Long-shot Mavericks make short, straightforward pitch to Melo

By Jeff Caplan, NBA.com


VIDEO: GameTime crew discusses ‘Melo’s Texas tour and what’s next

HANG TIME SOUTHWEST – If Carmelo Anthony isn’t all that keen on seeing himself plastered on buildings like a monster-sized Fathead in a uniform he’s never worn and holding a trophy he’s never hoisted, then maybe the Dallas Mavericks’ simplistic approach will give them a chance to land the coveted free agent.

Unlike the red-carpet recruiting jobs that the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday unveiled for their guest of honor, Mavs owner Mark Cuban and his team of recruiters kept their meeting with ‘Melo to old-school basics: A conversation.

“What I can tell you is that we made this purely a business meeting,” Cuban wrote to Mavs fans who follow him on his CyberDust app. “No tours. No banners. All basketball and business.”

Dallas is considered the dark horse in this supposed five-horse race with Anthony’s Knicks, the Bulls, the Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers, who get their crack at Anthony on Thursday. On Tuesday he spent eight hours meeting and eating with Bulls brass and players Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson.

James Harden, Dwight Howard and even Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler entertained Anthony during his six-hour stay in Houston. The Rockets opted for the special effects, splashing images of Anthony in a Rockets uniform adorned with the No. 7 — that being Jeremy Lin‘s current No. 7 — outside and inside the Toyota Center just as the Bulls had done at the United Center the day before.

Anthony then departed for Dallas, landing at Love Field late in the afternoon. A black limousine whisked him to Cuban’s sprawling Dallas mansion. All-in-all, Anthony was in and out in less than three hours, sparking a round of Twitter jokes of all the things that can’t be done, or take much longer, than the Mavs’ time with Melo.

There was no stopping off at the American Airlines Center to pick out a locker stall or to catch a glimpse at the Mavs’ basement practice court (Dallas remains without an off-site practice facility), or even just to check if maybe somebody had photoshopped him into a blue and white, No. 7 uniform (no word how 2013 second-round draft pick Ricky Ledo would have felt about that).

The plan going in was to sell Anthony on settling for less than a max deal by convincing him that the franchise’s impressive track record under Cuban, the craftiness of coach Rick Carlisle and a roster that includes an aging, but capable Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis and now Anthony’s former Knicks teammate Tyson Chandler could deliver him to the promised land quicker than any other team.

The incumbent Knicks can offer New York’s native son the most lucrative contract by a long shot — $129 million over five years. The Mavs as well as any other team can offer four years and a maximum of $96 million. Dallas would have to shed payroll to get close to a starting salary of $20 million.

One way would be for Nowitzki to take less in his own negotiations that are on hold until they get final word from Anthony. Nowitzki, 36, has said all along he plans to take a significant pay cut from the $22 million he made last season, likely in a similar deal to three years, $30 million Tim Duncan signed with the Spurs in 2012.

The Mavs have targeted a big fish in each of the last three summers, failing to land Deron Williams in 2012 and Dwight Howard a year ago. If Anthony makes them 0-for-3, next-tier candidates include the likes of Luol Deng and the Rockets’ restricted free-agent small forward Chandler Parsons, plus the Mavs’ own free agents Devin Harris, Shawn Marion and Vince Carter.

If time allotted per team means anything, Anthony’s decision will likely come down to the two team’s most expected anyway, his hometown Knicks and the hard-charging Bulls.

33 Comments

  1. Ag Sunshine says:

    as i see champs fans are the only ones leaving comments and that´s good! I`m Mavs and Melo fan and that would be a great deal for us or the Deng-Gasol deal too, but we must face it: San Antonio just made the league look like college; we looked so nothing to them and even i thing we Mavs got 7 games because this is a business. Spurs were so much to every team that i don`t know what happened to the NBA last season! If Lebron and Melo don´t go to teams like Clips or Portland or even Mavs, we´re going down one more time.

  2. Dzej says:

    I actually think, that Melo’s best chance to win a title is in… Pheonix with Lebron. Then Chicago, Dallas and Houston at the end. Although Houston team would be very entertaining, I don;t think they have that champion pedigree. Not with Mr. No defense Harden, Mr. Friendly Howard and Mr. I don’t know what the hell i’m doing McHale. Dallas would have been great, but there is no guarantee that they even get out of second round. Chicago would be a lock for conference finals and with big chances to beat the Heat. But that Pheonix team? Man, that would be scary!

  3. melo says:

    melo nothing but dallas leggo beat spurs and holding the trophies.

  4. Knicks fan says:

    Seriously, “melo is not that dumb”…
    No offense dude, but you must not really understand what your saying. Obviously, I’m a Knicks fan, but the most logical place for Melo is Dallas right now. They have a great coach, great supporting cast that is willing to do whatever it takes to win, and a determined owner. To be honest, we don’t have much right now…

  5. sports fan says:

    NY & LA are actually BAD choices for Carmelo but Chicago, Houston, & Dallas are all good choices for him to land. Chicago is great defensively & would get the offensive upgrade they’vwe always needed. Houston could use the extra firepower to take them to the next level. And Dallas is severely underrated. I don’t money is an issue for Carmelo & he’s not just going to look at the rosters of these teams. The coach and the city itself will be huge factors in his decision.

  6. sports fan says:

    NY & LA are actually choices for Carmelo but Chicago, Houston, & Dallas are all good choices for him to land. Chicago is great defensively & would get the offensive upgrade they’vwe always needed. Houston could use the extra firepower to take them to the next level. And Dallas is severely underrated. I don’t money is an issue for Carmelo & he’s not just going to look at the rosters of these teams. The coach and the city itself will be huge factors in his decision.

  7. Unless Melo goes to S. A. he won’t get a ring. S. A. doesn’t need Melo.

  8. godinculture says:

    Mavs don’t need Melo. Melo will never win a championship. Go for a 2 bird stone here. Gasol or Deng or both.

  9. goSPURSgo says:

    mavs have money but not knicks kind of money

  10. Tell Me says:

    Can anyone answer this question…who is better, Pau Gasol or Dirk right now?

    Knicks or Lakers can get Pau…whoever gets melo

  11. harrythehawk says:

    Carmello Anthony will play this season in the town where he has a home: either LA Fakers of NY Nicks. Awesome choices!

  12. JM says:

    The Bulls or Mavs are the only teams that can give Melo a chance to win a title. Yeah, the Bulls are a lot weaker than the Mavs but Chicago belongs in the EC. W/ Miami’s big three uncertain about their futures, this could be the year for the Bulls to make some noise in the East if they can land Melo. And as for the Mavs, they were one game away last post season from beating the eventual champion Spurs and they could offer Melo more money than the Bulls. But playing in the West is certainly very hard. You get to face more or less 10 teams who can make the playoffs at any given time and once you get the playoffs, the opponents are also very tough. This is a very tough choice though but I think Chicago is a better fit for Melo. If money talks and it certainly is listened all the time, the Mavs or the Knicks are two good options.

  13. Tyson says:

    MELO TO MAVS, DO WE REALLY WANT HIM?

    The fact that they are making a circus attraction out of his so called tour is a joke. Melo is a good player but he does not have the desire to win like the players in Dallas!!! Our defense just got a hell of a lot stronger with Chandler back so they are going to be that much better this year and lets face it they played the champion Spurs better than anyone this playoff round 1. Personally I think they should forget about Mello and go affter 2 stars instead of just him like, Deng, Gasol, or Jameer Nelson that way we have an even better offensive and defensive team with two out of those 3 players I just mentioned. Cuban is smart and I know he will so the right thing and hopefully it is Deng and Gasol but I don’t think we need Gasol because we just got Chandler back. I think we should get Nelson instead that way we have someone to play side by side with Ellis and will compliment Dirk and Chandler then re-sign Carter and Marion back because they already said they would re-sign for a reduced salary to bring either Melo who we all know is in it for the money or two other players that are all-star material to help the team and if they do that and leave Melo to Knicks or Bulls then we will have a really good shot next year. I also think Bosh would be a good fit there but who knows what the so called BIG 3 will do so we will see……..

  14. patrickmarc says:

    Melo at Dallas,
    less millions but…
    his first ring maybe.

  15. reggohllabam'i llabehtemevig says:

    sorry but I see the Mavs failing to get any big name on their team hence why I say they’ll be pretenders this up-coming season.
    just because they got Tyson Chandler back doesn’t guarantee they have the same guy back in 2011.

  16. MathSimon says:

    Melo in Mavs Uniform! Go Cuban and give Dirk that 2nd ring he deserves!

    It does seem like a realistic prospect since the Dallas, aside from having Ellis, Nowitzki (who is an unselfish basketball player, recognizing most especially that he is now down to the twilight of his career) and now Chandler (back to patrol the middle), they also have a great coach in Carlisle (one of the only 4 active NBA coaches with a Ring) so the Mavs seems like the perfect fit.

  17. qq says:

    The best options melo has to win is with chicago or the mavs, No way I see him winning with the rockets, if he signs there they got no bench, they dont have a good head coach.

    With the mavs they have dirk monta chandler, great head coach, they will have marion coming back if he signs there, I asume carter will be back aswell on the cheap.

  18. Uncle Vic says:

    What do the Knicks and Bulls have to offer? There nothing that can be said that these rosters have accomplished the last five years. You guys follow the hype. You got a superstar named D Rose in Chicago that has to do a session to show Melo he can dribble the ball. Nothing to show for coming from a weak east and the Knicks are just the Knicks. Cuban does not waste his time with money driven players. We don’t need posters or flatheads to prove what he can do with his team. We beat the heat in the Finals and took the Spurs to seven games this year. Coming out of one of the West!!! The bulls have nothing to show for except the Jordan statue and Jordan’s titles that are a bit old!

  19. The Mavs have a lot more to offer than the Bulls in terms of personnel to play alongside (Derrick Rose will never be the same again, and Noah/Gibson are terrible at offense, both of them) and Knicks, and we can probably cater to his ego more than Houston. (If the dude stays in NYC, he’s an idiot.)

    I think he’s Chicago bound, because I think he’s truly stupid. But if he isn’t, then Dallas stands a chance.

  20. HybridRaptor says:

    The fact that there were no fireworks will probably dwell in Melo’s head but that wont be enough for him I guess, for as much as I would love to see him in white and blue I dont think he’ll sign for us…

  21. Alton says:

    Ok something has to be said but this so called nba media makes it no secret that they don’t want the Rockets becoming serious contenders I mean how many times are you gonna mention the Jermey Lin thing the guy graduated from Harvard he knows he is on his way out of Houston Melo or no Melo so stop beating a dead horse allready and get some new material yeesh

  22. melo is not that dumb says:

    i don’t even understand why melo bother to pay cuban a visit in the first place … the mavs have nothing to offer compared to the bulls, the rockets or even the Knicks

    • Hmm says:

      They do, look at roster his budy Tyson is there, Monta who couldn’t produce elsewhere thrive with Dirk and I don’t think I must say more(but I could). They got crafty coach, who can change his schemats on fly to fit them to players(not on Pop level but still).
      Saing this I belive they have chance(small, but always) to join ranks with Carmelo.

      • Vern says:

        Tyson and Melo aren’t buddies. Tyson just said the other day that they respect each other on court but off the court he doesn’t mess with him. Plus after admitting he quit on the team why would anyone want to play with no hands Tyson?

    • DIRK IS THE MAN says:

      other than a championship!!!!

    • Andy says:

      Hey- “Melo is not dumb”- the mavs have nothing to offer?
      The bulls offer less money and don’t have near the supporting cast the mavs do- rose could be phenomenal- but 46 games in 3 years? Why would anyone think he’d be ok.
      The rockets seem more likely. Solid supporting cast and good money. A completely untested coach and an organization that has made the playoffs what- 2 times in 16 years? Although they def. have their act together now.
      The Knicks are the worst team by a mile- unless all he cares about money.

      The bottom line is- if winning is the ONLY thing he cares about- he will pick the mavs. The best coach by a mile out of those 4, the best and winningest organization the last 15 years by a mile over the other teams, and a phenomenal supporting cast with a potential near- max deal next year for another player (Aldridge, gasol, or love)to expand on it. Most likely he picks money and family and sticks to NYC- which proves he doesn’t seriously care about winning- which means if I were the bulls, rockets, or mavs- I wouldn’t want him anyway.

      • DWadeTheOne says:

        I agree with you, but i also believe that Melo is not that smart and he will choose Chicago.

    • Totally agree with you on that.

      I guess that’s the reason why the Mavs used a ““No tours. No banners. All basketball and business” strategy. Cuban and his team are realistic on their chances and Melo went there out of politeness on their invitation. So no one in Dallas can talk about disrespect etc etc.

      Something tells me its going to be a new adventure in Chicago or getting the max paid in NY for Melo.

      The rest is not an option.

    • Yair says:

      they took the spurs to seven games, but according to you, they have nothing to offer…smh

      • goSPURSgo says:

        dude mavs took the spurs to 7 games because spurs toyed with them trust me mavs can not beat the spurs in a series

    • melo is not that dumb says:

      sorry guys but the mavs roster is just useless right now … dirk ? the best man you have obviously but how long will he still be around ??? to what point will he decline ??? Monta ??? please be serious : monta + melo ?? really ???? it just can’t work be realistic … then melo endured a pity of a year with chandler and especially felton who is a poor pg who really lack consistency … do you really think he wants/believe in that again ??? Phil Jackson just own cuban on that trade guys !!!! I really do think that chicago even with no drose or half a drose is a far better choice for him not by a miles … by lightyears, same for Houston even if i don’t feel the combination with howard and harden is that good … then NY is his place, easy to stay and take the big money and a real chance in the next two years to buil a better team around him … even lala land is more realistic than the mavs who don’t offer the more money or the best roster