It’s funny how a flashy trade can set off journalists at the epicenter of the sports world in a tailspin. Making rash observations and predictions and changing their rankings. Look at this offseason, as experts as ESPN put teams like the Spurs, Blazers and Mavericks among the best in the West – just because they added players like Richard Jefferson, Andre Miller and even Drew Gooden and none of those squads have lived up to the experts expectations.
And the recent trade that Dallas made, dealing James Singleton, Josh Howard, Quinton Ross and Drew Gooden for Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood, has all of a suddenly placed the Mavericks (32-20) on the same level of the Lakers and the Nuggets in many journalists eyes.
While the move does make Dallas a better team on paper, this blogger sees the move as more of a sideways move than a
upper move. While I like the addition of Butler, it was Haywood the Mavericks really wanted. And it’s hard to overlook Haywood’s 7-foot-0, 263 pound stature and his 9.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.06 blocks, with his rebounds and blocks being career highs for the 30-year center. Who couldn’t use a Center like that? Definitely a team with a weak interior defense like Dallas.
One thing is certain about Haywood, though, is he doesn’t always give his best effort and one can easily say that his recent success is due to it being a contract year. His previous highs in rebounds were 7.2 and blocks were 1.7. Needless to say Mavericks fans he is another version of Dampier. Dampier posted his career highs in 2003-04 (12.3 points, 11.9 rebounds) and he was rewarded with a 7-year, $73 million contract by the Mavericks. Since then Dampier’s production has slowly dropped since than. Not a guy that you are going to win a title with.
Butler on the other hand should be the one that excites Mavericks fans. He can push Jason Terry back into the sixth man role where he is more dangerous. However, the Mavs window for the title is slowly closing and if the Mavs want any chance of winning a title in the next three or four years they need to keep their core together. Jason Kidd is on the verge of being 37 and he isn’t getting any younger and the same can be said about Shawn Marion, who’s production has dropped off majorly at 32 years old. Needless to say, both are signed on until 2010 and 2014.
The one thing that intrigues me is the chances of Drew Gooden or James Singleton getting a buyout and ending up in Denver. Hey, anything is possible.