There’s one way the Mavs’ acquisition of Tyson Chandler today from the New York Knicks is a steal:
If it also nets them Carmelo Anthony in free agency.
Otherwise … what the what?!
The trade sends four players (starters Samuel Dalembert and Jose Calderon, backup shooter Wayne Ellington and primo point-guard prospect Shane Larkin) and two draft picks (Nos. 34 and 51) to the Knicks for Chandler. Don’t even start with Raymond Felton coming here. Dallas will be his fifth team and, considering his lack of outside shooting and limited play-making, he’s a liability.
Here are the main problems with the deal as I see them:
*The Mavs let Chandler walk in 2011, in part, because of injury concerns. Now he’s three years older (31) and is coming off three seasons in which he missed 20, 16 and 27 games because of health. It’s like they rented Chandler to the Knicks for three of his prime years, but got zero in rent.
*With the departures of Calderon and Larkin, the Mavs suddenly need help at point guard. Devin Harris will be a free agent July 1 – and now a priority signing – and Felton isn’t close to being the answer. While he’s in the spirit of righting old wrongs, why doesn’t Mark Cuban see if Steve Nash is available as well?
For all his quirks (see: oversleeping), Dalembert proved a serviceable center that helped the Mavs push the champion Spurs to a Game 7. And one of the reasons they were improved in 2014 was the perimeter shooting and offensive organization orchestrated by Calderon at the point.
When healthy, Chandler is still a premiere rim-protector and elite rebounder that the Mavs have lacked since, yep, they let him walk in free agency in the first place. In re-acquiring Chandler, Cuban is admitting a big mistake. But on the surface it’s too little, too late.
Chandler was one of Anthony’s closest friends on the Knicks and you-know-who is one of this summer’s biggest fish in free agency. The Knicks logically remain the front-runners to re-sign Anthony, as they can offer him $33 million more than any other team.
But Anthony has reportedly narrowed his list of free-agent visits to the Rockets, Bulls and, yep, Chandler’s Mavericks. Now, if the Mavs – who will have enough room to re-sign Harris, re-sign Dirk Nowitzki and seriously flirt with Anthony – can put together a lineup of Harris, Monta Ellis, Anthony, Nowitzki and Chandler, the trade will be a whopping win and this blog item will self-destruct.
If not, I’m not thrilled with the Mavs’ version of Back to the Future.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.