Although Dallas Mavericks General Manger Donnie Nelson was pleased to sign head coach Rick Carlisle to a four-year contract extension on Wednesday; the move is not about to pacify the fans of the franchise, who are still seething that the team took a major step backwards this season. A good friend of mine is a rabid Dallas fan and he was up in arms from the moment Caron Butler, Jose Juan Barea and Tyson Chandler left the team via Free Agency before the start of the campaign. Although he was well aware of the fact that the club’s plan was to get under the Association salary cap to be able to sign Free Agents this summer; he was not enamored with the concept, as he subscribed to the old bromide; “If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It.”
Currently he considers Nelson and Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban to be Public Enemies numbers 1A and 1B and most likely he represents the viewpoint of a great part of the team’s fan-base in the Dallas area. Although it is disappointing; when a team loses a player to injury and it destroys a team’s campaign it is a blameless situation (although many Chicago Bulls fans still believe that head coach Tom Thibodeau leaving All-Star point guard Derrick Rose in too long in the opening game of their first round Playoff series against the Sixers was the reason he tore his ACL.) To give up players who helped you win the first Championship in the team’s history for zero compensation, was unforgivable for those fans.
Veteran Jason Terry has played for the Mavericks long enough to realize that the fans were dissatisfied with the team that Dallas put on the floor this past season and was swept by the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the Post Season and he believes that the club will make some major moves this summer.
The sixth-man, who will become a Free Agent himself on July 1, told the “Dallas News” that he is hoping that he will be back on the roster come October. Terry said “I grew up here. Being part of this community is a big part of who I am. It’s a hard thing to swallow if I have to leave that behind. We’ll see what happens.”
The 35-year-old who has been with Dallas since 2004, when he was acquired in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks, told the paper that with eight players becoming Free Agents on July 1, he expects fans will see lots of new players on the hardwood for the team next season. Terry said “You know we like to make changes year in and year out, but not a complete overhaul. That’s what this is going to be, an entire different ballclub, I would expect. But the formula is there. We set the bar high last year with what we accomplished. They know the formula, and it’s up to them to put it back together.”
The team is expected to make a hard push for New Jersey Nets point guard Deron Williams when he becomes a Free Agent at the beginning of July. The team is going to have to upgrade at the pivot position; Chris Kaman who will become an unrestricted Free Agent and Pacers center Roy Hibbert would be two players the team will probably have interest in as well.
Delonte West and Vince Carter will probably have to find new homes for next season; their Playoff bonuses serving the purposes as their lovely parting gifts. If you hold the mind-set that nobody on the roster is untouchable except for Dirk Nowitzki; will either Terry or veteran Jason Kidd still be in a Dallas uniform next season? How about in the front-court, has Shawn Marion, Brendan Haywood and or Ian Mahinmi played their last games as members of the Mavericks?
Years ago Janet Jackson had a hit with the song “What Have You Done For Me Lately” and that still hold true in pro sports; as you’re only as good as the final numbers on your most recent scoreboard.