Jermaine O’Neal Would Be Final Piece to Dallas Mavericks’ Puzzle

Adding four-time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo to a starting lineup that had already acquired impact players Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler over the summer signified another bold move by an ambitious Dallas Mavericks front office.  

But the team still has some details to hash out between now and the postseason.

The Rondo deal required team president and general manager Donnie Nelson to part ways with Jameer Nelson, Brandan Wright and Jae Crowder (along with two draft picks and a trade exception)—an acceptable cost that nevertheless creates holes in the rotation. Particularly, there’s a void left by Wright, who was averaging 18.7 minutes per contest as a reserve big man.

A highly qualified solution may be well within reach.

According to Marc Stein:

Sources told ESPN.com that O’Neal, who opted to spend the start of this season with family and focusing on business interests while deciding whether to come back for what would be his 19th season, is ‘highly intrigued’ by the idea of joining the Mavericks as a free agent in the wake of the Rondo deal.

In what would be his 19th season, there’s little doubt the 36-year-old can still play—at least once he shakes the rust off. A six-time All-Star in his prime, O’Neal averaged 7.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in just 20.1 minutes per contest last season with the Golden State Warriors.

His size and mobility certainly wouldn’t hurt a defense that currently ranks 20th in efficiency (allowing 105.1 points per 100 possessions according to Hollinger Team Stats.) 

“He’s had a terrific career,” Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle told local reporters on Friday.

He had a real solid year last year for Golden State despite having some injury issues. I have not talked to him yet myself. It’s a possibility, but I don’t want to jump the gun out of respect to him and his family. So we’ll see. It’s certainly one option.

And while we now have reason to believe O’Neal is entertaining the scenario, it’s possible alternative suitors could change his mind.

Per Stein, “NBA front-office sources say that the Cleveland CavaliersLos Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors are also among the teams with a strong interest in O’Neal, should he decide to play on.”

Golden State would seem an especially logical arrangement, both because of previous ties and center Andrew Bogut‘s seemingly perpetual bouts with injury. The club’s top perch in the standings and 22-3 start under new head coach Steve Kerr make for a compelling pitch.

But don’t underestimate O’Neal‘s interest in playing near his Dallas-area home.

Though he acknowledged an interest in remaining in touch with the veteran big man, Warriors general manager Bob Myers said in July that it ”was difficult” for O’Neal “to leave Dallas and his family” last season, per Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group. 

Whether the new-look Mavericks are now better than Golden State remains to be seen, but they certainly may be the better fit off the court and on the court.

Golden State may have a need for some Bogut insurance, but Dallas would be wise to have something similar for Chandler. Chandler has started all 27 games for this team so far this season, but he only played in 55 contests for the New York Knicks a season ago. A fractured fibula he suffered in November was responsible for most of those absences.

Chandler could be in store for better luck. But the fact remains he’s a 32-year-old big man who plays a physical brand of interior basketball. In the event of catastrophe, the Mavericks won’t go far using Greg Smith on an everyday basis.

So there’s some urgency to land O’Neal, especially after losing trade assets in the package for Rondo. Prying a similarly qualified interior defender from another team could prove costly. 

The Mavericks are allowing 39 points in the paint per contest (the league’s fourth-best mark according to TeamRankings.com), but you won’t find many front offices worried about having too much rim protection. And this club is especially dependent on defensively minded centers given the need to spare Dirk Nowitzki too much banging in the paint.

There’s a reason reacquiring Chandler was such a high priority during the offseason.

O’Neal‘s defensive resumé may not be quite as impressive, but he’s averaged 1.8 blocks per game for his career. For 15- or 20-minute doses, he’ll still get the job done.

This would also be a savvy locker-room move for the franchise. Though the roster isn’t short on experienced leadership, O’Neal is a professional, and that’s important for a club with championship ambitions—even if not especially for guys in the supporting cast.

O’Neal made appearances in the conference finals and semifinals with the Indiana Pacers, and he’s qualified for the postseason 14 times with five different teams.

He would almost certainly continue his postseason legacy with the Mavericks.

It will take the new rotation some time to fully gel, but Dallas already leads the league in offensive efficiency with 113.6 points per 100 possessions according to Hollinger Team Stats. There’s plenty to like about the endless possibilities with Rondo now aboard.

And even more to like with O’Neal in the picture.

Earlier this month, he told Stein that he was “going to make a clear-cut decision after the holidays.”

If there’s a return to be made, that decision could very well favor the Mavericks—and somehow make the Western Conference even more brutally competitive in the process.

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks 12/20/14: Video Highlights and Recap

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 99-93, on Saturday night. Monta Ellis led Dallas with 38 points on 15-of-23 shooting.

Rajon Rondo had six points, nine assists and seven rebounds in his first game with the Mavericks.

Watch the video for full highlights.

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

The San Antonio Spurs are on the road to take on Rajon Rondo in his debut for the Dallas Mavericks, Saturday at the American Airlines Center.

The Spurs won the first matchup of the season series on opening night, 101-100.

 

Tipoff: 8:30 p.m. ET

Coverage: UPN2/FSSW

Injuries (via CBS Sports): Kawhi Leonard, SAS (out, hand); Tony Parker, SAS (out, hamstring); Patty Mills, SAS (out, shoulder); Raymond Felton, DAL (questionable, ankle)

 

Keys to the Game

San Antonio’s defense will really be tested, as the Mavericks lead the league in both points per game and points per 100 possessions. Defending the pick-and-roll is particularly important. If Dallas’ guards get into the lane, it creates space for the shooters on the outside.

For the Mavericks, this first game with Rondo will be about seeing how he fits in the already-prolific offense. Obviously, he’ll assimilate over time, but the first impression can still tell you a lot.

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

NBA games of the weekend: Rondo’s Dallas debut, Bulls-Grizz

Friday: Chicago Bulls @ Memphis Grizzlies, 8:00 PM ETTwo of the league’s toughest, biggest teams meet at the FedEx Forum for a slugfest…

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

Dallas Mavericks Follow Rajon Rondo On Twitter As Trade Plot Thickens

It’s pretty much official now. Rajon Rondo is going to the Dallas Mavericks. We know because Twitter said so.
The Mavericks either jumped the gun on a potential trade with the Boston Celtics or pulled off an epic subtle troll job on the basketball-watching universe Thursday when they followed Rondo on Twitter. Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy had the keen eye.

The Mavs followed Rondo on Twitter. youtu.be/5JSCbEKsguQ http://t.co/uqaEMB8NpO— Ben Watanabe (@BenjeeBallgame) December 18, 2014
The plot thickens.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports ImagesFiled under: Boston Celtics, NBA, Top Stories, Twitter

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

Trade Rumor: Rajon Rondo To The Dallas Mavericks

CBS Sports reports that Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks is a very realistic possibility as Dallas and the Boston Celtics have entered “substantive” trade talks.
Rumors say the deal would involve all star point guard Rajon Rondo going to the Mavericks while Dallas would send a package centered around Brandan Wright and draft picks back to the Celtics.
Boston continues to talk to other teams about moving Rajon but it appears Dallas are the favorites to land him at this point. Rondo has averaged 8.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 10.6 assists per game this season.
The post Trade Rumor: Rajon Rondo To The Dallas Mavericks appeared first on Basketball Bicker by Joey.

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

Dallas Mavericks vs. New York Knicks: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

The Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks are preparing for a Tuesday night clash at Madison Square Garden.

Monta Ellis and Dirk Nowitzki lead the NBA‘s highest-scoring offense (110.0 points per game) while Chandler Parsons and Tyson Chandler complete the explosive Dallas (17-8) attack.

Carmelo Anthony is attempting to keep lackluster New York (5-21) out of the cellar though the volume shooter continues to battle through a knee injury.

This will be the year’s second meeting between the franchises that completed a six-player trade during the offseason, where Dallas acquired Chandler and Raymond Felton in exchange for Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Wayne Ellington and Samuel Dalembert.

Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest and MSG. Bleacher Report will provide scoring updates and analysis. Please add your thoughts in the comments section.

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Dallas Mavericks weekly: Chandler Parsons living up to the hype

SF Chandler Parsons
After a tough start to the season, Chandler Parsons seems to have finally “clicked” in Rick Carlisle’s system. In the past 10 games for the Dallas Mavericks, Parsons has achieved to score in double digits in all of them, helping the Mavs to a 7-3 record over that time period. If we take a close look at his stats per month, we can depict how Parsons has increased exponentially his ppg, fg%, and 3pt%, throughout the course of the season.
Month             PPG         FG%      3pt%
October             13            .385       .286
November        14.6         .415       .327
December       21.8         .522       .462
This increase in ppg, fg%, and 3pt% might be due to two factors: (1) Parsons being more comfortable in the Mavs system, or (2) Parsons regaining some lost confidence.
Whenever a new player joins a new squad, it is expected for him to decrease his immediate output as he is making himself comfortable in a new system, as well

View full post on Yardbarker: NBA

Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks: Live Score, Highlights and Reaction

Currently on a 14-game win streak, the Golden State Warriors have established themselves as the NBA‘s best team early in the 2014-15 NBA season. Behind MVP-caliber play from Stephen Curry, the team is surging on both ends, having emerged as one of the league’s best defensive squads after proving itself on offense last year.

Saturday afternoon, they’ll look to continue that streak against the Dallas Mavericks, another team that has defied expectations thus far. As the league’s hottest offensive squad, the Mavericks have the scoring weapons necessary to run with anyone. They’ll also have the crowd behind them as they look to beat a seemingly unbeatable opponent.

Golden State will have to overcome the loss of Andrew Bogut, who’s out with right knee tendinitis, according Diamond Leung of the San Jose Mercury News. There’s no doubt that defensive centerpiece’s prowess would have come in handy against the Mavericks’ high-scoring offensive attack. David Lee will remain out (hamstring) for the Warriors, further weakening the team’s frontcourt depth.

Whether Dallas can take advantage of those absences remains to be seen.

Check back before tipoff for commentary and coverage throughout the Western Conference showdown.

 

Tipoff: 2 p.m. ET

TV: FSSW, CSBy

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Dallas Mavericks vs. Memphis Grizzlies 12/9/14: Video Highlights and Recap

Two of the NBA‘s top teams squared off on Tuesday night when the Memphis Grizzlies faced the Dallas Mavericks. The Grizzlies looked to build some momentum after snapping a two-game skid their last time out, but they faced a tough test from the efficient Mavs, who had won six of their last seven.

Read more NBA news on BleacherReport.com

View full post on Bleacher Report – NBA

Next Page »