Mavericks: Breaking Down the Tyson Chandler Trade

The recent trade between the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks got the NBA’s must anticipated offseason rolling.

But, Before I get into this, here are some other points of view.

*Warning* These are all Maverick’ points of views

Ok, now it’s my turn.

What was the trade?

The Mavericks reacquired their 2011 defensive anchor – Tyson Chandler – and guard Raymond Felton for Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Wayne Ellington, Shane Larkin, and the 34th and 51st picks in this years draft.

Which team won the deal?

Well, if you want me to pick one of the other, you’ll be disappointed. Both teams got what they wanted out of the deal. The Mavericks got much-needed help at the center position. Nothing against Dalembert, but he isn’t Chandler.

The Knicks side? For a rebuilding retooling team, they came out all right. They added one of the best shooters in the league, who should also be a great fit in the Triangle. Then Ellington, Dalembert, and maybe even Larkin can all find themselves in the rotation. That is if they aren’t moved in later deals.

What does Chandler bring to the Mavs?

Everything Dalembert offered and more. Chandler is still a top-notch defensive center in the league. He’s averaged 9+ boards  and 1+ blocks a game over the last four seasons.

A quick blurb from Andrew’s post that I told you to read earlier,

My friend Hal Brown, who basically runs this place as near as I can tell, tells me these facts about Tyson Chandler:

  • Chandler’s DRAPM (defensive real adjusted plus/minus), a measure of how much better the Knicks were with him on the court than off, was 4.06; roughly how much Chris Paul helps the Clippers’ offense.
  • He was fifth best at “corralling and defending ball handlers who are attacking the pick and roll”, which, as Hal notes, is damn good considering he was cleaning up after Raymond Felton and J.R. Smith.
  • 34th at defending the roll man, top 20 at covering shooters and big men over screens and around hand-off plays.

As you can see, Chandler is still a force on the defensive end. And we all know the Mavericks could use plenty of help on that side of the court. Concerns are will he be on the court to be that factor. He has missed 43 games over the last two seasons.

Along with his defense, Chandler is a far more reliable player on the offensive end than Dalembert. Monta Ellis and the other Mavs guards will no longer have to worry about the post dropping or bobbling a perfect path. Also, for those who enjoy Brandan Wright and the “Wright Stuff”, we can now expect to see a double dose due to Chandler’s plus athleticism and great hands.

Finally, something that has been missing and overlooked since the departure of Chandler has been the lack of an emotional leader. Chandler now gives the Mavericks that fire and kick to the butt they need when times get tough.

What do the Mavs do at point guard?

Calderon will be greatly missed. Not many point guards are willing to relinquish the ball handling responsibilities as he did, so  Ellis can be the primary playmaker. Another aspect of Calderon that will be missed is his reliability. The Mavs knew what they’d get out of him – a great three-points shooter, ball security, and sadly bad defense. Despite all that, the defense, or lack of, was something the Mavs had to move on from, especially if they want to climb up the West standings. A Ellis/Calderon backcourt is perfect on offense. But the defense? It’s perfect for the opposition to exploit.

So now, Felton and Gal Mekel are currently the only points guards on the roster. No way will Dallas will open up the season with just these two. As of now, I strongly expect Devin Harris back and STARTING. Other players – Mario Chalmers, Kirk Hinrich, Shaun Livingston – could be in play as well, but I expect Harris to don a Mavs uniform next season.

As for Felton, he’s struggled since the lockout season; where he came into the season overweight, an issue that is still a concern. If he’s right and in shape, I wouldn’t be shocked to actually see him starting for Dallas. He is able to get to the basket, hit the 3-pt shot (33.2% career), and create for his teammates (6.5 ast/gm career). Unlike Calderon, he has a tendency to turn the ball over, as he’s turned it over on average 2.5 times/game during his career.

Was giving up Ellington, Larkin, and the two picks too much?

Would I have loved to have any of those pieces back? Absolutely! Am I sad to see them go? Naw.

Ellington and Larkin struggled to crack the rotation, despite Harris missing half the season. To expect them to be big factors for the Mavs during 2014-2015 season was not something I planned on. And for the two second round picks? Um…Jae Crowder and Ricky Ledo are the only players the Mavs have drafted over the last five seasons on the current roster. So while I did like a decent amount of names in the Mavs slot, I’m not shedding a tear.

Also, I’d imagine the Knicks may have asked for Wright. Would you rather have Wright or the combo of Ellington, Larkin, and two second rounders? Your call, but I’d take Wright.

So now what?

The Mavs can now shape their roster knowing they have their center in place. While I was shocked this trade went down as early as it did, I’m even more surprised about the lack of salary the Mavs took on in this trade. The Mavs will have a little over $26 million in cap to play around with in free agency.

Though Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James are still a long shot, this current roster is much more appealing now than it was a couple of days ago.

Another plus for the Mavs is Chandler’s deal only has one season remaining. By unloading the three seasons left on Calderon’s deal, the Mavs could also find themselves players in free agency once again next season.

The Mavs have two, maybe three seasons left of Dirk Nowitzki. This deal proved that they’re going to make sure the Big German and this team will be competitors in the Big Bad West during that span.


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