Dallas Mavericks well positioned to sign Chris Bosh, LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade
In Texas, they have a saying: go big or go home.
For instance, the Dallas Mavericks are hosting February's NBA All-Star game, which means a record hundred thousand hoop fans taking in the action at billion dollar Cowboy Stadium.
.In the Lone Star State, everything, from souped-up trucks to suburban homes, is overstated. And nothing is subtle or left to the imagination. Well, almost nothing.
Quietly, the Mavericks have positioned themselves to be a factor in 'The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010'. Mark Cuban - the team's high profile owner, who never met a headline, reality show, or Dairy Queen he didn't like- has flown under the radar and could sign Chris Bosh, LeBron James, or Dwyane Wade.
Of course, New York's bright lights, New Jersey's rich owner, and Miami's sunny beaches will appeal to top talent, but Dallas, for several reasons, could be the surprise winner in free agency. Here's why:
The money is there. Currently, they have $70 million in committed salary for 2010-11; however, the team holds options on Jose Barea ($2 million) and Josh Howard ($11 million). The final $13 million of Erick Dampier's contract only becomes guaranteed if he hits unrealistic targets like making the All-Star team.
So the Mavericks could shed $25 million off the books, creating room to tender a $15-17 million max' contract. This would also leave money to fill out the roster with free agents.
Bosh, Cuban, James, and Wade are about one thing: winning. All are alpha males. All want to compete year-in, year-out for an NBA Title. And the former Dancing With The Stars contestant can point to his annual multi-million dollar luxury tax payment as proof he'll spend to win.
Right now, the Mavericks hold the fourth best record in the entire NBA. There's heaps of individual talent, too: Dirk Nowitzki, a former MVP, remains a terrific first option on offense; Jason Kidd, the future Hall of Famer, still sets the table for teammates; Shawn Marion forces the tempo with his legs; and Jason Terry, a perennial Sixth Man of the Year candidate, is a superb piece off the bench.
Now add Bosh down low. Or James' all-around brilliance and athleticism. Or Wade's scoring and aerial antics. Suddenly, the Mavericks would have as much talent as any team in the league and, with Coach Rick Carlisle's get-stops system in place, could give the Los Angeles Lakers a serious run for the Western Conference crown.
The Mavericks have everything in place to 'go big' and sign Bosh, James, or Wade when the free agent bonanza begins in July. The only surprise is how they're doing it: quietly.