As followers of the Dallas Mavericks process what today’s trade for center Tyson Chandler means for the franchise, here’s something to chew on: What kind of relationship does Chandler have with Carmelo Anthony?
The Mavericks have reportedly made the list of three teams Anthony will grant the opportunity to meet with him when free agency officially begins Jul. 1, along with the Houston Rockets and Chicago Bulls. Only someone close to the situation can confirm whether or not Chandler and Anthony have a good relationship, but in a world where the conversation regarding the availability of LeBron James has overtaken talks about Anthony, it appears the Mavericks are positioning themselves to be the most attractive destination for Anthony. Displaying to Anthony that he has not taken a backseat to James in Dallas’ free agent aspirations could go a long way in communicating the high value the Mavericks see in Anthony.
If Chandler and Anthony do have a good relationship, then the Mavericks have pulled off a miraculous move. The move would satisfy several of their needs as a team, including improvement on the defensive end and an upgrade at the starting center position, while also creating a more comfortable situation for Anthony, a superstar small forward, both on the court and away from it.
It may still be a long shot, and everyone can rest assured that the Mavericks have learned from their own recent history and will have a number of contingency plans lined up if Anthony ends up elsewhere, but the intelligence and tact of the move to re-acquire Chandler cannot be denied. And that doesn’t even account for the cathartic feeling of nostalgia that will come with seeing Chandler back in his Mavericks uniform when he steps to half court for the opening tip of the 2014-15 season.
This move could be the start of something big in Dallas.
Brian Ogle is a Dallas Mavericks columnist for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @TheOgle.