Tag Archives: Sports News

Plan CP3: How much does he value L.A. legacy?

ESPNDallas.com will compare the Mavericks and Clippers in five facets — other than money — that could play a role in Chris Paul’s free agency decision in a one-per-day series: owners/front office, coaches, co-stars, supporting casts and franchise tradition. We’ll focus on Dwight Howard next week.

Both of these franchises used to be NBA laughingstocks.

The Mavs have since earned a reputation as one of the league’s best franchises. They were one of only three franchises in NBA history to reel off 11 consecutive 50-win seasons, making a pair of Finals appearances and winning one title during that span. That type of success demands respect.

The Clippers, meanwhile, have a grand total of one 50-win season in franchise history.

Granted, that was last season, when Chris Paul led the Clippers to a 56-win campaign. That came on the heels of a .606 winning percentage in the lockout-compressed 2011-12 season, when the Clippers won a playoff series for just the second time in franchise history.

The Clippers’ tradition is terrible, but CP3 has a ton of sweat equity in the franchise’s glory days. How much does he value the legacy of being the man who keyed the turnaround of Los Angeles’ other basketball team?

If Paul joins the Mavs, he’s joining a franchise that has recently been to the top of the mountain and plans to return. Dirk Nowitzki would willingly pass the baton as franchise centerpiece, but Paul would be attempting to live up to standards set in Dallas during Dirk’s Hall of Fame career.

With the Clippers, CP3 sets the standards. He’s the guy who saved that franchise from being a long-running basketball joke.

EDGE: Mavs, although Paul could have a major emotional investment in trying to finish the job in L.A.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696154/plan-cp3-how-much-does-he-value-l-a-legacy

Mavs don’t move up in lottery, own 13th pick

The ping pong balls didn’t bounce the Mavericks’ way.

The Mavs didn’t move up in the NBA draft lottery, so they own the 13th overall pick.

The Mavs had only a 2.2 percent chance of moving into the top three picks, including an 0.6 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick.

While this was the first time Dallas has been in the lottery in a dozen year, it continues a trend for the Mavs. Dallas has never moved up in 12 lottery appearances.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696121/mavs-dont-move-up-in-lottery-own-13th-pick

Plan CP3: Can Mavs sell a potential supporting cast?

ESPNDallas.com will compare the Mavericks and Clippers in five facets — other than money — that could play a role in Chris Paul’s free agency decision in a one-per-day series: owners/front office, coaches, co-stars, supporting casts and franchise tradition. We’ll focus on Dwight Howard next week.

Here’s where the Mavs have to make a heck of a sales pitch.

It wouldn’t be difficult for the Mavs to create enough cap space to give Paul a max deal while keeping Shawn Marion and Vince Carter. That might give the Mavs a chance to be competitive next season, but the opportunity to play with a couple of savvy veterans with expiring contracts isn’t going to convince Paul to leave Los Angeles.

To have any hope, the Mavs must make Paul believe in their ability to build a legitimate contender around him next summer. And that’s where the dollars difference between Dirk Nowitzki and Blake Griffin might matter.

Nowitzki is on record as saying he’ll take a “significant pay cut” when he re-signs with Dallas next year, which guarantees that the Mavs can be major players again in the 2014 free agency market. Griffin’s five-year max deal kicks in next season, starting with a $13.7 million salary that increases by a little more than $1 million each year.

Worry about the semantics of what “significant” means if you wish, but Nowitzki has made it clear that his salary won’t get in the way of the Mavs making major upgrades after his current contract expires. The Clippers won’t have nearly as much flexibility with two max players plus center DeAndre Jordan due to make $21.4 million over the next two seasons.

It’s not enough to get Paul to envision the personnel possibilities in Dallas. The Mavs’ brass has to get CP3 excited about them. It’s a virtual lock that Dallas will be a preferred destination if Paul is running the point and the Mavs have ample cap space.

Hey, did you know CP3 and LeBron James (who can opt out of his contract next summer) are great buddies? Too far-fetched? OK, how about DeMarcus Cousins coming to Dallas as a restricted free agent?

The Clippers have a couple of complementary talents in addition to Griffin already locked up. You can argue that Jordan is overpaid, but he’s a young big man with freakish athleticism. Jamal Crawford, who has three years remaining on his midlevel deal, is a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate.

The Clippers also have a couple of assets that could be extremely attractive in the trade market this season: restricted free agent-to-be point guard Eric Bledsoe, who is stuck as Paul’s backup but good enough to start for a lot of teams; and the $8 million expiring contract of Caron Butler.

The Clippers’ supporting cast looks better on paper. The Mavs leave a lot more room for the imagination.

EDGE: Clippers, unless Mark Cuban manages to convince CP3 otherwise.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696144/plan-cp3-can-mavs-sell-a-potential-supporting-cast

Dirk Nowitzki previews all-German final

Tags:

NBA, Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Mark Cuban, Grantland

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696139/dirk-nowitzki-previews-all-german-final

Plan CP3: Dirk Nowitzki or a decade-younger Blake Griffin?

ESPNDallas.com will compare the Mavericks and Clippers in five facets — other than money — that could play a role in Chris Paul’s free agency decision in a one-per-day series: owners/front office, coaches, co-stars, supporting casts and franchise tradition. We’ll focus on Dwight Howard next week.

The power forward’s production has dipped significantly after his award-winning 2010-11 season.

That statement applies to both Dirk Nowitzki and Blake Griffin.

Nowitzki:

2010-11 – 23.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg
2011-12 – 21.6 ppg, 6.7 rpg
2012-13 – 17.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg

Griffin:

2010-11 – 22.5 ppg, 12.1 rpg
2011-12 – 20.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg
2012-13 – 18.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg

Dirk’s declining numbers are easily explained. He’s about to turn 35, dealt with knee issues the last two seasons and had serious point guard problems this year. With good health and a great point guard, Nowitzki returning to All-Star form certainly doesn’t seem to be a stretch.

What’s up with the 24-year-old Griffin’s regression since his Rookie of the Year campaign? You’d think such an elite athlete would be better after being paired with a premier point guard, but the evidence so far doesn’t support that theory.

“Lob City” has produced a lot of highlights, but the Chris Paul/Griffin pick-and-roll hasn’t been quite as lethal as anticipated. There have also been L.A. media rumblings about friction forming between the two Clippers cornerstones, with Paul supposedly growing weary of Griffin’s immaturity.

The CP3/Dirk pick-and-pop wouldn’t be nearly as flashy, but it’d be an efficient piece of art. Paul loved playing with a midrange-shooting machine of a power forward in New Orleans, dubbing David West as “The 18-foot Assassin.” There has never been a sweeter-shooting power forward than Nowitzki, whose calm competitiveness would also complement Paul’s fiery personality. (And there’d be no clash of egos with Dirk, who wants nothing more than to suddenly become the Mavs’ second best player.)

Nowitzki has established himself as an elite closer and has consistently stepped up his game in the postseason. Griffin can make neither of those claims.

For all of Griffin’s athleticism, if Paul had to pick one of the power forwards for a playoff run, there’s little doubt it’d be Dirk at this point.

But CP3 has to be thinking about the long term this summer, and when comparing co-stars, that almost certainly tips the scales to the dude that’s more than a decade younger than his fellow power forward.

The finances could be a factor here, too. Dirk has declared that he’ll take a massive pay cut when he re-signs with Dallas next summer, meaning the Mavs are guaranteed to have the cap space to pursue another star, while Griffin’s max contract extension is about to kick in. But we’ll wait until Thursday’s installment to weigh the impact of the dollars difference.

EDGE: Clippers

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696132/plan-cp3-dirk-nowitzki-or-a-decade-younger-blake-griffin

Sources: Mavs likely to trade No. 13 overall pick

The Dallas Mavericks might not actually use the first lottery pick they’ve owned in a dozen years.

Multiple sources told ESPN.com’s Chad Ford that the Mavs are likely to trade the pick to help create the cap space necessary to make a run at Dwight Howard in free agency. The 13th overall pick has a cap hold of $1,655,300.

One of the Mavs’ future first-round picks is already in the possession of the Oklahoma City Thunder. That pick, which is top-20 protected through 2017, was originally given up in the deal that brought Lamar Odom to Dallas. The Los Angeles Lakers traded it to Houston along with Derek Fisher for Jordan Hill, and it then became part of the package the Rockets gave up for James Harden.

If the Mavs hold on to this year’s pick, Ford projects them to select Croation teenage small forward Dario Saric.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4696123/sources-mavs-trying-to-trade-no-13-overall-pick