Since winning the championship in 2011, the Mavericks had have these guards come and go: Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Delonte West, Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo, Mike James, Jose Calderon and Jameer Nelson. The revolving door in the back court may turn again this summer, when Rajon Rondo's contract is up and Monta Ellis' player option is expected to be declined.
When ESPN reporter Marc Stein was asked to talk about how bad internally Dallas' situation was on a Monday podcast with Bill Simmons, he said he believes Rondo will get a bigger offer somewhere else, possibly from the Lakers or Knicks if they strike out elsewhere.
As for Monta Ellis, the disconnect between how much he wants to be paid and how much the Mavericks think he is worth is growing with each terrible game.
"There could be significant change again in the offseason," Stein said.
While his words weren't official reports or explicitly inside information, as you often see on his Twitter, Stein is well-informed and generally knows what he's talking about. How much weight you want to give his words is up to you, but it brings us to discussion that is happening more and more often.
In 99 percent of the scenarios that could occur this summer, re-signing Tyson Chandler is the team's number one priority -- something Stein said on the podcast himself. He's the best fit you can get next to Dirk, is hugely important off the court and deserves a long-term deal in Dallas.
I've been saying since January that it's unlikely the Mavericks stick with a Rondo-Ellis backcourt beyond this season. While Ellis has had an incredible year and a half in Dallas, his style of play and poor defense makes him a terribly difficult player to build around. In theory, the perfect fit next to him is a 3-and-D point guard with enough ball skills to make up for Ellis' shortcomings there, but players like that basically don't exist.
Rondo is also hard to build around, but given a choice between the two, I believe the Mavericks would bring him back. Simply put, it's much harder to replace defense and rebounding than it is to replace scoring. But even if the two sides have interest, their negotiations are expected to be far apart. As of the beginning of this year, Rondo said he wanted a max deal, something the Mavericks won't (and can't) even consider.
The one possible wrinkle is Ellis' summer opt out clause. We've assumed for months now that he will take it and sign a larger contract that he absolutely deserves, which still is far and away the most likely option. However, with this poor stretch of games and the big money summer of 2016, you have to consider the chance he returns for another year. If so, the Mavericks just earned one more season of Ellis on the cheap. They'd let Rondo walk and perhaps throw money at restricted free agent Patrick Beverley -- an ideal fit next to him -- hoping Houston couldn't take the cap hit.
Here's the one thing that is certain: this summer will be nuts.