Carmelo Anthony to the Dallas Mavericks. By now, it’s the pipe dream that I’ve convinced myself could be the most realistic for Dallas in recent years.
And yes, that pipe dream has gained steam in recent weeks. Between ESPN.com reporting that Melo has the Mavs on his short list of teams he’d like to play for next season, and Dirk Nowitzki saying that Dallas would welcome Melo if he wanted to play there, it’s become something to really consider.
But we’ve hit a snag.
Dirk, who was preparing for his annual Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game in Dallas, was quoted in an ESPNDallas.com piece on Friday saying that it’s not realistic to expect Melo in a Dallas uniform by the end of October.
Via Bryan Gutierrez from ESPN Dallas:
“Somebody in his camp brought up the Mavericks first. It’s not like we brought him up. If we’re actually on his radar, then it’s great. Then, we obviously have to look at it,” Nowitzki said as he prepared for his Heroes Celebrity baseball game. “Like I’ve said, he’s obviously one of the most explosive scorers that we have in this league. If a player like that has your team on the radar, [president of basketball operations] Donnie [Nelson] and [owner] Mark [Cuban] obviously have to look at it. Do I think it’s realistic? No.”
Interesting. It was a little less than a week ago that Dirk told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas that, “If Carmelo would really love to come here, we’d love to have him.”
Dirk has every right to feel this way. Dallas has missed out on every big-name free agent possible. From Deron Williams to Chris Paul to Dwight Howard, every chance the Mavs have had, they’ve swung and missed.
It’s not like Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson haven’t done everything in their power to ensure that the Mavs are an annual championship contender. For whatever reason, big-time players just don’t have the itch to play for one of the more consistent franchises in the last decade.
And through it all, Dirk has had to watch these free agents pass on the Mavs and go elsewhere. But somehow, he’s found a way to make it work. From the dismal O.J. Mayo/Darren Collison backcourt, to the defense-less Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon, Dirk has found ways to play with anyone.
That’s why he’s so confident that he can play with a guy like Carmelo and still succeed.
Dirk’s skepticism is valid on that front, but it’s still curious. The Rockets and Bulls still need to do some serious moving and shaking to get respectable cap space to even offer Melo anywhere near a max contract, unlike the Mavs.
So it begs the question: Has Dirk already given up on the prospect of Melo coming to Dallas? Does he know something through the grapevine that the rest of us don’t? Is this the part where we’re led to believe that Dirk is a CIA agent who has the inside scoop on everything?
Not sure. Although Dirk would make an awesome CIA agent, he’s being realistic with what’s given to him. Not since the days of Steve Nash and Michael Finley has Dirk had the luxury of playing with a guy who can take over a game. This isn’t new information.
But I’m definitely in the minority who feels that a trio of Carmelo, Dirk and Monta would be the best thing to happen to the Mavs, and being the shot of adrenaline this franchise needs fresh off of taking the San Antonio Spurs to seven games in the first round.
Free agency is almost upon us. This is fun.