A few days ago, we received news regarding Carmelo Anthony, who intends to opt out later this month with reports indicating the Bulls and Rockets are his preferred destinations. With his upcoming free agency basically a foregone conclusion, other suitors are lining up and expressing their interest publicly.
Via Mike Fisher of CBS Dallas/Fort Worth, Dirk Nowitzki appeared on a local sports radio show over the weekend and made clear his desire to see ‘Melo in Dallas:
“If Carmelo would really love to come here,” Dirk says, “we’d love to have him.”
“Listen, I think I’ve showed over my 16 years that I can play with anybody,” the Ubermensch says. “The only tough season I think we’ve had is when we had Antawn Jamison and Antoine Walker and myself who are all three kind of the same 4-men, but other than that I think I’ve shown over my career that I can play with anybody. I’ll adjust, whether I have to get out of the way or go to the corner more, post up, pass — I’ll do whatever, really, that needs to be done out there to win or for this franchise to be a winner.”
Dirk is a free agent this summer as well. But there’s no indication he plans on even testing the open market, as he has a very strong relationship with Mark Cuban and the organization as a whole.
The pairing of Dirk and ‘Melo is intriguing, and also a realistic possibility since the Mavs are in a position to offer ‘Melo a max contract, whereas the Bulls and Rockets would need to make personnel moves in order to open up additional cap space.
After the Mavericks won the title during the 2010-11 season, Mark Cuban decided to change his approach coming out of the lockout that summer. Instead of re-signing everyone, he chose to preserve cap space under the new collective bargaining agreement. The championship core did not get a chance at another run, as key free agents Tyson Chandler and Jose Barea were allowed to leave via free agency.
The Mavs spent the next few summers striking out in an attempt to lure marquee free agents such as Deron Williams and Dwight Howard to join Dirk in an effort to get back to contention quickly. The team has yet to win another playoff series since their title run, and Dirk turns 36 this week.
However, the additions of Jose Calderon and Monta Ellis last summer worked out very well for the team. With Ellis, the Mavs were much more dynamic on the offensive end this season, alleviating the pressure on Dirk, who is still magnificent but getting up there in basketball years. The team won 49 games, and took the eventual champions Spurs to seven games in the first round. Even though the Western Conference is hyper competitive, adding ‘Melo to the Mavs would likely move them into the upper echelon in the West.
For ‘Melo, the idea of going to Chicago and especially Houston holds more appeal because the core of those teams are younger, and there’s comfort in knowing he will have a chance to contend for the long term. Dallas offers an interesting option in the present, but by the end of his deal, ‘Melo could be without Dirk, and having to fend for himself in the West, a situation that would be even worst than his current predicament in New York.
What do you think?
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