If the NBA’s free agency period was the equivalent of life, the Dallas Mavericks would be winners.
Yes. The Mavs have won at life.
It doesn’t happen often. Names like Deron Williams and Dwight Howard were the wrenches thrown into those plans. Recent history has shown the Mavs’ luck in free agency is like a first pitch thrown by 50 Cent.
It’s that bad.
But here we are, Dallas as winners this year. The Houston Rockets decided not to match the three-year, $46 million offer sheet for restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, thus making the 25-year-old small forward a member of the 2014-15 Mavs. Start the party.
Or if you’re Mark Cuban who was celebrating with Parsons this past Thursday, you celebrate with absurd techno music.
A great celebration! pic.twitter.com/M7yy4WoFmq
— Terri Parsons (@sadie1532) July 10, 2014
Before going any further, let’s call it what it is: The Mavs overpaid for Chandler Parsons. Overreactions are aplenty when paying a guy more than $15 million per year after only three years in the league.
The Mavs had the luxury to overpay him. They had to. Dallas made the right call to overpay a 25-year-old rising star that much money, compared to paying around $10 million for either Trevor Ariza or Luol Deng. For the first time in who knows how long, the Mavs are paying based on potential.
Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson both went in with the plan that they weren’t going to spend max money on either LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony. But clearly, the Mavs view Parsons as someone who can carry them beyond the Dirk Nowitzki era and felt to pay him as such. Much like the Charlotte Hornets were willing to give the world to Gordon Hayward.
But if the Mavs were going to have the choice between the two, they clearly made the right one with Parsons.
That being said, there’s now going to be an immense amount of pressure on Parsons to deliver. People within the Dallas organization view Parsons as a superstar in the making. Starting this November, Parsons will need to prove it. Luckily for him, he has a nice supporting cast around him with Dirk and Monta Ellis.
Now to the other names the Mavs have swooped up.
The morning after Parsons signed his offer sheet, Nelson told the Dallas media that regardless of what happens, the Mavs will have a starting small forward this year.
At first, it was a scary thought to think that would be Richard Jefferson.
But hey, what a bargain. You’ve got to feel for Jefferson, one of the classiest people in the league, who has been a castoff for the last few years. On a terrible, but young, Utah Jazz team last season, Jefferson averaged 10.1 points per game on 45 percent shooting. But who cares about that?
What the Mavs care about is that 3-point percentage; a staggering 41 percent. Dallas, who lost the bulk of their 3-point shooting from last season in Vince Carter and Jose Calderon, made the losses of those two OK with Parsons and Jefferson now on board.
Not to mention, Jefferson will come at a much cheaper price than Vince. And keep in mind what Rick Carlisle did in reviving Carter’s career. Jefferson needs a boost on a contending team, and he’ll get that in Dallas.
On Saturday, the Mavs also solidified their problem at backup power forward by working a sign-and-trade for Chicago Bulls center Greg Smith — another depth selection that gets a nod of approval.
Smith, another former Rocket that Daryl Morey once had, is only 23 years old and has dealt with injury problems. Why do I love this move? 1) He’s young. 2) He’s a big dude. 3) I believe in the miraculous voodoo master that is lead trainer Casey Smith. And 4) The Mavs got him for absolutely nothing.
When Greg Smith is healthy, he does a lot of the things DeJuan Blair does, only better. He’s decent around the basket, and he’ll give opposing big men fits in the low post. He’ll be a nice backup to Dirk, which means the Mavs can slide Brandan Wright to back up Tyson Chandler.
Big-man depth in Dallas. So odd. What’s next, global warming? Ha!
So within a span of 72 hours, the Mavs accomplished everything they needed to do. They got their small forward of the future, the backup small forward that was desperately needed and managed to get a backup power forward. This can’t possibly get any better.
Wait. The Mavs are still in the running for Mo Williams? I stand corrected!
Dallas took a huge roll of the dice by sending that offer sheet to Parsons. The Mavs need to send a thank-you card to Chris Bosh, who essentially robbed the Miami National Bank for a max contract to stay with the Heat. Without that happening, the Mavs wouldn’t have Parsons, probably wouldn’t have Ariza nor would be anywhere close to getting Deng.
Also, send a thank-you card and fruit basket to Dirk. If not for that pay cut he took, none of this would be remotely possible. It may not be a LeBron or a Carmelo, but Chandler Parsons is now the future of this franchise. Dallas found a way to maximize the last few years left in Dirk’s career. Cleveland won the lottery when LeBron went back home.
If that’s the case, Dallas hit Megabucks, at least.
By the way, I tweeted out this video last night that I found very funny. You should watch it, too.