Free Agency is in full swing and the Mavs have their eyes on players to add to their roster and players to keep on the roster. The Mavs Front Office is scattered across the country with Mark Cuban in Los Angeles, Donnie Nelson holding the fort down at Mavs HQ, Rick Carlisle is in Washington DC, and Jason Kidd is in New York City. Here is what we know in regards to all things Mavs in the world of free agency.
Dirk in NYC?
Donnie was on his way to visit Dirk in Germany and was stopped at the airport by a call from Dirk's mentor, Holger Geschwindner. The flight to Germany was unnecessary because Dirk made preparations to fly back to Dallas as early as Thursday. It has since been confirmed that Dirk wanted to make a pit-stop in New York and will meet up with Jason Kidd for dinner and other activities. Alerts and warnings are popping up in Mavs land as fans are scared that he is there and not in Dallas. Dirk wanted to have a low-key arrival back home and the news that a new campaign to help show the love the city has for Dirk definitely doesn't present a low-key atmosphere. The Hunt Oil Building in Downtown Dallas was illuminated with a scrolling video saying, "DFW Digs Dirk." I wouldn't put too much concern into the thought that Dirk's first stop in America isn't Dallas. There hasn't been any kind of news to suggest Dirk is past the breaking point and wants to leave the Mavericks. Friday should be the meeting day and the Mavericks will offer their pitch to Dirk and then the ball is in his court to take the deal or not.
Cuban attempting to add to the Entourage
The Maverick Owner was in Los Angeles to prep for taping a cameo appearance on the HBO's "Entourage". LA also happens to be the location where Joe Johnson was taking meetings at the start of free agency. The sign-and-trade route is the only way to go with the pursuit of Johnson, but it's still possible. The somewhat surprising news is that Atlanta appears willing to offer the max contract to Johnson, equating to a six year, $120 million offer. That offer actually leaves Dallas and Atlanta as the major players for Joe. The teams with open cap space can't match the dollars and years like Atlanta and he's expected to lose around $27 million with a five year deal. The sign-and-trade works for Atlanta to get whatever they want in return, within reason, and Dallas gets their man and he gets paid the amount he wants. The bigger news on the Dallas end of this story is that Cuban confirmed that Roddy Beaubois will not be on the table in terms of a trading piece with Atlanta. The Mavericks hold Roddy high up on a pedestal and he would only be traded if LeBron or Wade were coming back in return; Joe Johnson is the cutoff point. The story with Joe is definitely in wait-and-see mode right now.
Carlise in DC to Court the Big Man
It was interesting to hear the news that Rick was the lead figuring in the recruiting process with Brendan Haywood. Those two, reportedly, had a tense relationship over the course of the season last year and led to some major consistency in Haywood's performance and minutes. Donnie Nelson commented by generally saying that it was a growth process and the time was right for Brendan to move up to the starting center position on a regular basis. That statement does hold some merit. They could say they were taking it slow with him and just flat out throwing him into the spot was maybe not the best for him and the team. The problem with that was a majority of fans would state the case that Haywood had already proven he was ready for the spot last season and was better than Dampier. The meetings are now over and it's time for Dallas to wait. Haywood will have meetings with Cleveland, Miami, New York, and Chicago in the next few days. There were rumors swirling that Shaq could be involved in a sign-and-trade with Haywood, those rumors have been shot down. If Haywood is signed by Dallas, he's signed with the intention of staying. Shaq is a player the Mavericks will look into, just at a later time.
Once the dust settles, it may be that Dallas re-ups with Dirk and misses out on the big free agents. It's looking possible that most of the big names will stay with their current teams but anything is still possible. The thing to remember is that it's not an automatic failure for the off-season if Dallas doesn't strike big by landing a major free agent within the next week. There are plenty of trade possibilities to pursue and the Mavericks know that. Their assets won't go away or shrink in value as the summer continues. As of right now, it also appears that the Western Conference isn't substantially getting better through free agency so that is a positive for Dallas as well. With those possibilities still out there and some internal changes and progression (which will be discussed in-depth in the very near future), things still remain positive in the land of the Mavericks.