Eddie Sefko joins us at 11 a.m., but ask your questions now and he will have them when he arrives. Also, look for Eddie's midseason Mavericks grades later this afternoon. Thanks for your readership!
by SportsDayDFW 1/22/2013 4:38:14 PM
What's going on, hoopheads? Time to chat it up. Trade deadline is less than a month away now and the Mavericks are in the midst of four days off. Really important 20 days coming up before the All-Star break. Plenty to talk about. Let's roll...
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 4:58:58 PM
This is a great quesion because it lets me poke fun at some people who like to put out silly odds about whether teams will make the playoffs or not. When the Mavericks were 10 games under .500, somebody said their chancesof making the playoffs were less than 1 percent. I wish somebody would have given me 100-1 odds. I would have put 10 bucks on it just because I'll bet on the sky falling next week at 100-to-1....but I digress. That same person has the Mavericks' chances at something like 20 percent now. So, wait a freakin' minute. That's like coming back after last weekend and saying you knew Baltimore was better than New England. Anybody can change up things like that. Vegas does it for a reason, to juice up gamblers. But in real life, it doesn't mean much to say the Mavericks now have a 20-percent chance to reach the playoffs. If I could, I'd put 100 bucks on them to miss it and, combined with my earlier mythical bet of 10 bucks to make the playoffs at 100-to-1, I'd be guaranteed to make 10 bucks, at least, and maybe 900. Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying that some of us who were paying attention saw that the Mavericks were playing playoff-qualifying-level basketball even when they were losing some of those games at Miami and the Clippers, etc. Suffice it to say that if they keep growing like they have the last two weeks and don't suffer any serious injuries, they have a legit shot at the playoffs, maybe 50-50, as currently constructed. And, of course, there's a very good chance they will have a trade between now and Feb. 21.
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 5:04:27 PM
And I promise that will be the longest answer of the chat. By far.
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 5:04:43 PM
I can't see the Mavericks taking a chance, unless they give up Shawn Marion to do it. Adding Nelson's $8 mil next year would kill them when it comes time to sign a marquee, top-salary free agent this summer, unless they shed that much off the 2013-14 payroll to get him. Good player, but not the sort that's going to entice a free agent to come here.
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 5:06:48 PM
Leg strength certainly plays a part in it. Plus he was essentially off the basketball court for seven months from the end of last season through mid-December. It's hard to count his brief appearance in the preseason, when he clearly wasn't right. I thought it was interesting during one of those recent home games when after a whistle for a foul, the opponent shot a floating jump shot that wouldn't have counted anyway. Dirk, as he often does, jumped up to try to tap the ball away before the opponent could see it go through the net (sorry, don't remember who shot it). Dirk failed. He either wasn't pushing off very hard, or couldn't. I thought that was kind of telling because he stayed virtually rim-high. Tells me his legs still aren't back.
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 5:09:30 PM
Draft picks are nice stockpile items, but they don't help you win now. They are in the market to maximize Dirk's final seasons. That's why the need to find a true star that will allow Dirk to be the No. 2 scoring option is so critical. Highly unlikely you find that with draft picks, although they are nice pieces to sweeten trade offers that could lead to a big fish.
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 5:10:38 PM
Jury's still out on Collison. Consistency and leadership are still the things the Mavericks crave at the point. You never know. A 3-pointer like the one he buried in Orlando could go a long way toward pushing him to the next level. As for Mayo, there's no reason to think the Mavericks won't try to keep him. He's been pretty darn good for most of the season. His option year will not be exercised, obviously, and he'll command far more than the $4 million he's making this year.
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 5:13:19 PM
Yes, they've won five of six, but I'd only give them props for two of those wins (at Sac and at Orlando). The others were ready-made victories with the other teams fighting through scheduling nightmares, injuries, or both. Still, you bank those wins and move on. The reason to make a trade now rather than wait for free agency is that then you know you have the hammer when it comes to keeping your big free agent, rather than hoping he signs with you in the off-season. You can bet that Cuban would need a wink and a nod from Dwight Howard (or whomever) that he would sign long-term before pulling the trigger on a deal and risk a big fish being a two-month rental.
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 5:16:04 PM
Oops. I jumped the gun and answered this question in the previous paragraph. But essentially, the Mavericks would have to have some sort of assurances. And by the way, if you watched the Lakers-Bulls game Monday night, it was discouraging to see how "blah" Howard looked. Something's not right with that team. Or is it, something's not Dwight with that team. They're talking about dealing Pau Gasol, but he won't fetch nearly the kind of loot that Howard could. And by the way, does anybody see a way that Gasol fits with the Mavericks???? I'm just asking.
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 5:18:26 PM
The problem there is that the Lakers, like the Mavericks, are a win-now team. Kobe is going to be over the hill about the same time Dirk is. So the Lakers want proven veterans who can win right now. That's why they got Nash. If they want a perfect fit, they should look at a player like Shawn Marion, who is a great defender, good rebounder and doesn't need the ball in his hands offensively to be effective. If you make him the key figure in a trade deal, along with perhaps Mayo as a court-spacer for the Lakers, then a third team might be able to get involved and come up with a deal that's palatable. That's about the only way I see it happening for the Mavericks, unless they get really creative with three- or four-way deals.
by Eddie Sefko 1/22/2013 5:21:26 PM