Should New York Knicks star player Carmelo Anthony opt out of his contract as expected, he’s obviously going to demand a max contract. While the Dallas Mavericks would be willing to throw Anthony all that money, he has yet to give any indication that he likes Dallas like that.
So what about the other free agent forwards? Should the Mavericks go after Luol Deng, who struggled for the Cleveland Cavaliers last year? Should the Mavericks simply re-sign veteran Shawn Marion or bring in the San Antonio Spurs‘ very similar Boris Diaw? Diaw, like Marion, is a versatile player. Though listed as a power forward, Diaw can slide back and forth between small and power forward and, if you bothered to watch the NBA Finals, you would know he passes like a point guard.
When you look at the financial aspect of it all, the Mavericks could turn losing out on Anthony into a real positive by signing both Marion and Diaw. Marion, for instance, won’t get the $9 million he made last year from any NBA team, but he also doesn’t figure to take a huge pay cut. Diaw, on the other hand, is only 32 and should be looking for a multi-year contract.
Would — or could — the Spurs give him the money he wants? Probably not. So when you really think about it, the Mavericks could spend less on both Marion and Diaw combined than Anthony alone. Both could split minutes at small forward and, when superstar Dirk Nowitzki is sitting down, Diaw could get minutes at power forward. And maybe Diaw can play some point guard, too.
Though it was a long time ago, Marion and Diaw did play swell together on the Phoenix Suns. Diaw, like Marion, has championship experience and can stick anybody on the court. So to have them both on the Mavericks would be too unique a situation and a pretty neat consolation prize for not reeling in Anthony.