Thanks to the shortened free agency period inflicted by the lockout we are being overwhelmed by NBA news. Many franchises are in a mad dash to make their teams worse (we’ll post on that, don’t worry!) but a surprise story is that the defending champions may have in fact secretly improved themselves in several ways.
Here’s a brief rundown of the Mavericks offseason thus far (2011 Numbers can be found here):
- The Mavericks lost Tyson Chandler the 14th best player in the league from 2011. Lost production of 0.268 WP48 and 11.5 Wins
- The Mavericks lost Caron Butler the 299th best player in the league from 2011. Lost production of 0.019 WP48 and 0.3 Wins
- The Mavericks trade their Tyson Chandler trade exception and a future 1st round pick for Lamar Odom the 13th best player in the league from 2011. Gained production of 0.212 WP48 and 11.6 Wins
Last season Tyson Chandler was very good. The New York Knicks clearly noticed and offered him a contract worth roughly $15 million a year. The Los Angeles Clippers did not get the memo that Caron Butler has been steadily declining and offered him a contract worth roughly $8 million a year. The Los Angeles Lakers managed to fleece Lamar Odom into a terrible contract. He will make roughly $8.5 million over his next two seasons. Additionally only this season is guaranteed.
Losing Chandler definitely hurts. Losing Butler is not a problem at all, especially with Shawn Marion to pick up the minutes. However these two players had an open market value of over $20 million a season. The Mavericks have managed to replace their lost production for 1/3 the cost. What’s more, losing Lamar will definitely hurt the Lakers, who are a competitor with the Mavericks. There are definite concerns the Mavericks will have to address. They still need a center. Additionally their core of great players (Jason Kidd, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki and Lamar Odom) are all over 32 this season. It’s doubtful such a team can continue to play top basketball for many years. That said, this off-season the Mavericks are doing well. One or two other good moves and the Mavericks may very well see the Heat in the finals again.