In case you aren’t aware I am a die hard Mavs fan and care deeply about every move my team makes. For the past 7 off-seasons I have lived and died with each rejection, signing, trade, and Deandre. Last year it was refreshing to see the Front Office embrace a youth movement and I was looking forward to a pretty chill off-season this year.
(Keep in mind that for every player we bring in, we have to let someone else go with the top 3 most likely candidates being Brussino, Hammons, and (sadly) Devin just because none of those moves will require a trade.)
With all of that said I did not realize we would be completely inactive (besides trading two of the young guys we brought in last year for “Cash considerations”) and the silence has become deafening.
To relax myself I had to sit down with the Free Agency board I put together before the moratorium began and I realize that we are actually still well positioned.
I didn’t see us pursuing any player over the age of 30 and I didn’t expect us to chase the really big fish that were going to be on the market. That held true.
The only “big splash” names I had on my list were Danilo Gallinari and Serge Ibaka and even at that I had Gallinari listed as “highly doubtful” and Ibaka listed as a “Sleeper” potentially good pickup. By now we know Gallo will be going to L.A. and Ibaka elected to stay in Toronto so we are down to the realistic part of my board.
In the next tier I listed 4 likely “STRONG” candidates to be pursued by the Mavs:
and Kelly Olynyk
At the time that I made the list Olynyk was a Restricted Free agent so I thought it might be a long shot but I also felt the Celtics may not be willing to pay to keep him. That ended up being the case and he is now an unrestricted free agent.
McLemore is the only one of these players off of the board as he agreed to a 2 year, $10.7 million dollar deal with the Grizzlies. Olynyk is apparently deep into talks with the Pacers on what is sounding like a $15 million/year deal which I’m not going to cry about because that’s too rich for my blood. That leaves Udoh and Thomas Robinson.
So why do I want these two? For one, I was VERY high on Robinson coming out of his draft class. As a South Carolina resident the closest team to me is the Charlotte Hornets and I wanted them to take Robinson to clean the glass beside Al Jefferson. It was a clear area of weakness and I thought Robinson would thrive in that role. Instead, they went with MKG because I guess they thought his broken jumper was fixable and the rest is history. Robinson has struggled to find a home while putting up the numbers that I expected from him when I fell in love with him in college.
In games where he had close to 20 minutes this year he was always at or near a double-double. His best two being a 16 and 9 game (22 minutes) and a 12 and 10 game (19 minutes) right behind it. In some spot starts the year before he had 6 straight double-doubles with points ranging from 10-23 per game and rebounds from 10-17 per game. Most of his offense coming from put-backs.
Career Per 36 minutes: 13.1 points, 12.9 rebounds
Last season Per 36 minutes: 15.5 points, 14.3 rebounds
Lets go deeper.
His total rebound percentage or the percentage of rebounds he’s likely to get when on the floor is 21.8%. That would be tied with Rudy Gobert for 5th in the league.
Defensive rebound percentage is 28.1% which would put him 11th, just ahead of Anthony Davis and offensive? 15.1% which would be tied for first with Andre Drummond. There are a lot of ways you can dissect this but the point stands that the kid is a glass cleaner. If you expect him to be more you will be disappointed but there is always room on my team for a guy that hustles and ends possessions for the other team or creates more for my team.
As for Udoh. Here is another guy who had his struggles in the league. While Robinson has remained stateside Udoh took his game overseas. This past season he led his team to the EuroLeague title, earning Final 4 MVP honors along the way. For the season he averaged 12.1 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game. This after leading the team to the Championship game the year before and falling short. It is believed he is primed for a return and would be a great backup/insurance policy for Noel as a shot-blocking, rebounding big man.
In my opinion our greatest area of need is the 4/5 and while an additional wing player would be fine we have plenty of young options now. If we sign one player this off-season I would like for it to be one of the two guys above.
With that said, over these past few seasons I have grown accustomed to accepting fallback options so I have a few of those as well. I’ll list them in order.
James Young: He turns 22 in August, a guy I thought had a lot of potential coming out of his class as well. He’s athletic but hasn’t put together the other parts of his game yet.
Tyreke Evans: I’m not a fan personally but a lot of Mav fans seem to think he’s someone we should pursue so I put him on the list.
KJ McDaniels: Athletic guy who showed flashes early in his career. Perhaps we can find that untapped potential.
Adriean Payne: Another guy I thought would have success in this league and, with the transition to positionless basketball, a guy who could have a rebirth. Will remind Mavs fans of Charlie V.
James Michael McAdoo: A big guy that rebounds and apparently developed a little bit of a jump shot while with the Warriors. Why not?
Terrence Jones: Athletic big who has bounced around, not sexy but worth a flier if all the above fail.
Larry Sanders: He came back out of shape last year but perhaps with an off-season of conditioning he can recapture what he had before he left. Could be a solid backup for Noel.
**Jan Vesely: Was on my list but I later removed him because I don’t think he’s a good fit. I’m only listing him here in case my twitter followers remember I had him listed.
Now of course I went the entire article without mentioning the inevitable Nerlens Noel signing. I will be pumped when the deal is done but I am sweating him signing a max deal with another team. We shall see what happens there…
MFFL’s how are you feeling?