The Dallas Mavericks'' offseason begins at the end of this week, and right now this team is staring into a giant, vast empty space of .500 if something dramatic does not happen.
The secret 0.0002% percent prayer that Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard was going to sign as a free agent with the Mavs took a dramatic turn for the worse. When Lakers guard Kobe Bryant suffered a torn Achilles a few days ago, the Lakers officially became D12's team.
The grand plan of Howard playing Kareem to Kobe's Magic did not play out the way the Lakers envisioned, but this dramatic injury changes everything.
Potentially, the Mavericks could have told Dwight, "Here is a max deal, and we are going to build around you with Dirk in his twilight" and it could have sold.
Now Dwight can see the Lakers as eventually his. Perhaps he was going to remain with the Lakers regardless, but the chance of him just saying "Screw it" and leaving for less just to get away from Kobe took a major hit in this new world.
On the other side, there are reports that Monta Ellis is going to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. He made $11 million with the Bucks this season.
If this happens, and the Mavs are serious about this, then potential free agent O.J. Mayo is gone.
Ellis is only 27, and averaged 19.5 points and 6.1 assists this season. Offensively, he is a major GO. He is one of the better scorers in the league. Defesnively? Not so much. That may be a rub with defensive-oriented head coach Rick Carlisle.
The Mavs are going to have money this summer to spend, and many holes to fill.
Ellis is the more realistic option than D12.
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