mce_style="position:absolute;margin-left:62.9pt;margin-top:-54.55pt;width:304.2pt; height:218.35pt;z-index:251659264;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical-relative:text"> <v:textbox style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1027" mce_style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1027" /> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->

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In this scenario:

The MAVS trade Lamar Odom’s mostly non-guaranteed contract to the HEAT for Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony. Haslem has 4 years left on his contract and Joel Anthony is a team option for the next year. The HEAT will be the most overcapped team other than the Lakers next year, and the new CBA is merciless in regards to the luxury tax. They will be looking to shed tons of salary.

Leandro Barbosa is somewhat of a liability on defense, but his offensive versatility may come as a true replacement for JET. He would not count against the cap this year and his agent is Dan Fagan, a very friendly agent with the Mavericks.

<!--[if !mso]-->
<!--[endif]--><!--[if !mso & !vml]--> <!--[endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->
<!--[endif]-->2013/14

DIRK

20,907,128

22,721,381

D-Will

17,400,000

18,183,300

MATRIX

8,396,964

0

Udonis Haslem

4,000,000

4,400,000

Joel Anthony

3,700,000

0

Leandro Barbosa

4,000,000

4,180,000

RODDY

2,227,333

3,271,954

VC guaranteed if waived

2,000,000

0

DOJO

1,276,560

2,299,084

MAHINI

2,000,000

2,100,500

DELONTE WEST - 1.23

1,230,000

1,600,000

B WRIGHT

915,852

0

1st RD caphold

1,100,000

1,100,000

2nd RD caphold

473,604

473,604

TOTAL

63,627,441

60,329,823

Bottom Line: This roster would be a defensive powerhouse, as both Haslem and Anthony are bangers in the paint and play their opponent very physical. I do not think that the MAVS FO would want to take on the contract of Haslem at this point in his career, but I would love to see this team go a series with the Lakers and wear their big men down.

Scenario #3: Trade Lamar Odom contract to over the cap Magic for the monster contract of Glen Davis and sign Leandro Barbosa.

PG - D-Will / Delonte / Leandro Barbosa

SG - Roddy / Leandro Barbosa / Dojo

SF - Matrix / (1st AM,JH,TM)

PF - Dirk / Glen Davis / B Wright

C - Mahini / B Wright / Glen Davis

2012/13

<!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shape id="_x0000_s1028" type="#_x0000_t202" style="position:absolute;margin-left:68.1pt;margin-top:-4.45pt;width:304.2pt; height:171.1pt;z-index:251660288;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical-relative:text" mce_style="position:absolute;margin-left:68.1pt;margin-top:-4.45pt;width:304.2pt; height:171.1pt;z-index:251660288;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical-relative:text"> <v:textbox style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1028" mce_style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1028" /> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->

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In this scenario:

The MAVS trade Lamar Odom’s mostly non-guaranteed contract to the Magic for Glen Davis. He has 3 years left at $6.4M each year. The Magic are not that much over the cap, but may still want to get away from a big contract. Davis has improved every season he’s been in the league and has shown “All Star” caliber flashes at stretches in his career. He could very well become a core component of MAVS future.

Barbosa is again resigned with the MLE.

<!--[if !mso]-->
<!--[endif]--><!--[if !mso & !vml]--> <!--[endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->
<!--[endif]-->2013/14

DIRK

20,907,128

22,721,381

D-Will

17,400,000

18,183,300

MATRIX

8,396,964

0

Glen Davis

6,400,000

6,400,000

Leandro Barbosa

4,000,000

4,180,000

RODDY

2,227,333

3,271,954

VC guaranteed if waived

2,000,000

0

DOJO

1,276,560

2,299,084

MAHINI

2,000,000

2,100,500

DELONTE WEST - 1.23

1,230,000

1,600,000

B WRIGHT

915,852

0

1st RD caphold

1,100,000

1,100,000

2nd RD caphold

473,604

473,604

TOTAL

62,327,441

62,329,823

Bottom Line: The MAVS again, may not want to take a chance on such a big contract, but the potential of Davis is very enticing. If Dwight Howard sticks with his recent “I want out of Orlando” stance, then this becomes a moot point as ORL will need all the big men they can get to replace him.

Scenario #4: Trade Lamar Odom contract to slightly over the cap Detroit PISTONS for the contracts of Jonas Jerebko and Austin Daye. MAVS sign Barbosa or Courtney Lee to replace Terry with MLE.

PG - D-Will / Delonte

SG - Roddy / Leandro Barbosa / Dojo

SF - Matrix / Austin Daye / 1st RD Draft Pick

PF - Dirk / Jonas Jerebko / B Wright

C - Mahini / B Wright / Jerebko

<!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shape id="_x0000_s1029" type="#_x0000_t202" style="position:absolute;margin-left:209.95pt; margin-top:12.2pt;width:304.2pt;height:171.1pt;z-index:251661312" mce_style="position:absolute;margin-left:209.95pt; margin-top:12.2pt;width:304.2pt;height:171.1pt;z-index:251661312"> <v:textbox style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1029" mce_style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1029" /> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->

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In this scenario:

The MAVS trade Lamar Odom’s mostly non-guaranteed contract to the PISTONS for Jonas Jerebko and Austin Daye. They both have two years left on their contracts. The PISTONS are losing both money and games like water from a leaky faucet, and are over the cap for next year. These two players are both very raw, with Jerebko the more polished but still incsistent of the two. The MAVS would really need to do their homework to see fi they feel these two have the potential to be contributors. Barbosa is again resigned with the MLE.

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2012/13

2013/14

DIRK

20,907,128

22,721,381

D-Will

17,400,000

18,183,300

MATRIX

8,396,964

0

Jonas Jerebko

4,500,000

5,000,000

Leandro Barbosa

4,000,000

4,180,000

Austin Daye

2,960,000

3,330,000

RODDY

2,227,333

3,271,954

VC guaranteed if waived

2,000,000

0

DOJO

1,276,560

2,299,084

MAHINI

2,000,000

2,100,500

DELONTE WEST - 1.23

1,230,000

1,600,000

B WRIGHT

915,852

0

1st RD caphold

1,100,000

1,100,000

2nd RD caphold

473,604

473,604

TOTAL

63,387,441

64,259,823

Bottom Line: This lineup would suffer in the short term but would be very interesting in the long term. Jerebko can seem like a young Dirk at times, and then like a poor man’s Darko Milicic at other times. Donnie Nelson does have a reputation for finding international talent, so maybe this could be another successful project? It would also give the MAVS two manageable, smaller contracts to work with for the expiring Odom contract, so why not take a chance?

Scenario #5: Trade Lamar Odom contract to slightly over the cap OKC THUNDER for the contracts of Eric Maynor and Nick Collison.

PG - D-Will / Delonte / Maynor

SG - Roddy / Courtney Lee / Dojo

SF - Matrix / 1st RD Draft Pick

PF - Dirk / B Wright / 1st RD /

C - Mahini / Nick Collison / B Wright

2012/13

<!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shape id="_x0000_s1030" type="#_x0000_t202" style="position:absolute;margin-left:70.95pt;margin-top:-1.95pt;width:304.2pt; height:295.5pt;z-index:251662336;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical-relative:text" mce_style="position:absolute;margin-left:70.95pt;margin-top:-1.95pt;width:304.2pt; height:295.5pt;z-index:251662336;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical-relative:text"> <v:textbox style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1030" mce_style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1030" /> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->

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In this scenario:

The MAVS trade Lamar Odom’s mostly non-guaranteed contract to the THUNDER for Nick Collison and Eric Maynor, two defensive minded players who can score when neded. The Thunder are a small market team that will be slightly under the cap next year. HOWEVER, Russell Westbrook is coming off his rookie contract and will demand a max-level contract, which means a big increase in their total salaries and also means they will want to shed as much $$ as possible. Unfortunately, this trade would only create $2.M in net savings to theThunder, so the MAVS may have to include a 2nd rounder and/or cash considerations to sweeten it.

MAVS fans saw how underrated of a defender Nick Collison was in last year’s Western Conference Finals, and he could even start at center for the next two years.

Maynor missed most of this season with a knee injury, but if healthy he gives Carlisle two qualities he loves in guards – vut throat defense and lights out 3 point shooting.

<!--[if !mso]-->
<!--[endif]--><!--[if !mso & !vml]--> <!--[endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->
<!--[endif]-->2013/14

DIRK

20,907,128

22,721,381

D-Will

17,400,000

18,183,300

MATRIX

8,396,964

0

Leandro Barbosa

4,000,000

4,180,000

Nick Collison

2,900,000

2,220,000

RODDY

2,227,333

3,271,954

VC guaranteed if waived

2,000,000

0

Eric Maynor

1,900,000

0

DOJO

1,276,560

2,299,084

MAHINI

2,000,000

2,100,500

DELONTE WEST - 1.23

1,230,000

1,600,000

B WRIGHT

915,852

0

1st RD caphold

1,100,000

1,100,000

2nd RD caphold

473,604

473,604

TOTAL

60,727,441

58,149,823

Bottom Line: I really love this scenario the most out of all of the above options. Nick Collison may be one of the most underrated big men in the NBA and is a true “hustle guy.” His contract actually decreases for the next three years. Maynor’s contract expires after next season with a team option, so depending on his performance we could let him walk and take the savings or try to resign a rising PG. Our team would improve in both perimeter and interior defense, (with two potential starters), and not skip a beat with our 2nd unit offense. A very low risk, high reward deal here.

NO D-WILL SCENARIO: Cry a little, then realize you have a ton of cap space to sign Gordon Dragic, Shannon Brown, Troy Murphy, and Spencer Hawes. Bring in Nick Calathes finally.

Worst CASE....No Deron

PG - Gordon Dragic /Delonte / Nick Calathes

SG - Shannon Brown / Roddy / Dojo

SF - Matrix / B. Wright / 1st RD Draft Pick

PF - Dirk / Troy Murphy / B. Wright

C - Spencer Hawes / Mahini / B Wright

(see salaries on next page)

2012/13

<!--[if gte vml 1]><v:shape id="_x0000_s1031" type="#_x0000_t202" style="position:absolute;margin-left:87.95pt;margin-top:-4.65pt;width:304.2pt; height:356.55pt;z-index:251663360;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical-relative:text" mce_style="position:absolute;margin-left:87.95pt;margin-top:-4.65pt;width:304.2pt; height:356.55pt;z-index:251663360;mso-position-horizontal-relative:text; mso-position-vertical-relative:text"> <v:textbox style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1031" mce_style="mso-next-textbox:#_x0000_s1031" /> </v:shape><![endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->

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In this scenario:

The MAVS lose out on D-Will for whatever reason and cry for a few days. Then they get on the phone.

Gordon Dragic is signed as the club’s point guard of the future, and right at the time when the world realizes his awesome talent but before he makes his first All star game and demands more $$$$.

They then sign FA Shannon Brown, an extremely athletic swingman who has developed into an excellent shooter and defender in the past few years.

Next, they sign a young 24 year old Spencer Hawes, a center who has proven to be capable of averaging a double double, but has always been in a logjam of big men. At his age, the sky is the limit (not Shawn Bradley, I promise).

Troy Murphy (who is his agent again? oh yeah Dan Fagan!) is brought in to solidify the front court.

Finally, the club finally brings in Nick Calathes, a big 6-6 PG who has been playing the past few years overseas, to groom as a future backup point guard. He would have played in the 2011-12 season if there was a summer league.

<!--[if !mso]-->
<!--[endif]--><!--[if !mso & !vml]--> <!--[endif]--><!--[if !vml]-->
<!--[endif]-->2013/14

DIRK

20,907,128

22,721,381

MATRIX

8,396,964

0

Spencer Hawes

7,500,000

8,200,000

Shannon Brown

6,000,000

7,150,000

Gordon Dragic

5,000,000

6,000,000

RODDY

2,227,333

3,271,954

VC guaranteed if waived

2,000,000

0

Troy Murphy

1,700,000

0

DOJO

1,276,560

2,299,084

MAHINI

2,000,000

2,100,500

DELONTE WEST - 1.23

1,500,000

1,850,000

Nick Calathes

1,250,000

1,600,000

B WRIGHT

915,852

0

1st RD caphold

1,100,000

1,100,000

2nd RD caphold

473,604

473,604

TOTAL

52,747,441

56,766,523

Bottom Line: Keep your heads up MAVS fans, this

Lineup is actually pretty damn good! I know how

good D-Will is, but what if Dragic can become

almost as good at less than half the price? Also, the

flexibility to solidify the SG/C positions bolsters

the team at both ends in a way that they simply

couldn’t do with D-Will’s MAX contract. The MAVS go from an old and slow team to an extremely athletic, young, and moderately experienced team with cap and salary flexibility for the next 4-6 years!! A little luck in their draft selections and this is a talent powerhouse that could compete with anyone. Definitely not the end of the world if D-Will signs elsewhere. Just saying…..


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