Parsons, whose contract features a no-movement clause, would have to agree to a trade to Boston.
After yesterday's DeAndre Jordan fiasco, the Mavericks are left with a pretty underwhelming roster. Jordan's decision to return to the Clippers came so late that the pool of available free agents has dwindled greatly. Remaining names include Enes Kanter, J.R. Smith, Josh Smith, Kevin Seraphin, and Cole Aldrich among others--not exactly impactful enough guys to carry Dirk Nowitzki through his final years.

After striking out on Jordan, it seems clear that the Mavericks are going to be a lottery basketball team with their current make-up. I mean the Mavs roster is bad. Does Raymond Felton, Devin Harris, Dirk Nowitzki, Chandler Parsons, Dwight Powell, Justin Anderson, Satnam Singh, J.J. Barea, Charlie Villanueva, Richard Jefferson and post-achilles tear West Matthews excite you? Didn't think so. Complicating things even more for the Mavericks, the Celtics own their 2016 first-found pick via the Rondo trade.

Mark Cuban and the Mavericks are left with a big decision to make after missing out on Jordan.

Option 1: Reload right away
Enes Kanter is an atrocious defender, but can bring a double-double to a Mavs team that could use an inside threat. Hope that Carlisle can prevent Josh Smith from poor shot selection. Bring in J.R. Smith and hope that . . . oh dear. This can't be a good option.

Option 2: Prepare for an FA splash in 2016
With little on the books long-term, the Mavericks can try their hand at luring guys like Al Horford, Joe Johnson, Al Jefferson, Luol Deng, and of course Kevin Durant. At this point, they'd be moving all-in for a chance to get 38-year-old Dirk a ring.

Option 3: Tank
Thinking he had DeAndre Jordan, Mark Cuban already admitted that the back-up plan was to tank. Via Mavs Moneyball:

I'll be brutally honest. Literally, we wanted to get Wes, he was a target for us all summer and we wanted to get DeAndre as well, but if we got shut out, we weren't going to try and fill the roster. We literally had the discussion that if we couldn't get a serious free agent, whether it was DeAndre or one of the others guys that are still out there or any of the earlier ones that went, that it was time to take a step back . . .

We felt like this year there aren't going to be six teams in the race together, especially in the Western Conference. Utah's significantly better, Sacramento is significantly better, Denver is even going to be significantly better with Gallinari being healthy and etc. . . . who was going to be that team that was going to be really, really, really bad no matter what? Because I think there's only going to be two, maybe three teams in that race to the bottom, we said, "OK, this could be our David Robinson year" and we go out and get someone who we think we can develop and who is supposed to be an impact player and we take our lumps, we have lots of cap room and we do lots of trades to add lots of draft picks. Because draft picks, the way the cap is going, is only going to increase in value significantly. Fortunately that didn't happen!

But, how do you tank with a 37 year-old Dirk? Sure, you could sit him a lot of the year with phantom injuries--but would he comply for all that sitting in the twilight of his career? Moreover, you don't pair a 19-year-old kid with an old star approaching 40, which leaves you with the final ultimatum of truly blowing it up. A 37 year-old Dirk is pointless on a tanking team. His very team-friendly contract clocks in at about 8 mil per, making Nowitzki a very attractive addition elsewhere, but has a no-trade clause. Is Dallas really going to move their hometown legend who took less money after bringing the Larry O'Brien trophy home against LeBron?

This seems unlikely, but the Mavericks still have two valuable pieces that could be shopped--newly added Wes Matthews and Chandler Parsons. While Matthews is coming off an achilles injury and still has a lot to prove, Parsons is a 26-year-old 6'9 SF that fills a glaring need for the Celtics (among many other teams)--and guess what the Celtics have that the Mavericks might now want back? That first-round pick.

The Mavs' misfortune with Jordan should have many Celtics fans excited but there is a notable caveat--the pick is top-7 protected. Will there be 7 teams that finish with worse records than Dallas? It's difficult to be sure. The Sixers, Knicks, Timberwolves, Nuggets, and Lakers seem bound for the lottery, with the Magic, Pistons and Jazz likely candidates as well.

By trading Parsons, the Mavericks would not have to worry about falling in the 8-14 range. Something like Jared Sullinger and Amir Johnson to accompany the 1st round pick gets the money to work in exchange for Parsons. If a deal even got this far however, Chandler Parsons would have to waive his no-movement clause and agree to move to Boston. Parsons' contract also features a player-option in 2016.

Ultimately, a deal for Parsons seems unlikely at least for the Celtics. Only those eight aforementioned teams really stick out to me as even possible candidates for finishing worse than Dallas. I would project Cuban and the Mavs to bottom-out and make one hell of an attempt to use that top-7 protection, making a deal for the protected pick back less than enticing. Unless Ainge can really wow Cuban (which may take more than Sully and Johnson), Parsons may remain a pipe-dream.

Put Parsons on the back-burner for a moment and consider the talent on this Mavericks team. If it is indeed a bottom 7 team, the Celtics are out a first-round pick.

Do you think the Mavs will be a bottom 7 team? If so, shouldn't the Celtics look to trade the DAL pick to another team? Or do you prefer they stand pat? Sound off in the comment section below.

Austin Gill 7/09/2015 01:31:00 PM Edit
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