Who doesn’t like talking about the 2011 Dallas Mavericks championship team?
It’s great to talk about. It’s more agonizing to see it break up, piece by piece. The key cog in bringing that lone title to Dallas? Tyson Chandler.
Earlier in the month, reports came about that the Mavs are looking to bring back Chandler via trade with the New York Knicks. Chandler, who got his big payday of $55 million over four years in New York, wanted to stay in Dallas back in 2011 but Mark Cuban was adamant about staying cap friendly.
Here we are, three years later, and the Mavs want Chandler back.
Why not? Go for it.
Let’s get something straight before we jump the gun: Bringing back Tyson Chandler will not bring another championship for the Dallas Mavericks franchise. He was a big reason why the Mavs shocked the world in 2011, but he wasn’t the only reason.
Bringing back Chandler back to Dallas, however, makes sense on a number of fronts. First, there’s unfinished business.
Chandler will already go down as the best center the Mavs have ever had. I’ll let you decide whether that’s sad or not, but it’s true. Chandler did command a lot of money when he hit the open market. Dallas was certain on creating the space to get either Deron Williams or Dwight Howard. Yet, as the story goes, Dallas got neither of them. In hindsight, it looks like it worked out well for Dallas; just not in the way the Mavs hoped it would.
Also, it tends to become forgettable knowing Chandler’s history with injuries. If not for them, he could’ve been a more dominant center in his prime. But the Mavs took a chance on him, and it paid dividends. The reason for that was because of the work lead trainer Casey Smith did to ensure Chandler came back more dominant than ever.
Smith doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being a main reason for the Mavs always being a threat come playoff time. Not only was it Chandler’s health that made it possible for him to be great; there were the likes of Peja Stojakovic, who went from a bench warmer in Toronto in 2011 to being another key contributor to Dallas’ title run.
Chandler played 74 of 82 regular season games in Dallas during 2010-11. He hasn’t even cracked 70 games in his three seasons with New York, and the Knicks have suffered because of his lack of production. Those 74 games were the most in Chandler’s last six seasons.
If he comes back to Dallas, this isn’t saying he’ll be healthy and play all 82 games. But Chandler will feel better health wise than he has the last three years. He’s only 31 years old, and has a good number of years left.
Finally, it just seems right to bring Chandler back. Just like it would also make sense to bring back Caron Butler and maybe DeShawn Stevenson. Chandler won’t come cheap, meaning if the Mavs do make a trade for him, it’ll come at a hefty $14 million. Of course, as mentioned numerous times before, this all hinders whether or not Dallas finally gets that big free agent acquisition. If so, wait another year and get him as a free agent.
But the Mavs need Tyson Chandler, and Tyson Chandler needs the Dallas Mavericks. The best big man Dirk Nowitzki has ever played with was Chandler. He still has a good number of years left.
If not this year, find some way to get him back to Dallas. The world can’t bear another year of Samuel Dalembert starting, either.