Mavericks make the big score in the trade market again

The Dallas Mavericks did not have a single pick in last night’s NBA Draft. They didn’t need one.

Two days before the draft, the Mavericks made the headlines more than any team would on Draft Night, orchestrating one of their biggest trades in recent years and perhaps establishing themselves as a contender in the West again before the free agent doors even open.

Tyson Chandler is back in Dallas, coming with Raymond Felton in exchange for the Knicks getting Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin, Samuel Dalembert and Wayne Ellington, along with the two second-round picks the Mavs had for last night.

How did they get away with such highway robbery?

So in one move the Mavs brought back the center that was pretty much the final cog needed to make them a playoff force able to win it all. And while I was OK with Calderon at point guard, this does now leave them with the chance of getting better defensively in the backcourt, as Rick Carlisle couldn’t have been too happy with their performance there last season.

So the Mavs improved in the one area they needed the most and left themselves open to improve in the other. Check and mate.

Oh, and they also cleared enough cap space so they the team is about 26 million under. Mind you that is with Dirk and Devin Harris still unsigned, both of which have to happen now more than ever.

That’s the flip side of this trade, though it might not be serious. With Calderon and Larkin gone, the Mavs need Harris back exponentially along with hoping Felton will be a decent replacement. ALso, with Shawn Marion also a free agent and no indication that the Mavs will bring him back, this measn a hole still at small forward.

And of course, this has led to people speculating that this is going to lead to Carmelo Anthony coming to Dallas.

Let’s not get over our heads, people.

While it’s getting to the point that I usually frown on Jerry Jones and even Jon Daniels always making the big offseason trade, I can live with Donnie Nelson making moves like this.

Why? Because like I’ve said before, building through the draft in this age isn”t as reliable as it is in MLB or the NFL.

I wish that wasn’t the case. I wish I knew what magic the Spurs had that they always pluck the one guy each year capable of playing in their system and chugging right along. But with the Mavs’ history of draft picks and the absolute roulette wheel that the draft is itself, I can’t blame Donnie for not wanting to be a part of it.

The Mavericks continue to keep their championship dreams alive by restocking through shrewd trades. And for the most part, that seems to work for them.

Welcome back, Tyson. And good job, Mavs.

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