HANG TIME NEW JERSEY — Less than 24 hours ago, things weren’t looking too good for the Dallas Mavericks. In fact, they barely had a starting lineup.
But now, after a few transactions on Wednesday night, the Mavs are beginning to look like a team again. At center, Brendan Haywood (reportedly waived via the amnesty clause) has been upgraded to Chris Kaman (who says he has a one-year deal). And they acquired a starting point guard (Darren Collison) and a wing defender (Dahntay Jones) on reasonable contracts by working out a sign-and-trade deal with Indiana for Ian Mahinmi.
So now, you have a depth chart that looks something like this…
PG: Collison, Roddy Beaubois
SG: Vince Carter, Dahntay Jones, Jared Cunningham, Dominique Jones
SF: Shawn Marion, Jae Crowder
PF: Nowitzki, Brandan Wright
C: Kaman, Bernard James
The Mavs still have some cap space left, enough to put in a competitive bid for Elton Brand, who the Sixers amnestied on Wednesday and who had a pretty solid season last year. Jeff Caplan of ESPNDallas.com reports that Dallas will make an “aggressive” bid on the 33-year-old power forward, who would be happy to join the ’11 champs, according to our David Aldridge.
With Brand, Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs would have one of the best frontlines in the league, with scoring inside and out.
Can they compete with the Lakers and Thunder in the Western Conference? Probably not. But they’ll had plenty of cap space again next summer to chase the big fish (Dwight Howard or Chris Paul) again.