It’s official. The defensive anchor of the Mavericks’ championship run is back in Big D. Everyone get excited. Dirk is (reportedly) already thrilled.
Dirk on the trade: “if it’s true, I’m more than thrilled.” #mavericks
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) June 25, 2014
Here at the Smoking Cuban we’re also very excited:
So obviously I’m starting with the good news: the best center to ever wear a Mavs uniform has returned. But the second coming of Tyson Chandler was not cheap. The Mavericks gave up two starters (Jose Calderon and Sam Dalembert), a promising young talent (Shane Larkin), a potentially quality 3 and D role player (Wayne Ellington) and either one or two future 2nd round draft pick(s), plus they had to take Raymond Felton off the Knicks’ hands. Maybe Felton will be better under Rick Carlisle‘s coaching, but certainly he’s nothing to get excited about.
For everyone who might be inclined to be upset that we gave up too much in this trade, let me go ahead and disagree with you. We all know from experience that Tyson is exactly what the Mavs need next to Dirk, and he is a huge upgrade over Dalembert. Yes, losing Jose hurts in the short-term, but in the long-term, I’m convinced that Jose’s contract was going to be a huge albatross within the next couple of seasons. So it was smart getting it off the books, even if he was an incredible offensive weapon last season. Larkin, while promising, didn’t play all that much last season, and Rick Carlisle didn’t seem too inclined to give Ellington much playing time either. And since (as I ranted about a month ago) the Mavs don’t value the draft, giving away 2nd round draft picks doesn’t really hurt anyway.
Regardless of the cost, let’s be honest: Is there anyone out there who doesn’t feel better about the Mavs’ position going into free agency today than they did yesterday? Certainly the Mavs appear to have two holes in the starting lineup to fill now instead of one, but I’m not convinced that Jose would have started next season anyway. The Mavs still have plenty of cap space to go out and get some quality guys to surround the Mavs new “Big 3″ of Dirk, Monta, and Tyson. Top priorities at this point have to be starters at point guard and small forward.
But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves with free agency talk. For now, let’s all just enjoy the fact that we’re in for another season of this: