Well, so much for that plan.
With Deron Williams choosing the Nets, the Mavericks are going to have to put together some sort of backup plan. And according to ESPN Dallas, the next targets are point guards.
The Dallas Mavericks’ point guard priorities are now shifting to 39-year-old and former Mav Steve Nash and one-time Mavs Summer League hand Jeremy Lin, sources told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.
Sources say the Mavs will pursue Nash and the New York Knicks’ Lin, who is a restricted free agent. As such, the Knicks can match any offer made to Lin.
via Dallas Mavericks have interest in Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, according to sources – ESPN Dallas.
The Mavericks are still in talks with Jason Kidd to return as well, but both of these options would be a better option short and long-term. Lin would inspire some level of excitement but you have to wonder if it could come back to bite them as the Mavericks have so little information to work off of with Lin. The Knicks can also match any offer for Lin. Nash would be a fitting end to his career after leaving the team when Mark Cuban elected not to pursue retaining him in free agency.
Neither is Deron Williams, but both would represent at least a temporary salve on the burning wound of losing out on Williams.
Part of the issue is that the Mavericks haven’t landed a top free agent in quite a while. That’s a disturbing trend they’re trying to buck. But more than that is the concern that the Mavericks need a major star, and they’re running out of them. It’s back to the drawing board, but at least one of these point guards would bring some excitement to the team.
Tristan Thompson is a man without a contract. By not signing the qualifying offer with the Cleveland Cavaliers he put himself in limbo, the rare NBA holdout. Right now his options are to sign the deal on the table (the Cavs still have the five-year, $80 million offer out there), get the Sixers or Blazers to offer him a max contract (which neither team has shown any interest in doing), or hold out and hope the Cavaliers make a better offer. If he holds out for the entire season he becomes a restricted free agent again next summer — exactly like he is right now.
Without signing the qualifying offer and the threat of leaving, Thompson hurt his leverage.
But he has a little leverage. He and his agent Rich Paul had one other card, and it got played Saturday.
LeBron James and Thompson share an agent in Paul. LeBron has largely remained silent through this process but if he wants something in the Cleveland organization, he usually gets it. And he wants Thompson back at practices.
LeBron’s leverage is going to be put to the test. The Cavaliers have let it leak they are not that concerned about LeBron leaving them next summer over this — and they’re right. The damage to LeBron’s brand if he broke the hearts of Cleveland fans again would be crushing, unless he leaves for a very good reason. Overpaying Thompson is not that reason.
However, LeBron’s comment could push the Cavaliers to try to find a compromise.
For the Cavaliers, a lot of how they view all this comes down to their tax bill. The Cavaliers already have $94.9 million in guaranteed salary on the books, putting them $10.2 million over the luxury tax line, at a cost of more than $16.25 million. What this means if (or when) they sign Thompson is his first $10 million in salary would cost them $28.75 million in tax and every dollar above that for the next $5 million costs them $3.75-to-$1. Look at it this way, by my count $14 million this year to Thompson would cost $43.75 million in tax — the total for Thompson at that price is $58 million. While that’s not all on Thompson it’s a lot of cash, and Thompson wants a max deal that starts at more than $16 million a year.
Owner Dan Gilbert is already going to pay the highest tax bill in the NBA this season, but if he balks at those figures it’s hard to blame him.
Mario Hezonja, the No. 5 pick in this year’s draft, has never lacked for confidence. The Croatian guard made his pro debut in the Magic’s preseason game against the Hornets on Saturday and did this:
Between Hezonja, Elfrid Payton, Victor Oladipo and Aaron Gordon, the Magic have a nucleus of young players that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Even if they’re still a few years away from contending, they’re definitely going to be a League Pass favorite this year.