by Dustin Copening
It has been a quick and graceless fall for the Dallas Mavericks since they shocked the Big Three and the world in the summer of 2011. Only Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion remain from the roster that won the NBA Championship, and there is a chance that Dirk is the only holdover left standing come Opening Night 2013.
Mark Cuban has promised that he and Donnie Nelson will put a title contending team together over the next two years. It’s hard to be that optimistic considering the flop that was the Deron Williams courtship last summer, but the Mavs front office delivered the ultimate prize before when the Dirk window appeared shut.
We’ve taken a look at Point Guards, so today it’s time survey the Shooting Guards who are likely to top the Mavericks wish list as free agency begins on July 1st.
Shooting Guard Free Agent Class:
1) O.J. Mayo - Much like Darren Collison, Mayo had a drop off in performance at the end of the 2012-13 season. Some of his drop in scoring coincided with the return of Dirk from his knee injury, but Mayo bottomed out in April at 8.6 ppg. That included a 2 point, 1 assist, and 4 turnover performance against Memphis in the next to last game of the season. Rick Carlisle spoke publicly after that poor effort about his frustrations with Mayo’s effort, but only weeks earlier he had praised O.J. for his determined play in a win over the Bulls.
Both parties have talked openly about wanting to bring Mayo back to Dallas next season and beyond, but word is that the Timberwolves have placed him at or near the top of their free agent targets. If Minnesota (or anyone else) does elect to spend big on O.J., then expect the Mavs to pass. They aren’t interested in paying #2 money for a #3 performer.
2) Tyreke Evans - I don’t buy that Dallas is ruling out restricted free agents this year. The strategy sounds okay on the surface. It’s difficult to spend time and effort going after a guy only to see his old team match your offer while other FA’s leave the market, but there’s a lot of promising talent whose rights can be wrestled away for the right price. Is it wasting more time going after the 23 year old Evans, or the CP3/D12 pipe dream?
Tyreke’s playing time and numbers have dipped a bit since an outstanding rookie campaign (which earned him Rookie of the Year honors), but his 18.1 PER in 2012-13 was a notch off of his rookie total of 18.2 and HoopsRumors.com points out that Blake Griffin and Stephen Curry are the only 2009 draft members to have higher ppg averages for their careers. Evans finished last season averaging 15.2 pts, 3.5 ast, and 4.4 trb per game.
Evans isn’t a max money guy by any means, so while Dallas may have to overpay a bit to scare off the Kings, they shouldn’t have to grossly overspend on a nice youthful addition to the 2-year plan.
3) J.J. Redick - He’s a name that most casual fans haven’t had on their radar since he was drafted out of Duke by Orlando in 2006, but Redick’s game has quietly improved in the last few years as he’s received more and more playing time.
Through 50 games with Orlando to start last season he was on pace to set career highs in points (15.1 pg), assists (4.4 pg), field goal percentage (.450), and PER (16.1). After being traded to Milwaukee those numbers fell off sharply (12.3/2.7/.403/11.9), yet he still finished with highs in points (14.1) and assists (3.8).
The Pacers are said to be interested in his services, and the Bucks seem content with allowing him to sign elsewhere. Should the Mavericks be serious about ignoring RFA’s, Reddick is a sharpshooter who might be ready to step into a starting role.
4) Martell Webster - Webster started 62 games this year for the Wizards after signing a 1 year $1.75 million deal. He was a bargain, setting a career high in point per game at 11.4. The tricky thing with Webster is that he is a combo SG-SF, and he has had his best success at SF (including 2012-13).
It’s doubtful that there will be a flood of offers sent Martell’s way early on the free agency, so this could be a direction that Dallas looks if they are left looking for a late addition to the team. Though they’re not getting him away from the Wiz for anything less than 2 years, considering he’s made it known that he’d be willing to return to Washington in a bench role if necessary.
5) Randy Foye - I’ve gone back and forth over the last spot on this list between Foye, Nick Young, and Shannon Brown. Ultimately I decided on Foye because he’s likely cheaper to acquire than Young, and I’m not convinced the Suns will waive Brown and grant him FA status despite his complaints about being moved to the bench.
Foye is another player that could be a last minute addition if the Mavs end up losing out in their pursuit of players at the top of this list. Foye has been consistent over his 7 years in the league. His career averages (11.5 ppg, 3 apg, and 12.9 PER) aren’t going to jump off of a stat sheet, but you can’t have all stars at every position.
Like Webster, Foye has talked openly about his desire to stay in Utah, so it will probably take a multi year deal to convince him to join the Mavericks. A deal I’m not so sure the front office will feel like making unless Webster or several one year targets have signed with other teams.
Off The Radar:
1. Raja Bell
2. Richard Hamilton
3. Marco Belinelli
Poll Question: Though Left Off The List, Would You Like Dallas To Sign Monta Ellis?