All you Mavericks fans who spent the past week cursing Devean George should be doing something else now: Thanking him.
Whether his motives were selfish or not, George singlehandedly saved the Mavs’ season by blocking the trade that would have sent him – along with Jerry Stackhouse, Devin Harris and DeSagana Diop to the Nets for Jason Kidd.
The feeling around the league today is that Dallas may have put the final piece in their championship puzzle.
I still don’t believe that, but had the original trade gone through, the Mavericks wouldn’t have seen the second round of the playoffs… again.
Can you believe that Mark Cuban offered up so much to begin with?
The four Mavericks that would have been traded without George’s heroic / self-serving invoking of his no-trade clause accounted for over 88 minutes a game.
As great as Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry are, one of Dallas’ strengths over the past few years has been its depth.
Giving away three bench players – two of whom were solid contibuters – and a starter for a 35-year-old point guard would have lost Cuban some big-time brownie points with the folks in Dallas.
Alas, that point is moot, because all the Nets really wanted in the first place was Devin Harris. So much so, that they were willing to accept a retired player and pay him a couple million, just to get the deal done.
Talk about the right place at the right time. While Mavericks fans should be thanking Devean George, Keith Van Horn ought to send a diamond-studded Rolex his way.
Next year, when we’re arguing over which team got the better deal in the Jason Kidd trade, just remember Keith Van Horn got the best deal.
So, the Mavs were able to hold onto George and Stackhouse. One still has to wonder: Was this a smart move for Dallas?
First the obvious: the Mavs’ were two minutes from a 3-0 NBA Finals lead with Devin Harris leading the charge two seasons ago. Do they even need Jason Kidd?
Look, Kidd is obviously a top-five – possibly top-three – NBA point guard, but with all those other weapons, Dallas doesn’t need a top-five point guard.
It seems to me that the team that opted not to re-sign Steve Nash four years ago, wouldn’t need to give up two of its next three first-round picks and a 24-year-old stud for what is nothing more than a slight upgrade at point guard.
But wait, there’s more!
Diop’s departure leaves Dallas with just one true center in Erick Dampier.
With Nowitzki in the front-court, center is not a pivotal position on that team. Dampier’s five points and seven rebounds a game are fine.
What isn’t fine however, is Dampier’s 22 minutes a game. Without Diop, those remaining 26 become a liability.
What is Avery Johnson planning to do in the playoffs, when Dampier needs a rest, or gets in foul trouble?
It looks to me as if Cuban was so enamored with Jason Kidd that he would have given up anyone aside from Novitzki to get him.
Take it from a Redskins fan, it’s always a very dangerous thing when an owner’s sights are firmly set on acquiring one player.
Of course, just like every trade, only time will tell, and it might work out for both teams in the end.
But, it most certainly wasn’t broke in Dallas, so why try to fix it?