There must be something in the water in Dallas, Texas that drives an owner to destroy a good thing and turn it into a non-playoff, irrelevant team. First Jerry fires Jimmy, and then Mark Cuban dismantles a championship team and turns it into a 13-22 joke.
Let’s go back to the summer after winning the 2011 NBA Finals. Instead of reloading with Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, and Tyson Chandler, Cuban decides that this team as assembled has reached maximum potential of one championship and blows it up. So over the last two years the Mavs have lost Tyson Chandler, Jason Kidd, and Jason Terry and replaced them with Brandon Wright, OJ Mayo, Vince Carter, Elton Brand and Chris Kaman. Nice signings, if your goal is to solidify a weak bench. If your goal is to reload and make a run at a ring during Dirk’s final years as a number one option, then it’s a huge fail.
Mark Cuban believed that he knew better. That he could stay ahead of the curve that father time has so clearly defined. Hold on to a veteran too long, and you become the Lakers. It was going to be easy. Replace Chandler with Dwight and Kidd with Deron Williams. Boom!! Add a little Nowitzki and you get a contender for the next five years. The problem is that Dallas is not the basketball destination preferred by most NBA stars. Cuban thinks it is, and that is his ego getting the best of him. If you were a free agent, would you choose the Dallas Cowboys’ little brother, or be a Laker, Celtic, Knick, or Bull?
The solution is obvious. Instead of trying to rebuild with Dirk, it is time to blow it up completely and trade Dirk, who has at best 2-3 years of his prime left. After that, his trade value drops significantly and pairing him with one more superstar will not be enough. So what can you get for Dirk in today’s market? An ideal trade would be Dirk for Kevin Love and Derrick Williams. After all, Dirk is already questioning the direction of this team.
In Love, Dallas would get a young, three point shooting, rebounding machine to build around and pursue other free agent superstars (Dwight?). Because Love is hurt and will miss six to eight weeks, consider this year a lost and trade all of your current assets for future assets. Kaman would be a fit for the Heat, Shawn Marion could save the Lakers, Vince Carter could provide the Pacers with needed scoring, and Elton Brand can give the Knicks some insurance for Amar’e Stoudemire.
These trades are not perfect and it is not a guarantee that the Timberwolves would agree, but I am positive teams would be interested in Dirk. Cuban can buy more time to build something he destroyed in one summer. But he won’t, he will hold on to Dirk because his ego won’t let him. Lucky for him, Jerry Jones is in the same city and makes worse decisions than he does.