Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Grading the Deal: Mavericks acquire OJ Mayo, Elton Brand and Chris Kaman

The Dallas Mavericks made a series of moves that we are late in breaking down.  Dallas is still on a championship hangover it seems.  Last year they lost Tyson Chandler and this year, they lose Jason Kidd and Jason Terry, leaving Dirk all by himself basically.  Mark Cuban and the Mavs were left with picking up scraps in Elton Brand (amnesty claused by Philadelphia) and Chris Kaman (free agent) as well as making the highest bid for OJ Mayo, the only player fairly young.  The gang breaks it down.

Grade: C

This is what you are suppose to do when you have recently won a title, have a payroll and still have a top ten player in Dirk Nowitzki.  I give them a C because that is what all average kids in life get.  Dallas is no different here, they could have done worse and they could have done better.  I like that OJ Mayo has that opportunity to be a leading scorer for a playoff team, a player many believe (not me) that he can be.  Elton Brand is going to become a bench player for a pretty decent front court with Dirk and Kaman.  I don’t hate any of these moves under the circumstances that it happened. It’s just whatever. – Jacob Noble

Grade: B

The Mavs made a run at Deron Williams, failed, and I honestly thought Dallas wasn't going to recover from that. From the pipe dreams of Dirk, Howard, and Williams, to the idea of actually moving Dirk? Insane to me. If you're going to grade these moves, I think you have to deduct points off because they had to go to plan B. That being said, I really think Dallas recovered really well this postseason. Chris Kaman isn't someone I'm raving about, but for one season, I expect him to be a solid starting center. Elton Brand was never going to live up to his massive contract in Philadelphia, but he's a really good post defender. Brand ranked 9th in pick and roll defense, and 14th in post-up defense. For the second unit, Brand is going to be decent next to Brandan Wright. O.J. Mayo could be great with a new change of scenery, but I still have my questions about his game, and whether he could be this team's second best scorer. The Collison trade was great. The Mavs added a starting point guard, and a backup wing for a backup center. I think Dallas is going to be a slightly improved team. – Quentin Hayes

Grade: Inconclusive

For the Mavs, I like Mayo because they won't expect him to be the star that Memphis was after drafting him with the 3rd pick. On the other hand, Mayo surrounded with a more veteran/offensive team might flourish in that environment. If you're asking Mayo to be the 4th option on a really good team, you probably have a really good team. If you're asking him to be the 3rd or 4th best player on a team, you're going to be disappointed. I think Brand and Kaman can't be much worse than Haywood/Mahinmi was for the Mavs last year. Whatever Kaman and Brand bring to the table, they can still rebound and defend at high enough rates to be worth it to the Mavs for at least next season. At the price the Mavs got Brand at, it's hard to top that. With Kaman, depending on the years/money, that could be a great value for the Mavs as well. Not the best summer for the Mavericks overall, but they've recovered nicely given what was out there. – Nate Hughart

Grade: D

I'm not sure what the Mavs are doing.  Mayo will score more, but that will come at the price of more shots.  Collison is serviceable, but needs to improve.  Kaman & Brand are not the players they once were.  If I were Dirk, I'd be disgusted. – Ben Kenna

Grade: B

A week ago, Dallas could have been on the list for the worst offseason but these additions got them out of the basement, in my opinion. Individually (outside of OJ Mayo), these players wouldn't deserve too much attention but as a collective group, I think Dallas did well. OJ Mayo gives Rick Carlisle alot more flexibility in this offense, as he isnt as dependant on screens and can create/produce from all three points on the wing. OJ is a top 10 shooting guard and if he can tap into that player we all know he can be, then Dallas will have no trouble finding players to surround Mayo after Dirk leaves. I like the Collison move given they gave up a bench player for him. He's a heady player, presses the perimeter fairly well and can "run" with the guards in the west alot better than anyone that suited up for them this past year. The statsheet and injury report would lead you to believe there is no way Elton Brand and Chris Kaman can help the Mavericks but I think these are solid moves. Kaman gives Dallas a skilled center theyve never had and takes Dirk out of any consideration for possible time at the 5. Brand is obviously depth but being on the second team will get him more touches so he could impress. – Jerome Watson
Grade: B

It's a solid B for the Mavericks and Mark Cuban here. Striking out in pulling in Deron Williams had many people thinking they were just blowing up the team, but that's not Cuban's style. Instead, the owner found a way to piece together a roster that on the surface looks like it will play the style of basketball Dallas fans have come to know and love. Chris Kaman will play tough. It's in the man's DNA as a caveman. He might not be the defensive stopper Tyson Chandler was, but he will be serviceable and provide the work ethic Rick Carlisle likes. Elton Brand has obviously reached his peak, capable of producing big games and he is returning to the Western Conference, where he has thrived previously. Playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki should open up the paint for Brand to work. He hasn't played with that type of player since his first two years in the league. O.J. Mayo is the massive win here. If it were just a grade for Mayo's acquisition, I would give it an A. Mayo is ready to break out and be a scorer. And though he will be behind Nowitzki, he will still do a great job filling the scoreboard and giving defenders fits as they try to decide who to double team. Mayo's not a superstar, but he is a scorer and that is going to be what the Mavs need desperately to replace Jason Terry. If you didn't catch Cuban firing shots at Bill Simmons earlier this week, it basically showed Cuban doesn't care if you approve of the acquisitions or not. When was the last time you built a championship roster?  - Payton Wales


Shane Croker said...

Grade: Undecided

I feel a little better for the time being with the new acquisitions. I guess they did the best they could do, given with what was available and what they were allowed to do with the CBA. I'm really glad Kidd is gone after his escapade with Deron Williams in the Hamptons. We really could have done without his help. Thanks a lot Kidd. I hope the rumors of the return of Josh Howard are just that. If had to bring one former player back, it would be J.J. Barea and not Tyson Chandler. Chandler wanted to jump ship. For the life of me, Roddy B. has to go; no more than 1 year left to prove himself. Last but not least, a healthy Dwight Howard would be nice but....what do we know about his recovery from back surgery? Will he be the same? Nobody is talking about that.

Jacob Noble said...

Well said Shane

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