Tuesday Mavs Donuts: Roster-&-Room Update

Tuesday Morning Mavs Donuts: The Trouble With OJ ... What the Mavs' roster (and cap room) now looks like ... There are dangers in comparisons ... The Movement to 'Unfire Donnie' © ... Haywood vs. Kaman, by the numbers ... Donuts!



DONUT 1: The Mavs' Roster and Room ...

We don't have hard and official numbers on O.J. Mayo yet, but our Mavs Math tells us this is a deal that pays him $4.5 mil or less for one year, with a player option for another.

So, with David Lord's help, we pull out the Big Calculator and assemble the puzzle pieces.

That gives Dallas room to sign a player with the $2.575 mil room-MLE; we're still educated-guessing that will be Delonte. And then Dallas signs its draftees, and they would have 15 bodies.

Assuming the $4.5M for Mayo, the Dallas payroll would end up at about $61 million, $3 million over the cap but about $9 million below the tax line. If you understand the lux-tax penalties the way most DB.com readers do, you realize how critical that $9 mil of distance really is.

"Plan Powder'' and "Plan B'' in simultaneous action.

The roster looks like this.
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C Kaman, Brand, James

PF Dirk, Wright

SF Marion, Carter, Crowder

SG Mayo, Roddy B, Dahntay Jones, Cunningham

PG Collison, West, DoJo

We'll stay on our toes here, but if they sign West and the picks as expected, this looks like the roster we'll see when the season begins.

DONUT 2: The dangers of comparisons ...

Comparisons are a tricky thing and a dangerous thing.

Rick Carlisle does not hesitate to compare rookie Jared Cunningham to Russell Westbrook, and if you take Rick's remarks in context – he's talking about Cunningham's size, explosiveness and skillset and he's also essentially talking about the Westy that came into the league, not the Westy that's developed into a two-time All-NBA guy – you can see the parallels and feel good about them.

At the same time, there are people in the Dallas Mavericks organization that once upon a time compared Roddy B to Westbrook, too. Sounds ridiculous now, but again … think of the young, healthy unpolished Roddy B … think of the young, unpolished Westy … and if you squint, and think way back, maybe you see it just a little bit.

Good thing no one at Mavs HQ ever sent out a press release announcing those feelings, though. Mavs HQ woulda gotten flogged for it.

Because it sounds ridiculous. Ridiculous at least in the sense that the remark is wide open to misunderstanding, right?

DONUT 3: To Elton Brand's wingspan ...

I'm on record as saying this about Elton Brand: "His huge wingspan allows him to be a very effective man-on defensive center, though he's not the classic TY-style "rim protector.''

Brand's wingspan is essentially the same as TY's. He can play center, same position as TY. And he really can play defense ... so am I saying Brand is TY?

Truly ridiculous of anyone to read it that way.

Brand is a quality defender. That's not just me saying it; that comes from NBA people who know that as he's increasingly floor-bound at age 33, he remains smart, long and tough as a guy who guards bigs.

Brand isn't a classic defensive center. Nor is Kaman. But TY wasn't a classic offensive center, either. As I said when TY came to town, and as I say to critics of moves that bring to town anybody who is something short of a superstar, "Wilt is dead and Russell is old and Shaq is fat.'' So you work to the next best thing.
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Oh, and you try to improve on the previous year. Did Dallas do that by switching in Kaman in place of Haywood? A Premium examination using some surprising Synergy stats analysis here.

DONUT 4: Comparing OJ to LeBron or Fin ...

O.J. Mayo was a teen superstar who has carried that attitude - if not that same level of play - in his pro career. 'The Next LeBron,' they said. But now? A new start as he joins a Mavs team that needs him as much as the explosive-but-erratic 2-guard needs a reboot. Inside the Ovinton J'Anthony Mayo story, we note that maybe O.J. is the Mavs' next best thing at 2-guard to Michael Finley.

A dangerous mention for two reasons: One, well, it's a comparison. That's inherently dangerous. And two ... wasn't Jet a 2-guard?

Obviously, the Finley-Mayo comparison is about roles and styles. Jet was a 1 almost as much as he was a 2, was a combo guard more than anything, was untraditional at the positions and wasn't a starter.

In those ways, Mayo fits the Finley profile. We'll see if he can do it on the floor ... and again, our O.J. Mayo inside story is the best thing you'll read all week on the newest Mav.

DONUT 5: Jae Crowder makes his Vegas mark ...

The Mavs won in Game 2 in Las Vegas and this time, it was rookie Jae Crowder who was stellar. A report on the highs and lows of the Summer League win.
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DONUT 6: Laugh or cry? ...

The NBA will have a good laugh at the Mavs' expense (and you'll have a good cry) if Dallas' pocket-protector approach to working over, around and through the CBA is proven to be wrong.

In the meantime, you do have to wonder whether there are financial ramifications -- AND eventually championships -- for the Nets and Knicks, who aren't much worried about lux-tax ramifications and the like.

Do the math on Melo, Amare and TY (and maybe Lin?) ... and clip-and-save my crazy guess that maybe next summer, NYK will be looking to give away Amare.

Do the math on Joe, Deron, Lopez and Wallace ... and know that because of the lux-tax rules, they'll have a very difficult time adding talent to that core.

The Mavs aren't "cheap'' to do things another way. How soon the Knicks and Nets start pushing toward Conference Finals matchups, as Dallas has done, will help determine not who is "cheap'' but rather who is "right.''

DONUT 7: Pitchforks at east ...

Who wants to join the Movement to 'Unfire Donnie' © ?

DONUT 8: I'm not being condescending ...

Especially during "The Week That Wasn't,'' DB.com's 75-Member Staff -- led by me -- engaged in some profane fussing on the front page ... and some Mavs fans responded that they didn't appreciate my condescending tone.

If I didn't come through loud and clear, that's MY fault as a communicator. But let me make this clear: When I express ire or angst or joy or puzzlement or whatever at a Mavs happening ... I'm not being condescending to you.
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I'm being true to ME.

When I say "we'' should stop whining (or "start whining,'' for that matter), y'all realize I'm talking about US, right? Saying what I say and saying it how I say it (in print, on TV or on the radio) is not about aiming a sarcastic arrow at YOU.

It's an observation on US.

You think you are the only one exhausted and disappointed in "Sammy Superstar'' talk? The only one wondering if Dallas goofed up its Deron presentation? The only one pondering whether Dwight will ever come here and/or if we really even want him to?

Do me this favor: Do not forget ... I'm a fan as much as I am a journalist. I am my own boss and choose that to be my role. Lord is a fan and not a trained journalist, a fact that allows him great freedom to do the incomparable things he does. Dugat, Chuck, Brolan, Kammrath ... and then contributors Followill and Cooperstein, too ... all possess great gifts.

But their greatest gift in how it benefits DallasBasketball.com and its readers is their passion as Mavs fans.

Losses pain us as they pain you. Our sports hearts get as bruised as yours does.

And in a good week -- and the rookies, Collison, Dahntay, Kaman, Brand and Mayo represent a feel-good time -- our hearts do a little dance. Same as yours does.

DONUT 9: Follow Fish and the Mavs Twitterverse! ...



DONUT 10: There IS always room for a trade ...

"Plan Powder'' is set for 2013. But where do we - and the Mavs - stand on long-time front-office favorite Andre Iguodala? M-Dug's got the story here.

DONUT 11: Want more Mavs? ...
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We've got the best and deepest coverage of the Mavs available anywhere ... take our free seven-day trial and then get your Mavs gold for pennies! Go Mavs and Go Premium!

DONUT 12: The Final Word ...

"Put it this way: I wasn't crazy about Bill Simmons in 2006 and still not crazy about BS in 2012. Douche. -- Chris Kaman, referring to Monday's Simmons' revisionist take on Kaman and Brand.