How did you react when you heard that Houston would not be matching?
Doyle Rader (@TheKobeBeef): Gotcha, Morey. Not so clever after all, huh?
Alan Smithee (@SmitheeMMB): Uhh, I was really happy? Dallas had seemingly put all their eggs in the Parsons basket, with Deng/Ariza and just about everyone else signing elsewhere before the Sunday deadline, including Vince Carter. If Dallas didn't get Parsons, they were going to be in serious trouble at the small forward spot. Beyond that, it also felt pretty cool for Dallas to have actually finally got the guy they targeted, after years of letdown chasing "the big fish" and settling on lower tier pieces. Parsons may not be a superstar, but this is the first time Dallas has acquired someone big who wasn't past their prime or a reclamation project since...?
Kirk Henderson (@KirkSeriousFace): Glee. I am a Mavs pessimist by nature, but for some reason all weekend I was calm. It's not that I knew they'd end up with Parsons, but if felt like the right kind of power move. We all hoped against hope for LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, but everyone knew that was a silly pipe dream. The step down from those two to Deng or Ariza is just so massive, I prepared myself to be upset. Chandler Parsons was the wildcard on the market...I can't believe Houston didn't pick up the final year of his contract, let alone let him go entirely. This is, and will remain, nuts.
Bailey Rogers (@BRogers789): First, there was much shouting loudly and jumping up and down. I may have run around the house a few times pumping my fist. Second, I quickly took to mocking those who were sure Houston would match, even after the Ariza and Deng signings.
There are still a few spots to fill out on the roster, but how do you feel about this year's Mavericks roster compared to last season?
Kirk: Losing Vince is a punch in the gut that won't go away any time soon, but I feel surprisingly okay considering the Mavericks don't have a guard to start opposite Monta Ellis. The rounding out the roster is going to be a challenge, but Dallas has an intriguing roster thus far. I think it will attract some names we haven't really considered.
Bailey: I feel pretty confident this year's roster is better than last year. I prefer a decent mix of young talent with room to grow and aging vets to rely on in tough situations. This year is the first time the Mavs have had that in a long time. I'll feel better if the Mavs can get a little bit more shooting and defense, but overall, this roster looks like a ton of fun.
Alan: Marion/Dalembert to Parsons/Chandler is a pretty huge upgrade, with no disrespect intended to the former pair. Those two plus Dirk make one of the legitimately best frontcourts in the NBA. The tradeoff is that the bench will sorely miss not having a shot-creator like Vince, or Terry, or Stackhouse. Still, this has been a huge success for Mark Cuban and company. Last summer, I thought Dallas might be able to get a tandem like Gortat and Granger. Then, when Gortat was traded and Granger looked done, I thought it would end up being something like Deng and Pau. Tyson and Parsons is easily the best scenario of the three, and it actually happened!
Doyle: Hopefully, their defense and rebounding will be better. I think the offense could see a slight dip but if this team doesn't find itself blowing lead after lead this season, that will be more than acceptable. I see their win/loss record being similar to last season.
What positions should the Mavericks pursue with those last couple of roster spots?
Alan: I think a point guard is vital, especially with Carlisle's recent comments that Harris will continue to come off the bench. Mo Williams is the rumored target, and given the team's need for outside shooting, I think he's a solid fit. In my mind, trading Felton and trying to get someone who can shoot *and* defend would be great, but the options are limited this late in the free agent process (Kirk Hinrich was my ideal scenario, but he resigned with the Bulls). After point guard is addressed, depth at center/power forward could be another spot to look at. Keeping Chandler healthy and Dirk rested will be absolutely crucial to the Mavs' success next season.
Doyle: Losing Calderon is going to sting with his ability to space the floor. I think that Dallas is exceptionally weak at their guard positions, Ellis aside. Raymond Felton must improve after his dismal season with the Knicks and Dallas shouldn't rely too heavily on Harris over the course of a long season. I hope the Mavs get another guard or wing who has the ability to stretch the floor and handle the ball. If they play a little defense, that's fine too. I know Mo Williams is rumored to be a target. I can get down with that.
Bailey: Unless the Mavs can find a trade for Felton (in which case get a point guard who can shoot & play defense), I think they need another backup big and another backup wing. Ideally, I would like a Marion-type defensive glue-guy SF/PF and a Vince-type scoring SG/SF.
Kirk: Since they plan to bring Devin Harris off the bench, the Mavericks need another starting guard. They also need a real back-up for Dirk because he's got to get his minutes per game under 30. The lack of true back-up power forward is worrisome right now and I can't think of a single name available right now that would put my mind at ease. But considering the goals of the off-season, right now I am very, very happy.