Donnie Junior has relinquished his role as GM for the Mavs! This is the best summer ever for Mavs fans. After the the dissolution of their 2-year post-championship rebuild/demolition, 1st round embarrassment in the 2012 playoffs followed by missing them altogether in 2013, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We will have to weather his parting salvo of questionable contracts/players, and the pain of underselling Dirk during 2 of his few remaining prime years, but at least the team now has assets to deal - RIP plan powder!
After foreswearing the Mavs around 2008 due to Junior's questionable moves/talent evaluation/vision, I hereby lift my blogging ban on my beloved Mavs.
The only issue is that Cuban says that Junior is still in charge of talent evaluation!...wait what?!
Some strangely worded press releases coming out from the MBT including all of those breathless items in Junior's press release touting a new (high tech, new fangly, never seen before) Mavs future and some such. Sounds like a lot of rebranding going on, rebranding failure as boundless opportunity for a moribund franchise. Yeah, alright, just give me better amateur/pro talent evaluation and acquisition and keep all of the shiny new things wherever they were hidden from view in their previous occultation. This is really Cubes admitting things went off the rails without saying as much as, well, this is rebranding qua apology as only Cubes can do it: "Things will be betta... you see, bigger, bolder, shinier...did i say bolder...and...Newer, did i say newer...yeah, ya see...YOU'LL see." We'll see.
To wit, Cuban fired the strength coach, and issued a similarly zany PR talking about all of the PTS (performance technology sciences) that had been lacking all up in here. OK.
Also, as Junior's last hurrah, they traded Nick Calathes, who, many think, is a better player than Gal Mekel, but who apparently did not meet Carlisle's muster (or something). A Calathes breakout, coupled with repeated vines of Mekel's 3-point shot will be Junior's last hoorah (or how about a Larkin vs Schroeder highlight reel where Schroeder looks really really good, and Junior, once the king of international b-ball FA, shows just how out of step he's become, muttering something to himself about P&R efficiencies, when Rondo redux materializes).
That brings up another issue with the Mavs talent evaluation team since Carlisle came on board. It seems that Carlisle might have a bit too much influence in the Mavs draft room these days as the org settles on systems guys and niche pieces that please him (and likely the MBT overall) over highest ceiling. BIG MISTAKE and one that seems to have been overlooked as it does stem in part from Junior's draft philosophy: he only cared about guys who could hit the corner three, eschewing raw players or big but short rebounders who couldn't shoot; he was looking for fitment over talent. Shame. I think this philosophy lives in in Carlisle, and who's effect might still be seen from Junior's higher perch. so we'll have to see just how much the new GM and his scouting staff can countermand the impetus of this internal club culture (system vs talent; pieces vs players; roles vs upside) that they will likely encounter when laying the groundwork to stop the forward motion of the Junior/Cube rebuild, what with all of the new (and questionable) signings that the aborted non-rebuild generated, and push it back on track towards...well...towards something else.
Per Zach Lowe, Roland Beech has returned to the FO from the bench:
Intent is for Beech, who founded http://t.co/RLYSHiQD99 among other things, will have input on both transactions and Mavs' coaching strategyUPDATE:
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) July 23, 2013
Maybe Keith Grant has been here too long too...he's a talent evaluator, draft-nik too right? and he's been here since the 1980s!
More Cubes rebranding: It isn't us, it's YOU!