Tyson Chandler is back and now it looks like the Mavs have now become a serious contender to land either Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. The Chandler deal has given the Mavericks the presence inside they’ve sorely missed over the last 3 seasons while still allowing the Mavs the financial flexibility to land a big fish.
Carmelo is expected to meet with the Mavs once free agency starts on July 1st along with the Houston Rockets and the Chicago Bulls. While there hasn’t been any news coming out of LeBron’s camp it’s rumored that the Mavs could now be a possible destination for King James.
The Mavericks will have roughly $18 million – $20 million after re-signing Nowitzki, which could be enough to lure Carmelo or LeBron to the big D. Carmelo is fully aware of what Tyson can bring to the table defensively through their playing time in New York. LeBron certainly knows first-hand what a Mavericks team with a Tyson Chandler is capable of accomplishing. Chandler after all was a force inside throughout the 2011 NBA Finals versus LeBron’s Miami Heat.
The fact that Chandler’s contract expires after this season also allows the Mavs wiggle room to go after a player like Carmelo or LeBron without going over the luxury tax in future seasons. The possibility of either Carmelo or LeBron teaming up with Nowitzki and Monta Ellis would give NBA teams defensive nightmares night in and night out.
The addition of Chandler is huge for the Mavs in adding a player like Carmelo because Chandler has the ability to hide so many players’ inefficiencies on defense. The Mavericks do however need to worry about adding another point guard enough depth to their bench to make a long playoff run.
In order for me to really like the possibility of signing Carmelo Anthony the Mavs would need to sign a point guard who is above average on defense and can knock down a three pointer when called upon. Does the name Devin Harris ring a bell?
The Mavs could re-sign Harris to a 3 year $9 million deal as was the original plan last off-season. Harris has shown he is more than capable of running the offense in Carlisle’s system and gives the Mavs their best option on defense.
I’m less worried with who the starting point guard would be if the Mavs were able to sign LeBron James but it’d be nice to limit Felton to a backup role.
If the Mavericks are to obtain either Carmelo or LeBron at around $15 mil per year then they’ll be in a great position to fill out the rest of their roster with adequate players. However, not signing one of these two players doesn’t make it a bad offseason for the Mavs. They’ll be more than ready with a plan B if they are unsuccessful in landing one of the two biggest superstars in today’s NBA.
All this means is that these next couple weeks will be fun for all Mavs fans and who knows, anything is possible.