Rumor has it that the Mavs are after Pau Gasol. Prior to the Chandler trade, the idea of Dirk and Pau on the same team made driving guards throughout the league drool. Now that Chandler is in the fold though, assuming Pau is willing to come off the bench, the signing could be a big win. Brandan Wright is directly in the way of this sort of deal though - through both his position, minutes, and salary (assuming we need around 10M each for Dirk and a starting SF). Here is where the dreaming begins.
A handful of points to set up: 1) Charlotte's offense was horrendous last year - 23rd in the league - while their defense was pretty good - 4th in the league. 2) Luke Ridnour's contract is up so they will most likely be looking for a veteran backup PG to help steady the bench on a young team. 3) C Bismack Biyombo doesn't appear to be part of their future plans, having averaged a career low 14 minutes per game in the regular season and only seeing the court for a grand total of 16 minutes through the first three games of the playoffs before Big Al went down. 4) Biyombo is in the last year of his contract so Charlotte should be looking to get something in return as opposed to letting him walk for nothing. 5) Charlotte drafted two PF/Cs in this year's draft (Noah Vonleh with the 9th pick and Dwight Powell with the 45th pick) after spending the 4th overall pick last year on C Cody Zeller so the writing is pretty much on the wall for Biyombo. 6) While Charlotte is a young team, they are not in rebuilding mode and are looking to further their regular season success last year having finished above .500 and qualifying for the playoffs both for the first time in 4 years. Al Jefferson, Gerald Henderson, and Kemba Walker's contracts could all be up after this year so they will need to continue to show progression to keep those guys in the fold. 7) Brandan Wright and Raymond Felton are both NC products that can score with Felton actually having had some of his best years at Charlotte. 8) Wright is an offensive wunderkind with a PER that would have led the Hornets last year; he also would be a solid fit along side the floor-spacing Zeller.
The trade then would be Biyombo for Felton, Wright, and possibly some combination of money and picks. Honestly I think including cash considerations could be enough to get it done. Charlotte will have the cap space this off season to absorb the extra salary so just sending them some cash in addition could be sufficient. This trade would give the Mavs a young rim protector to backup Chandler as well as clear 4.9M of additional cap space to pick up Pau and a PG that can play defense and space the floor. This would allow the Mavs to put together a set of offers like the following:
Dirk - 10M
Gasol - 10M
Deng - 10M
Augustin - 4M
Harris - 3M
Carter - 2.7M using the Room Exception
That would give the Mavericks the following rotation:
- PG Augustin
- SG Ellis
- SF Deng
- PF Dirk
- C Chandler
- PF Gasol
- PG Harris
- SF Carter
- C Biyombo
- Remaining combo of young players and vet minimums
That looks like a pretty good to me - there is a lot of scoring punch along with some solid defenders and rebounders (both issues last year). This would set us up to be very competitive with this roster for the next couple of Dirk years with Dirk, Pau, and Chandler sharing most of the PF/C load which covers us for injuries and gives us arguably the best frontcourt rotation in the league. I realize this is a long shot at best but what do yall think - is this in the realm of possibility? Assuming the Biyombo-Wright/Felton trade is viable, would you rather spend the money on other FAs?