Friends, Readers, Countrymen, lend me your ears: I come to praise the Mavericks, not to bury them.
- So, what does all the new guard acquisitions mean for the Free Roddy B movement? That's a good question. Earl K. Sneed asks it, and I don't think I have a real answer.
- Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas breaks down what the Mavs rotation might look like, and tries to determine who might be on the outside looking in. My assessment remains the same: for James, DoJo and Jared Cunningham, minutes might be hard to come by. Even Roddy and Brandan Wright, who have real game-time under their belt, are going to have to work hard for their minutes.
- Wondering what Mark Cuban thinks about what's happened this summer, and what direction Dallas goes in now? Me too. One tiny morsel of insight might be dug out from this quote: "It will be interesting to see what happens next summer when we hear lots of talk about teams not being eligible to receive free agents in sign-and-trades due to being over the tax apron."
- All things considered, Dallas didn't make out too badly in the wake of Derongate. The wonderfully named site Sir Charles in Charge gives them a pretty nice grade for the offseason.
- Meanwhile, the Lakers and Dwight Howard gear up for their season opener with Dallas. Gerry Fraley thinks Dallas is better off without Howard, but also wonders if Dirk won't start to reconsider staying with the Mavs after his contract runs out, presumably if the team has continued to fail in their quest to add a second superstar.
- Howard is not completely, totally off the radar for Dallas, I should add. We've seen a lot of questions and comments about Howard, or Bynum, etc. signing an extension to stay with their new teams, but the new CBA has effectively eliminated that option. Why? An excellent breakdown by Hardwood Paroxysm, with a major assist from cap-guru Larry Coon. Bottom line: Howard will become a free agent, though the odds of him spurning the Lakers and extra money to come to Dallas are very slim.
- As Marc Stein says, though, if Howard does become disenchanted with La-la land, Dallas will be there for him. You'll forgive me if that doesn't exactly make me jump for joy.
- Is it the plan that was flawed? Surely it can't be the system. In a few days we'll have a more in-depth discussion about this, but I still believe Dallas is following the right path, even if its taken a little longer than we'd hoped to get to the intended destination.
- Yi Jianlian's season may be in jeopardy. I was going to make a joke about playing a chair one on one, but that's just not very nice, is it? Afterall, the guy's still a human being. To his credit, many observers said he looked terrific for China prior to the injury sustained against Australia. Maybe he'll bounce back and find a turning point here. Best of luck to him.
- They say end on a happy note, so, in lighter news, which do you prefer?
And that's it.