Dallas Mavericks’ Mailbag:
"“Ok, you recently said the Mavs should re-sign Monta Ellis because he could later be traded for something better. How do you figure and who would want him?” -Jose"
"“This team will never get better with Monta Ellis on it. He’s an awful defender (and you even admit it) and he only scores so much because he takes all of the shots. I think almost anyone can do what he can do and the Mavs should focus on getting LaMarcus Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan instead.” -Mike"
Last week’s article on why the Dallas Mavericks should re-sign Monta Ellis seemed to have conjured up quite the reaction. My stance was re-signing Ellis would be a wise move under the right circumstances. Many disagreed. The important thing to bear in mind is that I actually agree with most of the haters but still think re-signing Ellis has value.
LaMarcus Aldridge is the top priority
I agree the Mavs will be hard-pressed to improve the team with Monta as the primary option. I agree Monta is a bad, and worse yet, uninterested, defender. I especially agree the Mavs need to focus on LaMarcus Aldridge. But that doesn’t mean you can’t re-sign Monta…
Let me re-state and clarify that LaMarcus Aldridge is the top priority. If the Mavs can pull a rabbit out of hat and get Aldridge to come home and sign with the Mavs, then they don’t need to re-sign Monta, should he opt out. If Ellis doesn’t opt out, the Mavs can still sign Aldridge to a max deal (obviously this is the optimal situation).
While the Mavs are legitimate options for Aldridge, they are still statistically unlikely to get him. Portland can give him over $25M more (never underestimate cold hard cash) and the Spurs are a much better team (never underestimate a young nucleus). That’s why they need to explore all options and not singularly plan for Aldridge.
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The Mavs need Monta as a back-up plan if they hope to compete next season and they can also use his contract as a trade chip down the road. The Mavs have been operating with very little assets over the years, trying to cash in on the free agent market. Free agents aren’t coming to Dallas so it’s time for the Mavs to focus on trading.
The Mavs built the franchise this way. Whenever a team wanted to move a player, the Mavs were in the discussions because they were willing partners with tradable assets. Lately, even sign-and-trades have been impossible since the Mavs try to clear the books every offseason.
I truly believe, if given the time, the Dallas Mavericks’ front office could parlay a ham sandwich into a Porsche. That’s how good they are at trading.
Add DeAndre Jordan to the list of desirable free agents the Mavs will certainly pursue. They should by all means try to lock up one of the best centers in the NBA, but they can’t completely turn their backs on Tyson Chandler in the process.
Chandler was shunned once by this franchise, and being a proud man, he won’t let the Mavs disrespect him again. The Mavs need to pursue Jordan quickly and aggressively and if they don’t feel they have a strong chance, they need to turn their attention back to Chandler.
The Dallas Mavericks cannot leave empty handed and need to lock up players for the sake of the future. It’s all about getting back to their roots and the Mavs are a franchise built on the trade market. So let’s lock up our assets and think about some future trades.
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