It’s a terribly kept secret that the Dallas Mavericks are looking to add serious talent to their roster, even after pushing the San Antonio Spurs to the brink of elimination in their first round series.
ESPN.com reports that Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler, and Larry Sanders are all on the Mavs list of offseason targets. In the same article, Marc Stein reports that Dallas also is looking for continuity on their roster in addition to adding some top-tier talent.
Obviously Carmelo Anthony is going to be on everyone’s free agent check-in list, as he’s one of the few guys in the league that can drop fifty points any night, and give you a great chance to win a game in the process. Chandler and Sanders are a bit more interesting though.
With both of the centers being on the Mavericks wish-list, and ESPNDallas.com adding in that Chris Bosh likely will not be heavily pursued by Mark Cuban’s team due to not being a ‘traditional rebounding big man’, it is clear that they would like to pair a gritty, hard-nosed player with Dirk Nowitzki as they attempt to contend for a championship with the German’s career winding down.
Enter Zach Randolph.
The Dallas Morning News, and FanSided.com’s Sir Charles in Charge, speculate that Randolph would be a good fit on the Dallas roster next to their seven foot, perennial all-star. Randolph, who is the biggest domino waiting to fall in Memphis’ offseason, has a player option in his contract that will determine his status with his current team at some point this summer.
But is Zach Randolph really a good enough fit for him to jump to a division rival? He definitely would add rebounding to a porous defensive roster, and the team would contend in the Western Conference playoffs (which is no small feat). However, the Mavericks play a pace that is not exactly Randolph’s style, and the prospective addition of the Grizzlies big man to the Dallas roster would make him the third option at best, offensively speaking.
Defensively, Randolph is undersized for the five spot so it’s not clear what type of scheme would work if he and Dirk were paired together. The rebounding would be there, yes, but in terms of trying to defend the big men within the division (Duncan, Gasol, Howard, Davis) things could get messy quickly. Z-Bo is no slouch on that end, but the strategy is not exactly a hand-in-glove fit.
On top of basketball reasons, it would be interesting to see what the Mavericks could put together financially to lure Z-Bo to Texas. With the big man set to make a little less than $17 million if he opts-in to his Grizzlies deal, he would need financial security for the long-haul in order for the move to make sense. It’s not clear how the Mavericks would structure the contract, as it is clear they are trying to contend while securing a superstar to build around for the future; see pursuit of LeBron James, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, and now reportedly Carmelo Anthony.
So, while Randolph will likely garner consideration from the rival Mavericks, it is best to take a wait-and-see approach with this one. Randolph is not the Mavericks top priority in the slightest, and looks more like a plan C, D, or E for Dallas than a serious threat to poach the Grizzlies leading scorer.