News » Low-risk deal makes Mavs more versatile

Low-risk deal makes Mavs more versatile

Low-risk deal makes Mavs more versatile
The Mavericks probably aren't done reshaping their roster this summer. But it's hard to imagine additional tweaking being as splashy as what they did this week.

Shawn Marion represents a major alteration to the look and perception of the franchise. Marcin Gortat, assuming he ends up here, will supply fresh hope - as well as fresh legs and better hands - at the center spot.

We know the Mavericks like this culture change. We know they are better. Maybe not world-beaters or even Lakers-beaters. But they are better. At the least, they will make a jump into the conversation about teams that have the personnel to be considered just one significant move away from the Lakers.

So what do they have?

Let's start in the backcourt. Jason Kidd will eat up 30 minutes a night at point guard and, as Marion said Thursday, "is the head of the snake."

J.J. Barea will back up with rookie Roddy Beaubois waiting in the wings to earn experience.

At shooting guard, Josh Howard might start, but we know Jason Terry will get the bulk of the playing time. The Mavericks other free agent signing, Quinton Ross, will play a role here as well.

Howard will shift to small forward when they go with a smaller lineup.

Marion starts at small forward and plays some power forward when they go small.

Dirk Nowitzki will play his usual 35 minutes at power forward with Marion and probably James Singleton getting the backup minutes.

Gortat and Erick Dampier probably will split time at center for now. Dampier will be a trade chip all season because of his expiring contract. But that's the same reason he's likely to have a big season as he angles for next year's deal.

And don't be surprised if the Mavericks play a heavy dose of "small ball" next season, maybe out of necessity because centers in the West are either disappearing (Shaquille O'Neal, Yao Ming) or slow in development (Greg Oden, Andrew Bynum).

"This gives us the firepower that we need to compete with the top teams in the West," president of Basketball operations Donnie Nelson said of the acquisition of Marion. "We're just ecstatic to add a player of this caliber with his experience and athleticism."

Defense and rebounding are two areas that Marion certainly will help.

But perhaps the best thing that the deal does is give the Mavericks the option of putting four legitimate scorers around Jason Kidd, who wouldn't care if he averaged two shots per game as long as the win column gets bloated.

Let's face it, teams didn't have to pay much attention to Antoine Wright or Dampier. That cut down on the ways Kidd could orchestrate the offense.

Marion relieves that problem. Gortat will help in that regard, too.

"I'm a Basketball player," Marion said. "I see myself fitting in very well here. It'll be great playing with Jason. All the elite teams have a great point guard."

The question going forward is whether fans will like what they now have and whether opponents will dread playing these Mavericks .

Time will tell.

But the Mavericks deserve credit for working hard and putting together a complicated deal like this. It's not really a roll of the dice because they clearly have upgraded in several areas, losing only role players or guys who weren't playing at all.

Not to be overlooked, it also sends a wonderful message to Nowitzki that management is as desperate to make the most of his window of opportunity as he is.

Long and short of it

The Mavericks now have the option of putting a high-powered offense on the floor using either a big or small lineup.


Pos. Player 08-09 ppg

C Dirk Nowitzki 25.9

F Shawn Marion 14.3

F Josh Howard 18.0

G Jason Terry 19.6

G Jason Kidd 9.0


Pos. Player 08-09 ppg

C Dampier/Gortat* 5.7/3.8

F Dirk Nowitzki 25.9

F Shawn Marion 14.3

G Josh Howard 18.0

G Jason Kidd 9.0

*signed to offer sheet

Mavericks depth chart

A look at what the Mavericks could look like when the season starts in October. Sixteen players are listed, but a maximum of 15 may be carried on a roster. Ryan Hollins and James Singleton are free agents.

Pos. Starter Backups

PG Jason Kidd J.J. Barea, Roddy Beaubois

SG Josh Howard Jason Terry, Quinton Ross, Matt Carroll

SF Shawn Marion Howard

PF Dirk Nowitzki James Singleton, Kris Humphries, Shawne Williams

C Erick Dampier Marcin Gortat, Ryan Hollins, Nathan Jawai

Done deal

Mavericks GET: F Shawn Marion, G Greg Buckner, F Kris Humphries, C Nathan Jawai, cash considerations.

Raptors GET: F Hedo Turkoglu, G Antoine Wright, G/F Devean George.

Grizzlies GET: G/F Jerry Stackhouse, cash considerations, second round draft pick.

Magic GET: Cash considerations from Toronto and Dallas, plus a trade exception.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: July 11, 2009


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