The best center to ever wear a Mavericks uniform is returning to Dallas. Tyson Chandler, who won a NBA title with the Mavs back in 2011, was traded back to his former team from the New York Knicks on Wednesday, alongside point guard Raymond Felton, in return for guards Jose Calderon, Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington and center Samuel Dalembert.
In Calderon, all the Mavs really lose is a three point weapon. He provided very little defensive support for a 2013-14 Dallas squad that could have really used it. Ellington provided some bench help and Dalembert was not a defensive standout either. Any Mavs fan knows how good Tyson Chandler is; I don’t really need to explain it. He’s all-around one of the better centers in the league; he can score, he’s emotional, he is physical, and he can play great defense. The Mavs now have an extra scoring option in Chandler, which is huge because other than Monta Ellis and Dirk last season, the Mavs didn’t really have a big man to rely on. Neither Dalembert nor DeJuan Blair were prolific scorers, nor were they intense defenders. This is a huge acquisition for the Dallas Mavericks.
Felton will compete with Devin Harris for the starting point guard spot. No, Felt0n is not a superstar, but combined with Devin Harris, that makes for a strong PG combo. With Ellis at shooting guard and a potential signing of Carmelo Anthony, the Mavericks will absolutely run one of the best offenses in the NBA.
So, there lies the question: can the Mavericks attract Carmelo Anthony to Dallas? If so, will they? Nowitzki, Marion, and Carter are all free agents, and although it won’t take much to get Dirk to stay here, that SF slot needs to be addressed. If Carmelo can improve on defense, I think he’s one of the NBA’s top 10 players. He is a huge offensive threat, he’s relatively young, and would fit in perfectly in Dallas. According to Mavericks sources, ESPN Dallas reports the Mavs are “real players” for not only Carmelo Anthony, but also LeBron James now that Chandler is a Maverick. The likelihood that King James is wearing a Mavs uniform in 2014 is slim to none, but don’t throw that idea entirely out the window. However, it is far more likely that Melo is a Mav next season.
Expect the Dallas Mavericks to be perennial competitors this season. This Chandler acquisition changes everything, and the Mavs may surprise next season.