Shortly after LeBron James finished taking the Toronto Raptors to the dumpster Sunday afternoon, a tweet popped into my timeline that made me blink for a good minute.
Late-season rumbles that Kyle Lowry will give legit thought to a free-agent switch to the West are sure to rise in volume after this series— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) May 7, 2017
Lowry will opt out of his final year this summer to cash in on presumably his last chance at a big pay day. He’s 31 and has never commanded a max deal, so he’s going to get his money. Lowry is an All-Star who has been the best player on a Toronto team that has averaged 51 wins over the last four years, the last two of which saw him average over 20 points per game and become one of the deadlier three-point shooters in the league on volume and accuracy. Lowry is good.
I hope the Mavericks don’t even text his agent.
This has little to do with Lowry’s skills and fit as a Maverick, because the fit is sublime. Sure, Lowry is past 30, and that’s an age at which point guards decline. Combine that with Lowry’s putrid playoff showings in Toronto, and there’s certainly enough to scare off some teams able to hand out the max.
But that’s moot for Dallas when you consider their current talent pool and the gifts Lowry would bring to a Rick Carlisle offense. After reading that Stein tweet 20 times in a row on Sunday, it seems only natural that a similar tweet declaring the Mavs’ intention of pursuing Lowry isn’t that far behind.
Still, the Mavericks shouldn’t call Lowry this summer. Not because he wouldn’t fit, but because, what’s the point? We know how this plays out — it’s the same story every year:
- Mavericks announce off-season plans. The highlight: going after the prime free agent of the period.
- Mavericks secure highly valuable meeting with said free agent.
- Said free agent has zero interest in actually signing with the Mavs because either he can get way more money with his current team or if he’s going to give up money to move, he’ll do it for a team that’s actually a contender.
- Mavs stubbornly follow through.
- Said free agent turns down Mavs, leaving them to pick at the corpse of the free agent pool.
It’s happened just about every year since 2012, with the Mavericks detouring (slightly) to get Chandler Parsons in 2014 before being dumped so fast last summer that Harrison Barnes was still hanging out. Remember Deron Williams wanting to play for his home town? Mike Conley’s respect for Rick Carlisle? Hassan Whiteside calling himself a businessman? It’s all bullshit posturing to get the Mavs interested so the free agents can guarantee themselves the big max contract from their hometown team.
If you hadn’t noticed, Dallas isn’t in the position to woo free agents and promise their presence will return the Mavs to their championship pedigree. The Mavs are rebuilding and no one free agent this summer will change their outlook for the next couple years. Could a Lowry signing give the Mavs a fun core that could compete for a playoff spot? Sure! Could I take time to learn code and develop a social app called Tootz which lets you record your farts and share them with fellow Tootz users? Of course! But it won’t happen. As bad as Toronto has looked in the playoffs, why would Lowry, who would leave the Raptors to avoid LeBron, then go to the same conference as the Warriors, for less money AND a worse team than the one he’s currently on? Why indeed.
Instead of wasting their time yet again, the Mavericks should hold steady on the path they started down this season: stockpiling realistic assets for the Dirk-less future. They got Seth Curry for cheap before the season, signed Yogi Ferrell for nothing midway through and grabbed Nerlens Noel for relative peanuts at the trade deadline. Newsflash: the Mavs are stone-cold killers at mid-tier talent acquisitions, signing B and C-level free agents and trading for good role players. Dallas kills it in this market, grabbing contributors like Vince Carter, Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, Brandan Wright, Al-Farouq Aminu, Jameer Nelson, Raymond Felton, Elton Brand, Devin Harris and of course Curry and Ferrell.
All the Mavs need to do this summer is focus on their top-10 draft pick and sift through the market for the types of players that have proven valuable and attainable. There is no point in chasing stars yet again. If for some reason Lowry did want to leave all that money in Toronto, why would he even pick Dallas? There are playoff teams in the West that have a potential point guard hole (Jazz, Clippers, Spurs) that would make more sense if Lowry’s looking to avoid LeBron’s shadow while still having playoff battles.
Just forget about it, right now. Lowry isn’t leaving a $200 million contract in Toronto to join a lottery team in the Warriors’ conference for the same reason I’m not developing a social app for farts.
Love Kyle Lowry? Think I’m a dummy? You’re in luck! A rebuttal to this article is right here.