Well there has been quite a few moves since my last post so let’s take a look at what the Dallas Mavericks have done thus far, what they may be doing in the near future and what impact it will have on the team’s future. I will be offering my grade on the move as well just for fun.
The Mavericks have signed Drew Gooden, is a 6-10, 27 year-old Center/Power Forward who spent last season in Chicago & San Antonio and played in the NBA Finals with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2006. Gooden isn’t an All-Star but I feel he is a capable backup, even starter at the center position when it is needed who will add some experience on the court along with rebounding, toughness and a decent ability to score. He is 12 point, 8 rebound per game player and still has quite a few years left to be productive.
My Grade: B
With the Magic swooping in at the last minute and the Mavericks apparently wanting to hold on to Dampier until next season when his expiring contract might be a key piece in acquiring a big name free agent the Mavericks were left with trying to find a free agent to replace the minutes they had in mind for Gortat. Gortat might turn out to be a very good player but it’s still a guessing game at this point. Gooden will supply the Mavericks with what they were wanting out of Gortat and at least they know what they will get from Gooden. All in all not a bad move but it doesn’t knock my socks off either.
The Mavericks also signed Tim Thomas a 6-10, 32 year-old Forward who spent last season in New York & Chicago. Thomas is an end of the bench player who can play both the small forward and power forward position. He improves the Mavericks as a 3 point shooting team which is something that they were near the bottom of the league last season statistically.
My Grade: C-
Tim Thomas doesn’t really offer a lot as a player at this point of his career and seems to be more mouth than game. Sure he is a decent shooter from beyond the arc but I honestly don’t see him earning a lot of playing time thus not making much of an impact next season. Does he make the Mavericks’ bench better? Sure… will he allow the Mavericks to win more games next season, I really doubt it.
Right now the Mavericks have 17 players under contract and I still expect them to make an offer to Ryan Hollins. I think it is in the Mavericks best interest to package a combination of Jawai, Carroll, Williams, Humphries & Buckner and try to get one more quality player. There are rumors that Rashad McCants wants to play in Dallas which would be a great addition. If they can dump some of the roster’s fat and add a McCants and perhaps a Sessions (would probably require trading Barrea which I am fine with if they add Sessions and McCants) I would look at the Mavericks off-season as a great success.
If the Mavericks stand pat I look at them as a top 5 team in the Western Conference. The Lakers are clearly the class of the conference with the Nuggets, Spurs, Blazers and Mavericks all vying for 2nd best. I would expect the Mavericks to at least have home court in the first round of the playoffs next season and hopefully I am correct. I still don’t think they have enough to beat the Lakers at this point but basketball is a sport and strange things can happen in sports. At this point we all just have to wait and see.