The Dallas Mavericks made a big move ahead of the 2014 NBA Draft, trading center Samuel Dalembert, point guard Jose Calderon, promising young point guard Shane Larkin and veteran guard Wayne Ellington, as well as the No. 34 and No. 51 picks for New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton.
That deal could be the catalyst the Mavericks need to be attractive to a “big fish” free agent after two offseason of coming up empty-handed when it comes to “Plan A.”
What acquiring Chandler does in the here and now is make the Mavericks more attractive to James and Anthony, as well as other key free agents.
One source said that the Mavericks improved their bargaining position with James or Anthony.
“It makes us real players for LeBron [or] Carmelo,” a team source told ESPNDallas.com after completing the trade that brought center Tyson Chandler back to Dallas.
That is good news for the Mavericks, who are trying to sway Chandler’s former teammate. Teams can’t talk to free agents till July 1, but Chandler can text and call his former teammate all he wants. Chandler is also familiar with the Mavericks from his 2011 NBA Championship season in Dallas, and he is familiar with Mark Cuban and can make the sales pitch.
Beyond that aspect, it is a shrewd move on the Mavericks’ part. While Chandler will earn $14.5 million this season, he is a free agent in 2015 meaning if they do whiff again in free agency this year, or if they do land a big fish, they’ll have all the salary cap space in the world for the 2015 summer free agency period to pursue another star.