According to ESPN Chris Broussard, the Dallas Mavericks believe they likely will lose out on both Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony, will attempt to explore other options. The Mavs front office needs to sit down and figure out their next move. Us MFFLs have heard a lot of rumors, but haven’t heard much news this offseason. The transactions of Dirk Nowitzki and Devin Harris were expected, but who is next?
The next main targets this offseason for the Mavs are Luol Deng, Chandler, Parsons, Trevor Ariza, Lance Stephenson, and Isaiah Thomas/Mo Williams.
We are hearing about teams such as the Heat and Hawks meeting with Deng. Which is weird if Deng is considering going to the Heat. He is going to want to start wherever he goes and he won’t be able to do that with Lebron. Unless Lebron James is going to play full-time at power forward, that does raise a few eyebrows on what the Heat are planning. The Hawks would be a good fit for Deng but they aren’t willing to pay as much as he is looking for. The Mavs are looking for a defender and a 3rd option on offense. Luol Deng fits the bill for those priorities this summer and will not cost you as much as Carmelo Anthony would. Somebody like him will give you everything that Shawn Marion brings to the table, plus more and the fact that he is 7 years younger. The Mavs don’t have a lot of two-way players on the team, so they could use a guy like Luol Deng that gives you great offense and defense. He will upgrade your defense tremendously while solidifying the Mavs vacant 3rd scorer role.
Then we have Parsons who is patiently waited on Melo’s decision and can not sign until the July 10th. because if Melo decides to go to Houston (God forbid) then we have a legitimate shot at Parsons, who personally I feel we should be going hard after. He’s young and only getting better, he is an underrated defender and a great shooter which is what Dallas needs. With him waiting on Melo the Mavs really need to make contact with him in case Melo goes to Houston and even if he doesn’t, there is still a shot to get him it’s just not as big anymore.
Trevor Ariza is the best back up plan, if the Dallas Mavericks miss out on Luol Deng or Chandler Parsons. He is also a guy that will not cost you as much, but will get the job done. He brings great defense and knows his role well. He has played many roles in his career and has succeeded at every one of them. While most fans will know him for his play with the Wizards recently, but don’t forget he was the starting SF for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2008-2009 championship season. He is also a great 3-point shooter, which is something that will be beneficial in Rick Carlisle’s system. The Mavs are looking for a defender and a 3rd option on offense, Trevor Ariza can do that for the Mavs.
The Mavs have been reported to have interest in 23-year-old Lance Stephenson. He hasn’t even hit his prime yet and is already considered one of the most dynamic players in the league today. He added an average 13.8 PPG, 4.6 APG, and 7.2 RPG (which led all guards in the NBA). The Mavs seemed to always have trouble grabbing rebounds last season (Ranked 26th in NBA). Adding Lance Stephenson to the mix, the Mavs would instantly upgrade their young talent on the roster. Stephenson skill set is so unique and versatile, you can put him in so many positions on the team (SF, PG, or 6th man).
Isaiah Thomas/Mo Williams
There have been talks of getting another point guard, which is not as important as the first two options (Deng or Parsons) but if the move is made it should be the last move we make. We re-signed Devin Harris to a 3 year deal and got Raymond Felton in the Tyson Chandler trade so getting one may not be a huge priority. If one was to be signed, Isaiah Thomas and Mo Williams seem to be the front-runners. The Mavs must have a plan at SF for them to be on the verge of signing one of these two point guards. If this move is to be made then the Mavs must get the small forward situation handled soon as the Trailblazers are making re-signing Williams a high priority especially since Devin Harris re-signed with the Mavericks.
I talked about LeBron in my last blog so I won’t go into detail, but USA Today reports that he is supposed to meet with Pat Riley in the next few days, so we will all be waiting to see what that meeting will bring us. The Mavs should keep him in the back of their minds though, but need to focus on easier targets. It would be great to have him but it’s still a long shot.
I expect to hear talks increase between Mavs officials and free agents this week and hopefully some deals can be put on the table. Other teams seem to be moving quickly and if Mark Cuban wants to have a successful offseason, then he should follow suit.