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News » Dallas Mavericks Roster Report 2009-05-29


Dallas Mavericks Roster Report 2009-05-29


Dallas Mavericks Roster Report 2009-05-29
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Of course Dirk Nowitzki is the most essential player, but Jason Terry was arguably the most valuable. He gladly accepted the sixth-man role and excelled in it, averaging nearly 20 points for one of the best totals of his career and earning him the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award. With Josh Howard missing large chunks of the season, Terry's hot shooting was critical to the team posting 50 wins for the ninth consecutive season and finishing with the sixth seed in the West and not the eighth.

MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER: Josh Howard was dogged by a left ankle injury most of the season, but the Mavs truly missed feisty Jerry Stackhouse, who used to provide an instant offensive spark off the bench, tough defense and an edgy mindset the rest of the team just doesn't possess. Stackhouse's season ended in mid-November with a right foot injury that never eased up enough for him to come back successfully. At the same time, he was hurt by coach Rick Carlisle asking him to take a lesser role to help develop young players like Gerald Green. Stackhouse asked management to seek a trade, but one never developed. With only $2 million guaranteed on the final year of his contract, Stackhouse likely won't be back with the team next season.

FREE AGENT FOCUS: G Jason Kidd is obviously the enormous question mark. Kidd has made it clear that all options are on the table and that the Mavs don't hold an advantage over any other team.

The Mavs want Kidd back and they can offer him more money than any other team. However, as currently constructed and with little financial flexibility this offseason, they can't necessarily offer him title hopes.

Kidd, who will turn 37 before next season's playoffs start, is lacking only a championship on his Hall of Fame resume. If Kidd bolts, the Mavs need to devise a backup plan. The only other point guard on the roster is diminutive spark plug J.J. Barea.

"I just want to go on vacation, that's about all I know right now," Kidd said on the day after the Mavs exited the playoffs in five games to the Denver Nuggets. "I don't know what beach, but I just want to relax and enjoy my time off and let my agent do his job and see what happens. I don't have a plan yet because I was so focused in the playoffs so you have to give me a couple weeks to talk to my agent and see what happens.

F Brandon Bass played well in the playoffs and the Mavs need as many young, physical players as possible, so they'd like to re-sign him. Bass will likely have other suitors and he could be lured by more money and more playing time if the Mavs aren't willing to increase one or both.

After the loss to Denver, Bass said he wants to remain with the Mavs and he hopes management feels the same about him.

G/F Jerry Stackhouse, who is guaranteed just $2 million of his $7 million deal for next season, likely will be traded. The Mavs must also decide what to do with unrestricted free agents Devean George, who's coming off knee surgery, Gerald Green, whose exciting athleticism far outshines his on-court discipline, and James Singleton, who showed signs of consistent play throughout the season.

PLAYER NEWS:

--F Dirk Nowitzki faced questions this season for really the first time in his career about the chances that he'd either rather play somewhere else to pursue a title, or if owner Mark Cuban might change his stance and ultimately deal Nowitzki in a rebuilding effort a la Minnesota and Kevin Garnett.

Nowitzki made it clear he wants to remain in Dallas. He has two more years left on his current contract although he can opt out after next season and become a free agent.

"It's always been my dream here to finish my career and win a championship so I think my window is not closed yet," Nowitzki said. "We still have work to do."

He called the 2008-09 season another one that slipped away. Nowitzki turns 31 this summer and although he wants to be a lifetime Mav, he knows the reality of the league might not let that happen if the Mavs don't return to elite status in the next two seasons.

"If you want to win a championship, you can't be loyal to anybody," Nowitzki said. "If they've got to get rid of me to get back up there then that's what they've got to do. At this point, it's beyond loyalty. You've got to know the fans have been great and they don't want to see us play for the eighth spot, they want to see us up there. So whatever needs to be done is in Cubes' (Mark Cuban) and Donnie's (president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson) hands."

--F Josh Howard has an uncertain future in Dallas. Plagued by an awful end to last season on and off the court, followed by an image-damaging summer, Howard spent nearly all of this season dogged by an ankle injury, making a hopeful return to his All-Star form impossible.

After missing 30 games in the regular season, he won back respect with many fans that had grown apathetic toward him with a strong first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs. But, playing on two bad ankles against the more athletic Denver Nuggets, Howard wasn't nearly as effective. He managed just 14 points in Game 5 after scoring 11 in the opening quarter.

Howard is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery soon to repair his left ankle. The Mavs will then monitor his progress and see what he commands on the market. Howard could be a valuable trade piece because he's entering the final year of his contract.

"It's a business," Howard said. "Mark's going to do what he feels best. If that involves me leaving or staying that's up to him, but all I have to do is just prepare myself for wherever I'm at."

--C Erick Dampier disappeared in the Denver series and it raises questions if he'll be put on the trade block this offseason. Once straddled with an untradeable contract, the Mavs could see some takers since Dampier enters the final two years of his contract with the team holding an option on the second season.

Dampier, at 6-foot-11 and 265 pounds, is a dinosaur in this league, which is growing more athletic and skilled at the center position. Dampier is a liability on the defensive end and he was incapable of shutting down the paint on the defensive end.

Dampier had 15 points and 19 rebounds in the five games against Denver. He had just two rebounds in 24 minutes of Game 5. Meanwhile, Nuggets center Nene dominated in three of the games. Even Dampier's own teammates recognize the faults.

"A tough, hard-nosed defender and a big man that's going to foul somebody and be an enforcer," Jason Terry said when asked what the team needs to improve next season. "We've got to get an enforcer."

The problem with trading Dampier is that he's owed in excess of $10 million in 2009-10. Plus, the Mavs only have unproven center Ryan Hollins on the roster. If Dampier goes, who plays center?

MEDICAL WATCH:

--F Josh Howard (left ankle) is getting a second opinion on how to proceed. He has been expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery soon. G/F Devean George (right knee) had surgery on March 27 to remove loose fragments from a cartilage injury. He missed the rest of the season. He'll be ready for next season, although it might not be with the Mavs. G/F Jerry Stackhouse (right foot) missed all but 10 games. A couple of comeback attempts failed. He is expected to be healthy for next season, although his contract status could make him a valuable trade piece.


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 29, 2009

 

 
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