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Grading the Mavs' season: Brendan Haywood

After looking at our last poll, most of MMB gave Caron Butler 7’s. Adding Butler’s grade to the mix, this is what we have so far:

Dirk – 9/10 (too close to call either way)

Kidd – 8

Marion – 6

JET – 5/6

Butler – 7

The next player on the report card is going to be Brendan Haywood.

In a sense, Haywood may be one of the toughest players to grade on the Mavs’ roster. Arriving with Caron Butler from Washington in midseason, he did a solid job in the time he was given, which somehow prompted one DFW Radio/Newspaper Personality (he shall not be named) to proclaim him "the greatest center in Mavs’ history." Although this claim was ludicrous due to his role never being certain, he seems entrenched as the Mavs’ center for the foreseeable future after signing a 6 year, $55 million deal this past offseason.

Good: While his minutes weren’t consistent for the most part, Haywood did provide a spark that was otherwise missing at the center position. On the same note, he gave an offensive presence that was desperately lacking when he scored in double digits in 7 straight games to end the month of February. He also provided a strong presence on the defensive end, particularly in a late February match-up against the Magic and Dwight Howard in which he was one of the Mavs' most best players.

Bad: Although he clearly deserved to be the starter, his sulking to the media caused some rifts. Furthermore, he also had some problems in the playoffs as most of his numbers dropped by a large amount\. Although this, like Caron’s playoff numbers, can be attributed to Carlisle’s problems in delegating playoff minutes, he also did not play relatively well in his limited minutes.

My Grade: I’d give Haywood a solid 7. Yes, the guy had his problems getting onto the court and with his ego, but at the same time, he had some very good moments throughout the season and averaged a near double-double, which is pretty big considering some of the players that have come through Dallas (Shawn Bradley, Bill Wennington….)

Outlook: With his new contract, Haywood looks to be locked in a Mav uniform for the foreseeable future. The only question now remains as to which Haywood will show up.