He’s coming back to Dallas.
A reported six-player trade between the New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks, centered around Tyson Chandler, has been completed.
The Mavs have traded Jose Calderon, Samuel Dalembert, Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington — along with both the 34th and 51st picks in Thursday’s NBA Draft — to bring back Chandler, as well as point guard Raymond Felton.
ESPN.com’s Marc Stein was the first to report on the blockbuster deal.
The Mavs officially make the first big splash of this offseason, bringing back — arguably — the biggest reason why Dallas won a championship in 2011. But did they give up a lot to get a little? Or is this to prime themselves for this summer?
Let’s break it down.
Simply put, just be happy Tyson’s back.
Who knows if there are sour grapes between Chandler and the Mavs’ front office? If so, they’ll be easily squashed if Dallas is quick to get him an extension. More on that at a later date.
But the best center in Mavs history is back, and Dallas is partying like it’s 2011 all over again. Dallas has been adamant about bringing Chandler back for the last couple of months, as the Knicks look to rebuild and hopefully retain Carmelo Anthony. The Mavs get him back, as well as $14 million-plus that will go on the books this upcoming season.
And for all the skepticism about Chandler being injury prone and getting older, the same thing was said when Chandler was traded to Dallas in 2010. He then became one of the best centers in the league.
Head trainer Casey Smith performed a miracle back then, and it can happen again in 2014.
Oh, and there’s Raymond Felton, too.
The other player traded to the Mavs with Chandler is Felton, the point guard who was one of the many laughing stocks in New York this past season.
Before Felton was trying to avoid jail time, he was actually a good point guard for the Knicks once upon a time. He’s averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 assists throughout his career, but is coming off a terrible season in New York (9.7 points, 5.6 assists).
Don’t expect much from Felton. Even if the Mavs waive him, his salary is still on the books until next season. Expect him to be the backup point guard at best, which means Devin Harris is more than likely to return on a three-year deal to be the starting point guard.
But wait, Calderon and Larkin are gone? AND Dalembert? AND BOTH DRAFT PICKS?
Here’s where most people are salty on this. The Mavs gave up their best 3-point shooter in Calderon, as well as the young project Larkin, to get Chandler.
But you replace liability with reliability with this move. The Mavs get rid of Calderon and Dalembert — who can’t play defense — with Chandler, who can play defense. It works out.
The player most surprising in this deal is Larkin. Dallas traded back to 18th last year to get the Miami point guard, and many pictured him as a piece for the future. Take it for what you will, but the Mavs must believe that Gal Mekel has a higher ceiling than Larkin.
Speaking of the draft — in a class that’s loaded with depth this year — Dallas had to move both their second-round picks to bring back Chandler. It’s a bit pricey, but knowing the Mavs’ history with the draft, it’s not all that alarming. Maybe some gems in the Summer League will pop up.
How does this affect Dallas’ free agency plans?
ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported, in the midst of these trade discussions, that Carmelo Anthony will meet with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and the Mavs, starting July 1.
If you’re not a fan of cap space talk, be prepared to take a nap.
According to ShamSports.com, without adding Chandler’s and Felton’s contract, the Mavs are sitting at approximately $18.36 million in committed salary. Add Chandler and Felton, that’s $36,749,688. Not to mention, Dirk Nowitzki will be garnering about $8 million-$10 million on his new deal.
But, that number could change if the Mavs have a legitimate chance to land Carmelo — or somehow, LeBron James. It’s a pipe dream. But in the case of Carmelo, him and Chandler get along well and both have said they love playing together. If Tyson is the bait to lure Carmelo to Dallas, then the Bank of Cuban is officially open for business.
Final verdict of the trade?
If the Knicks were looking to make a statement about retaining Carmelo, that ship has sailed. The only thing New York can promise him is that, in a year’s time, the Knicks can go after anyone.
The Knicks get Calderon, who would be a perfect fit in Derek Fisher‘s triangle offense, but nothing else comes to mind other than that.
Right now, the Mavs won this trade except for the Larkin part. But they got Chandler back, have the chance to right the wrong and sign him to a long-term, respectable deal. Not to mention, the problems with interior defense have been solved again.
Not only is Dallas in position to be better than they were last season, but now the Mavs appear to be an enticing organization for the big fish.
Buckle up, folks.