Anthony freakin' Morrow. That's my breaking point, apparently.
Anthony Morrow has agreed to two-year deal with the Pelicans at the veteran's minimum with a player's option in 2nd season, source tells Y!— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 9, 2013
Go on Twitter right now and you'll probably find nary a mention of Morrow's deal. Morrow isn't close to being a big-name player in the NBA. This news will be regulated to the barest and barren of spaces in sports pages online and in print. Most people will open up their paper or website, see the news and go "Oh, that's where he ended up," then like go take a crap or something.
It's about as minuscule an off-season move as there is in the NBA. Yet it has broken me.
The Mavericks immediately reversed course on their off-season plans after Dwight Howard picked the Rockets. Mark Cuban promised that if Howard went elsewhere, the Mavericks would scrap "plan powder" and actually sign useful NBA players. It makes sense because other teams value useful NBA players, either in trades or direct value to the team they player for. WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS IS POSSIBLE.
After some serious curmudgeon-ing on my part in the wake of Howard's decision (the whole wasting of three-straight NBA drafts was super neat) I realized there was no sense in continuing to pout. The Mavericks helped the mood by instantly signing Jose Calderon to a somewhat longer-than-expected-deal, filling one giant weakness from last season with a seriously productive player.
They then signed Devin Harris for dirt cheap at 3-years, $9 million (would you rather have the defensive versatility/smarts of Harris at $3 million per, or Jarrett Jack's mid-range scoring at $6.25 million per?) While it seemed a little redundant after Calderon, it appeared the Mavericks had finally learned -- PLAYERS/ TALENT ARE A GREATER ASSET THAN CAP SPACE. They were building a team with good basketball players!
Then that tweet at the top of this story popped into my timeline. Morrow, who the Mavericks traded for last year, was going to walk to a division rival for the veteran's minimum.
Morrow can only do one thing: shoot. As the Spurs, Heat and other teams in the playoffs proved, shooting is pretty valuable. Morrow is a career 42.4 percent shooter from three and don't let his limited time in Dallas convince you otherwise. Morrow is a properly sized two-guard who can absolutely stroke it and is fairly young.
Sure, he doesn't play much defense. He doesn't pass. He doesn't drive. He can't run pick and rolls. That's the only reason I can imagine why Rick Carlisle chose to have Morrow sit next to Rodrigue Beaubois most nights while he ran O.J. Mayo into the ground (bum shoulder and all!) with 40-minute nights after 40-minute nights. Oh, what's that? Mayo's season fell off tremendously in the second half? What a coincidence.
So there Morrow goes, for the veteran's minimum to a division rival. Leaving a team that currently only has three good shooters (Calderon, Dirk, Vince and maybe a fourth if you think Shane Larkin is ready/staying).
It's tough to judge now, because perhaps the Mavericks really are signing Monta Ellis. Perhaps they have a lot more faith in second-round pick Ricky Ledo. Again, it's best not to judge when the off-season is still going on.
But screw it. I'm judging. Maybe Morrow didn't want to come back to Dallas, fine. That doesn't absolve the Mavs. He only averaged 4.8 minutes per game in Dallas. Again, while the team desperately needed shooting and Carlisle was running Mayo into the ground. While injured. Donnie Nelson and Cuban obviously liked Morrow -- that's why they traded for him.
In this off-season, we've been able to blame Nelson and Cuban for most of the mess. Now, we can blame Carlisle. What a trifecta. I need a drink.