In the wake of the NBA Draft Lottery, the offseason just got interesting, didn’t it? Yes, even for the Mavs. Assuming that the Portland Trail Blazers take Greg Oden, they will have three major low-post presences (Zach Randolph, LaMarcus Aldridge, Oden) and not enough minutes to go around. Randolph seems most likely to go, with Aldridge shifting to power forward alongside Oden. Or could Cuban and Donnie sweet-talk the Blazers out of Aldridge?
A brief Googling session indicates that Randolph is a big-time scorer and rebounder in the low post. He’s not a very good defender or passer; he tends to be a ball-stopper. He’s had quite a few off-court incidents. He will turn 26 this offseason. Finally, Jean-Jacques Taylor doesn’t want him, but JJT’s opinion alone isn’t enough for me to buy into the idea.
The Mavs blog over at DMN floats the idea of Dallas pursuing Ray Allen as a true two-guard to open the floor up for Dirk. Considering that the Sonics are now in line for Kevin Durant, do they deal their veterans and turn the team over to K-Smoove, who should become option #1 fairly early in his career?
Here’s a salary breakdown for each player from HoopsHype:
Zach Randolph – signed through 2010-2011 ($13.3 mil, $14.7 mil, $16 mil, $17.3 mil)
Ray Allen – signed through 2009-2010 ($16 mil, $17.4 mil, $18.8 mil)
It would be unlikely, given the money involved, that the Mavericks could acquire both players. Terry’s big contract would be first in line to be moved, and as the DMN blog noted, he is a Seattle native. His contract alone wouldn’t match up for Seattle, but he would provide a more affordable option for the Sonics at a guard spot, although still with a long-term commitment. As far as Randolph, the Mavs have prided themselves on fielding a team that stays out of trouble off the floor. The downside of this is the perception that the Mavs are a soft team. Must a clean police blotter and a tough team be mutually exclusive? Not necessarily…see the Spurs. But as we saw against Golden State, our only guy who’s willing to step up is a bench player who may not be here next year.
For my money (and it isn’t mine, unfortunately), I’d agree with JJT: pass on Randolph, take Allen. Good rep, shorter contract, will produce and stay out of trouble. If Randolph comes here and flops, there’s no way in hell the Mavs can move that contract…not even with Cuban’s wizardry.
Does anyone else see Cuban’s compliments of Mike Finley as anything but a bit of image repair? I wouldn’t object to Mike coming back to Dallas, but I just don’t see it happening.
Can Devin be the man? Will the Mavs seek someone else to run the point? I almost love offseason more than the actual games. And no way do I believe that Cuban will stand pat, no matter how much of a calm face he has put on this playoff collapse.