By Will Martin
Seven months of the year are now in the books as we now prepare for the onslaught of the ‘Dog Days’ of summer.
Races start to tighten or widen in the next 30 days.
Hype and hope are conjectured and dissected on every gridiron in the nation leading up to Labor Day weekend.
Another month or so the same shall commence for the start of indoor sport like hockey.
Ft. Worth for the second year in a row if a Dallas Stars fan at the Convention Center come mid September.
Two months from now we do the same for that other indoor sport that enjoys an eight month run.
For the last 13 years and now starting year 14 it has been nothing short of entertaining when it comes to what Mark Cuban and the Dallas Mavericks do and don’t do when the time for free agency occurs.
This has certainly been the case since 2008 when Rick Carlisle hopped on board to bring Dallas a title.
July 31 marked a birthday for Mark Cuban. Here’s wishing him a speedy recovery from hip surgery. I’m pretty sure the wish list for Mark is a simple one.
Win another title!
That has been a consensus thought in the minds of many a Mavericks fan since the return of Tyson Chandler back on June 25 along with Raymond Felton in exchange for Shane Larkin, Samuel Dalembert, Jose Calderon, Wayne Ellington, and two second round picks in the 2014 NBA Draft.
It goes without saying that many wished Tyson never left. What does having Chandler back to play alongside Dirk mean to the team and to Coach Carlisle? I’ll let Coach Rick address all that.
In what can only be described as the “summer of coming home” (Thanks LeBron) here’s a quick update on what the Mavericks added/subtracted to their roster as a buffer to Monta Ellis, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tyson Chandler.
July 14: Three year vet Greg Smith (6’10” 250) acquired from the Chicago Bulls for the rights to Tadija Dragicevic. He of that 4-team trade that helped us get rid of Lamar Odom.
July 15: He vowed to resign for a bargain and Dirk did. Boy, did he! The career Maverick who has averaged 22.5 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 35.9 minutes in 1188 career games (1157 starts) wound up taking a salary for even LESS than many media outlets reported. We heard three years for 30 million. It ultimately became three years for the ballpark amount of 25 million. Dirk wants another title!
Oh by the way, the last time the Dallas Mavericks went without a pick in the NBA Draft was in 2005. Remember what happened next, minus the parade route talk by Laura Miller?
July 15: Quite the game of chicken and being in limbo while the NBA awaited what LeBron, Carmelo, and Chris Bosh were going to do. Dallas decided to go after Chandler Parsons one week prior. The Rockets had three days to match. We all saw the party selfie Cuban took with Parsons. Today it became official when Chandler Parsons was signed for a reported 45 million over three years. A small forward who can bang in the middle while a Rocket he averaged 14.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.1 steals and 34.5 minutes in 213 games (207 starts). A great acquisition!
July 16: As we wonder what could have been had DeJuan Blair not faced a suspension in Game 5 of the NBA playoffs we can now ponder how Blair will do elsewhere. A sign and trade was completed this day with the Washington Wizards in exchange for the rights to Emir Prelzdic (6’9″ 220) from Turkey. Originally picked 57th by the Phoenix Suns in the 2009 Draft.
July 17: A move I wasn’t anticipating but happy with nonetheless Dallas resigned Devin Harris. His numbers were 7.9 points, 4.5 assists and 20.5 minutes in 40 games once cured from foot injury. His presence is always a welcome jolt starting or coming off the bench.
July 18: Dallas proceeded to sign Forward Eric Griffin (6’8″ 194), the pride of Campbell University.
July 19: This day the Mavericks got a signing they tried to get years ago. Finally successful in landing 16 year veteran Forward Rashard Lewis (6’10” 235). Most recently with the Heat, Lewis possesses career averages of 14.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 32.0 minutes in 1049 career games (842 starts) for Seattle, Orlando, Washington and Miami.
July 21: This one time Arizona Wildcat played all 82 games (78 starts) for Utah averaging 10.1 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 27.0 minutes while shooting .450 from the field, .409 from three-point range and .741 from the foul line. Of course I speak of Forward Richard Jefferson! Originally drafted by the Rockets in the 2001 NBA Draft.
July 23: We learned that Rashard Lewis was damaged goods.
“It came to our attention during Rashard Lewis’s physical that he is in need of a medical procedure on his right knee,” President of Basketball Operations Donnie Nelson said. “We wish him all the best for a speedy recovery and continued success in his remarkable career.”
July 24: Long time NBA star and career Magic guard. This day Jameer Nelson was welcomed into the Mavericks family. Career averages of 12.6 points, 5.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 29.2 minutes in 651 games (556 starts) with the Magic. Have been listening non-stop to my Maverick friends break down all the possibilities with Nelson, Monta, and Devin. A great pickup!
July 29: I remember when this guy was part of the deal that sent Chris Paul to Clipper country. This day Forward Al Farouq-Aminu was signed by the Mavericks. 80 games played (65 starts) for the Pelicans and averaged 7.2 points and 6.2 rebounds in 25.6 minutes. You might recall that 16 point 20 rebound game he had 12/4/13 in a 100-97 loss to Dallas.
July 29: Getting Bullish by way of China, Dallas rounded out their bevy of acquisitions when Ivan Johnson (6’8″ 255) was signed.
Which brings us to the moment on Mark Cuban’s birthday. 2013-2014 the Mavericks played well enough to enter the playoffs. To this day all fans wonder what could have been of not for an Easter Sunday meltdown in San Antonio, a DeJuan Blair suspension Game 5, not having blown so many leads defensively, not going in as a #8 seed, having stronger defense, having stronger starts.
Rick Carlisle indeed is a magician when it comes to mixing and matching. True, he prefers players who have a modicum of mileage and experience behind them. The system has been successful. Will this Mavericks team be able to get to the next level in the Wild, Wild West that is the stacked NBA conference?
Still three months away from the start of the new season, much less the exhibition part. Oh by the way, remember all those things being said about Chandler Parsons by Houston and players?
Well the exhibition part of the schedule has been announced and it begins October 7th with…HOUSTON! October 10 the Thunder roll on through for a friendly. 7:30 start times. Indiana then comes to Dallas (Get well quickly Paul George!) on October 12 for a 6:30 tipoff.
Dallas then goes on the road for two road games in Indiana and Cleveland October 17 and October 18 before reuniting with Vince Carter and the Grizzlies on October 20. The last two games of the exhibition schedule will lead to Bossier City, La. and the Pelicans October 23 and the Magic in Orlando October 24.
All home games except for Indiana set for 7:30 start times.
Rest assured that for at least the next 2-3 years taking that drive to the American Airlines Center is going to be an entertaining one, win or lose. The AAC celebrated a 13th birthday on July 28.
MFFL. Lets Go Mavs!