When the Mavericks make a deal it usually comes way out from left field, this is just another example of that. Reported by various outlets, the Mavericks agreed to trade Erick Dampier, Eduardo Najera and Matt Carroll to the Charlotte Bobcats for Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca. For several days, the discussion seemed to be focused on the Mavericks making a deal for Al Jefferson in Minnesota. We'll discuss why that deal apparently fell through. Let's go ahead and get started breaking down the in's and out's of this deal and what might be coming next.
You can get a statistical breakdown of Chandler's NBA career here.
He was the second overall pick in the 2001 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers and since then has roughly averaged eight points and nine rebounds per game, along with 1.4 blocked shots per. He has played for the Bulls, Hornets and Bobcats with New Orleans being the area where he thrived most. That spark in his game changed last season with the Bobcats, when Chandler played in just 51 games and averaged 6.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.1 blocks while being hampered by a stress reaction in his left foot.
Chandler thrived in New Orleans with Chris Paul delivering him alley-oop passes, Jason Kidd could easily be an equal facilitator for that. The issue has always been health and the Mavericks believe he's past his injuries and ready to go forward. The combo of Haywood and Chandler provides excellent support in defense from the center position and do provide a variety of offensive skills.
The second player coming to Dallas is Alexis Ajinca, you can see his statistical breakdown here.
The best pronunciation I can give you is ah-lek-SEE ah-Gin-sa. Alexis is a center who is a project and was likely thrown in the deal to help salaries and roster slots work. The Mavericks recently announced they were signing another center project, Ian Mahinmi, to a deal. Mahinmi is probably seen as the third center in the lineup, it doesn't appear likely that Alexis will have a major role with the Mavericks.
The next bit of information suggests a follow-up move is being made. ESPN's Marc Stein is reporting that Dallas will next offer their full Mid-Level Exception to forward, Al Harrington. You can get your statistical breakdown of Harrington here.
Harrington is a strong, physical presence and a good scorer. He would definitely bring a scoring punch to the bench and that would be a welcomed sight. He has ties to Rick Carlisle as they were both in Indiana, so that sense of familiarity helps both parties in these negotiations.
Theoretically, you turned Dampier, Najera and Carroll into Chandler, Ajinca and possibly Harrington - that's a talent upgrade. Dampier's contract was viewed as a major trade chip to help in trades for a major star. That is a true statement, but the possibility of a star coming to Dallas wasn't very viable at the moment based on fit. Al Jefferson was discussed in detail as a trade target. The flaw in the deal was that the Mavericks didn't see Jefferson as an 84 million dollar fit. His contract equals out to 42 million but they would be in the luxury tax and that would basically double the money. Jefferson is a talented player, but to have that price-tag for a backup to your best player and center doesn't add up.
The Mavericks are getting a talent upgrade and they've continued to assemble trade-able assets going forward. Chandler is entering his contract year, pair him with Caron Butler, Deshawn Stevenson and JJ Barea's expiring deals and the Mavericks have roughly 30 million dollars worth of expiring contracts at their disposal. That amount of money is huge and can entice a team who is struggling, in a variety of ways, to trade away a star player. The significance of trading away Najera and Carroll took extended salaries off the books as well. Now, the Mavericks might be a little more willing to absorb a terrible contract, which is what you also need to be willing to do if you want to obtain a superstar via trade.