What The Rajon Rondo Trade Means For The Mavericks+The Cost Of Having A Bad Owner PLUS The Broken Pistons

This column was strictly going to be about the Dallas Mavericks , but then the Kings lost their minds and Stan Van Gundy took over.

It’s pretty safe to say now that the Dallas Mavericks are going all in.

Last Thursday night, the Celtics traded Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell to Dallas for Brandan Wright, Jameer Nelson, Jae Crowder, and a 1st and 2nd round pick.

So yea, that’s a lot.  Dallas gave up a ton for Rondo.  It shows though, that they don’t care what they gave up for him.

Some people don’t like the fit, some people think it’s great.  Me?  I’m pretty balanced on it.  I hate what Dallas gave up.  It’s too much.  Brandan Wright’s had great year.  He’s a solid player.  He’s only averaging 8.8 points, but is shooting 74%.  He is a good defensive player at the 4-spot.  It’s gonna suck going to a bad team like Boston, but he’ll earn himself some money at some point.

The thing that really bugs me about what the Mavs gave up was the picks, and it’s quite clear why they got thrown in.  Boston is rebuilding.  They want draft picks to build for the future.  It may be, that this was a no deal without those picks.  Really, it probably was.  I find them necessary, unless they dropped a player from the package.

Boston needed to unload Rondo as soon as possible.  It was no surprise he got traded.  Boston couldn’t trade him last year.  No good offers were coming in.  He was coming off of an ACL tear too.  Last year, it didn’t work.  It’s a tricky spot for the Celtics.  They could have done it during the summer, but they wanted to see what they really had this year.

At first, it looked promising.  Boston started decently, but declined afterward.  That’s when Danny Ainge, GM of the Celtics, realized if he wanted to trade Rondo, the time was now.  They had already waited to long.  Rondo hasn’t had the greatest season so far.  But again, the Celtics were in a tough spot.  It was a matter of time.

It was an odd start to last week.  Rondo claimed he wanted stay in Boston.  The team had started to go downhill, but reports stated that a move in the near future was unlikely.

Then Wednesday hit, and rumors popped up that Houston and Dallas were talking to Boston about Rondo.  At first, neither team made sense to me.  I didn’t think a contender would be looking at him.  I believed a mid-level team, like Sacramento or Indiana, would look at him.

I hated the Houston idea from the beginning.  There was no way that Dwight Howard and James Harden would be able to play well enough with Rondo.  It wouldn’t work.  Houston has something going.  Let’s not screw it up.  We’ve seen this before.

Overall, the Dallas fit, I think will work.  It’s a huge move by Dallas, and easily boosts them to the top of the Western Conference.  This backcourt is dicey.  With Monta Ellis and Rondo, this offense’s pace will be picking up.  This is a stacked starting line-up.  You know everyone on this lineup.

Dallas made this move with two thoughts: 1) This makes us a contender and we have a shot at the Finals 2)  If we can get there or close to it, we can re-sign Rondo.

That’s where this gets really interesting, and really, it’s what made the trade easier.  Rondo is an expiring contract.  He’s a free agent this coming summer.  Expiring contracts are so valuable in today’s game.  If a team trades for a guy who’s cap is huge, but is an expiring, they don’t have to worry about paying him ungodly amounts over the next three years or so.

Dallas feels that they can re-sign him.  They also feel, that if they can get to where they want to go, they can re-sign not only Rondo, but Tyson Chandler.  Yup, he is a expiring too.  Oh yea, Dallas traded for Tyson Chandler!   Expirings, expirings, expirings.  Tyson Chandler wasn’t worth that contract the Knicks gave him.  He’s great, but not worth what he’s getting paid.  Dallas worries about the cap hit this year, and then figures it out next summer based on where they went and how much they feel he’s worth.

If the strategy of going all in works this year, Dallas will be able to re-sign those guys.  They will have a shot, and would probably be the front-runners.

I’m just a tad worried about Rondo this year.  Again, I like the trade, but he hasn’t had the best season.  He hasn’t been shooting well, but that’s not his speciality.  He is a passing point guard.  He doesn’t look to shoot first.

Maybe, a change of scenery will help.  I say this a lot.  Good players on bad teams may not be going 100%.  They don’t care.  Rondo is on a contender now.  He should play better.  He has better players around him now. This should work.  Giving what Dallas gave up for him, it has to.

Last week, the Sacramento Kings fired head coach Mike Malone.  In a absolutely stunning move, it shocked the NBA world.

My first reaction, as was everyone else’s, was why?  What’s the point of this?  The Kings had started 11-13, which isn’t great, but beat my expectations. Too add, DeMarcus Cousins, their best player by a mile, has only played in 16 games this year, due to infection he’s been dealing with.

Cousins has returned to the lineup and is playing.  He may be the savior of my fantasy basketball team.

So why was Malone fired?  This start was way better than anyone expected.  WITHOUT THEIR BEST PLAYER!

Then it hit me.  We know their owner, is new.  He bought the team last summer.  He’s already made a couple interesting moves.  He’s nuts.

And obviously, his expectations were absolutely ridiculous.  It had to be his call.  And that’s a really, really bad thing.

Look, owners, aren’t supposed to be the final decision makes on basketball related moves.  They have a say, since they are the owner, but he shouldn’t be making draft picks, or firing coaches.  His expectations were ridiculous.  Nobody within the Kings front office told him that.  I highly doubt there were many people that agreed with him.

For example, I could never be an owner.  One, these days, you need at least $1 billion to fetch a team, in any league it seems.  If the opportunity was ever presented, which I highly doubt it would be, I’d turn it down. I’d be too involved!

Look, there is non-invloved owners and too-involved owners.  Vivek Randive is too involved with his basketball team.  Let the people you hire make the calls, because obviously, he isn’t good at his calls.

I would be too-invloved.  I would be awful.  I would want a say in team decisions.  That’s another job.

Randive was supposed to be the savior of basketball in Sacramento, which is funny because, I lived in the Bay Area for the past four years before moving to Minnesota this summer, and I never knew one person who was a Kings fan.  Though Sacramento is a hour-and-a-half north of the Bay, I’ve been to games there.  It truly is their own community, and they can’t be to pleased with Randive right now.  I wouldn’t be either.


Well, this isn’t totally a breaking news story now, but earlier this morning, the Detroit Pistons released Josh Smith after one season with the team.  Smith signed a four year, $54 million with Detroit last summer.

The move was a shock.  Nobody saw this coming.  Even though he’s struggled to fit in with the Pistons, no one saw this coming, giving his salary.  Smith’s never fit in with Detroit during his tenure there.  He hasn’t put up good stats.  He shooting has been horrendous these past couple years.  The fit just hasn’t worked out, and with a new coach, it still hasn’t.

In my opinion, this decision came from Stan Van Gundy.  That dude has all the power within this organization.  He made this call.  He realized it just wasn’t going to happen any longer.  Gundy is building this team.  He knows what he’s doing.  If your a Pistons fan, you have to trust him.  Gundy isn’t afraid from anything either.  He couldn’t have cared less about the cap hit or whatever.  He’s a basketball guy.

As for the cap hit and such, it is a bummer.  We knew Smith wasn’t worth the deal he was given.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 3.29.06 PM  This was from December 9th.  So today, I responded on Twitter to my quoted tweet.

Screen Shot 2014-12-22 at 3.29.25 PM


Anyways, Smith had $28 million left on his deal.  Instead of absorbing that huge cap hit in one, the Pistons used the stretch provision.  Here’s how it works:

Enough about the Pistons.  Nobody wants to talk about them anymore.  It’s a bummer, that’s all.

As for Josh Smith and his future, he’s going to get signed soon.  Somebody will take him.  He’s not great, but good enough to get a contract.

It’s most likely, that he signs a one year, just above minimum contract with someone.  I highly doubt that during the season, someone would sign him to a long-term deal.

The main contenders I see for Smith are:

  • Kings
  • Kings again
  • Rockets
  • Mavericks
  • Suns

Now, the Kings have been trying since last season to trade for Smith, due to his struggles in Detroit.  That’s why they’re listed twice.  They’re clearly the favorites, and knowing them, as I said above, they are crazy.

Sacramento would be willing to offer Smith a big contract during the season.  That’s how they work.  They’re insane up there.  Nobody who’s running that franchise is smart.  It sounds mean and unsupported, but the decisions being made there aren’t being made by the people they should be.  It’s just how things work there, unfortunately.

The last three teams are interesting.  Let’s start with the next two.

The Rockets and Mavericks have been buying.  They are both going all in.  This column was based around the Mavericks, but then the Kings and Pistons had to ruin it.

Anyways, the Mavericks and Rockets would have to offer Smith a just above minimum, one year deal.  Rent him this season, then decide after what you want to do.

Houston may be the favorite here.  Smith is friends with Dwight Howard, and that would make a killer front court.  It would be impossible to defend.  Though, grabbing rebounds may become a fight.  Many think shots would be a problem, but trust me, I don’t think you want Josh Smith shooting more than 10 times a game.

I don’t like him in Dallas.  The Mavericks are kicking up the tempo with Rondo’s addition.  I don’t see this working.  It wouldn’t hurt the Mavs, but it wouldn’t make them better.

Then there is the Suns.  I’m being a homer, but they have a shot.  They could use him.  Phoenix’s struggles this year have to do with their lack of big men.  The multiple point guard line up doesn’t have any one to throw it to down low.  Adding Smith would put a bigger body and would do the dirty work.  Smith isn’t huge, and is a 3-guard, but plays big.  He would help out the Suns.

Whatever Smith decides to do, he can help somebody.  It’s a shame that Detroit didn’t work out, but hey: Play for a good team, and earn your cash from someone else.  Sounds good, right?