I've heard a million different takes on the Mavericks, be it an NBA writer producing a thousand word columnist to talking to a random customer at work for a couple of minutes. Some people fully back the moves Donnie Nelson, Mark Cuban, and the rest of the front office have done, others can't stand them, but mostly, it's somewhere in between. How about we get a general consensus on the front office and their moves, starting from the day immediately after winning the 2011 NBA Championship. I'll get you a quick recap, as unbiased as I possibly can, so I don't affect your vote.
The story starts with the 2011 NBA Draft, almost forgotten in the midst of the lockout that followed. The Mavericks took the 26th pick of the draft to acquire Jordan Hamilton, a SF out of the University of Texas. The Mavericks later traded him and their second round pick (#57) to Denver in a part of a three team trade. In return, the got swingman Rudy Fernandez and the rights to Euro point guard Petteri Koponen. Hamilton played in just 26 games for Denver as a rookie, averaging four points, although he did make 36% of his three point attempts.
The lockout disrupted any action during the offseason until it was finally resolved on December 8th.
Once again able to make basketball moves, the Mavericks stayed in the headlines, although in some ways, it was because of how inactive they were. Tyson Chandler and JJ Barea, both vital pieces to the Mavericks title run, were offered only one year contracts and signed with the Knicks and Timberwolves, respectively. Likewise, Caron Butler and DeShawn Stevenson both expressed interest in returning to the Mavericks but went elsewhere due to other teams offering more years and money.
Chandler won Defensive Player of the Year while leading the league in FG% and nearly averaging a double double. Barea disappointed and had injury issues but still averaged 15 points a game. Butler played thirty minutes a game averaging twelve points, though was only the sixth best scorer on the team. Stevenson was pretty awful, though for yet another year led the league in Abraham Lincoln neck tattoos.
Fernandez, the draft day addition as mentioned above, and Corey Brewer, a mid-season signing the year before, both were traded to Denver for a second round draft pick. Rudy averaged 8.9 points and 23 minutes a game in 2012, but played just 31 games due to injuries. Brewer played in 59 of the 66 games, averaging 22 minutes and 8.6 points a game.
There were also moves made to acquire players, believe it or not. Guard Delonte West and swingman Vince Carter agreed to contracts and both had successful seasons last year. Carter will be returning, while West's status is still pending.
The biggest move of the offseason, though, was grabbing reigning Sixth Man of the Year, Lamar Odom, from the Lakers for a draft pick and a trade exception. At the time, acquiring Odom for next to the nothing was seen as the steal of the offseason. Unfortunately, Lamar never mentally checked into his team and was an abject failure in every way possible. Should have worn the headband more.
Jump forward to the 2012 offseason. Supposed to be host to one of the best free agent classes of all time, Deron Williams ended up being the only free agent superstar when Dwight Howard and Chris Paul opted in on the final year of their contracts. Williams reportedly was leaning towards signing with Dirk and the Mavericks, but some frantic last minute moves by the Nets pushed his decision in their favor.
Guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry both will be suiting up for different teams this coming season. Terry would have let the Mavs match his three year, $15 million contract he signed with Boston, but they declined. On the other hand, Kidd was offered a three year deal, worth $9 million, but opted to go to New York to play for the Knicks. Another player, Brenden Haywood, will also not be returning to the Mavericks next year. However, that decision was made for him when the Mavericks used their amnesty clause on him and his enormous contract.
Clearly, Deron was Plan A, and so the offseason was a disappointment no matter what when the Mavs failed to sign him. It didn't have to be a failure, and the Mavericks began to salvage it by signing Chris Kaman to a one year deal worth eight million, and trading backup center Ian Mahinmi to Indiana for Darren Collison and Dahntey Jones. Pencil Kaman in as the starting center and Collison at the point, while Jones should factor in as a contributing role player off the bench. It was unlikely the Mavericks would have retained Mahinmi anyway.
As of this moment, the Mavericks are considered the front runners to acquire the amnestied Elton Brand. There are also rumors that they could acquire Jose Calderon, who Toronto is trying to get rid of, although there are certainly money issues that would have to be worked around.
So there you have it: it's up to decide whether they are good or bad moves, but there's certainly plenty of them to critique. Cast your vote however you feel like, and then take a minute to explain what you voted and why in the comments below. I know the offseason is not over, but it seems like a perfect time for this poll, where feelings aren't too low from missing out on Deron or too high from overhyping a ton of new additions.
UPDATE: Elton Brand is officially a Ma