Smack / Dec 8, 2011 / 1:31 am

Dallas Is Breaking Up The Champs; Dwight Howard Names His Price

J.J. Barea

J.J. Barea (photo. Javier Pesquera)

Even so little as 12 months ago, who would’ve thought we’d be starting an edition of Smack talking about J.J. Barea? He’s a big part of the story, but so is Tyson Chandler and Caron Butler. The plot of it all: the Dallas Mavericks are breaking up the defending NBA champions. They haven’t had a shot yet to defend what they won so amazingly last summer, and here we are, with the once-reckless Mark Cuban now a part of this new age NBA where superstars team up together, and Cubes doesn’t overpay for big centers coming off career years. It’s too bad for Mavs fans that it’s looking like the one time he wants to be careful is the one time they really need his wallet. Chandler is getting love from virtually everyone, and will be overpaid at some point in the next few weeks. Take that to the bank. Butler is in a similar position, and while his dollar cost won’t be too high, Dallas figures to let him walk as well. Barea says he isn’t optimistic about coming back either, not with the Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings all looking to sign him. They’re probably going to even lose DeShawn Stevenson, although that one might not be such a bad thing. Cuban’s whole goal behind this, insiders say, is to get below the cap for next summer with an aim to grab one of 2012’s three major free agents. With Deron Williams being a Dallas native, the roots are there for a nice partnership. In a few years, this might look like the stroke of a genius. But for now, Barea just doesn’t get it … So pretty much everyone is untouchable at this point huh? Marc Stein tweeted Stephen Curry is being told by everyone in the Warrior organization that he can get comfortable. He’s not going anywhere. Ditto for Eric Gordon, who was told he definitely won’t be involved in any trades in the next week or so, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. That’s crazy because we keep hearing from multiple people that GM Dell Demps and the rest of the New Orleans’ front office want to get this media saga over with as soon as possible. Dragging it on like Denver did last season is not an option for them. Reports earlier this week said to expect a decision on Chris Paul to happen by Friday. We’re having a hard time believing it’ll happen that quickly. Take away those two teams, and we’re left with perhaps the Lakers and Celtics, two old-time rivals gutting it out for one last showdown to get the best point guard in the game … Meanwhile, Dwight Howard met with Magic officials on Monday and told them he actually would like to stay in Orlando and will give them every opportunity to keep him there. He said he needs help, and wants them to bring in some more talent like Andre Iguodala, Monta Ellis or – the first guy the Magic should go after – Howard’s longtime friend, Josh Smith. That’s a temporary sigh of relief for Orlando fans. The problem is Howard’s basically saying “I’ll give you the chance to build me a title contender. Anything less and I could be gone.” With a bunch of bloated contracts, what exactly can the Magic give anyone? … Keep reading to hear about signings involving Jamal Crawford, Chuck Hayes and Shane Battier …

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  • control

    I hope someone shoots 50cent in the fucking face for signing that douchebag Pauly D. Fucking New Jersey and Jersey shore douchebags.

  • BRUCE

    Is this the same Chuck Hayes that does the little wiggle before shooting free throw? Too lazy to Google it.

  • beiber newz

    i just want my comment right now to be in regards to how i disproved **CHICAGORILLA**
    i’m soooo happy seeing kupchack sign a SHOOTER to the lakers even when they have soooooooooo many guys of getting buckets. hmmmmmmmmm i wonder what problem he was addressing by signing him, perhaps because of the fact those high and might laker scorers disappear and go on droughts, which plagued them at random and inopportune time during the 2010-2011 nba season? you tell me………………..

  • ball in my hand

    welcome shane im sure you will love it there in miami

  • beiber newz
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Er5TsQrGg alf (from melmak)

    Hmmm. Dime, please correct me if I am wrong but voting on the new CBA among the players will only end today. The team owners have yet to sign them. Free agency, as has been reported in the media, starts December 9. How come you are saying Shane Battier will sign with Miami today? I am no lawyer but that would be illegal, right?

    On Dallas, my gut feel is they would retain Tyson Chandler but would not care less if Caron Butler and JJ Barea signs elsewhere. They signed Rudy Fernandez and have Corey Brewer in the lineup. I think the real target of the Mavs this season or next year is Deron Williams.

  • beiber newz

    @alf
    The nba’s playing a wink-and-a-nod game this week — teams could talk to agents and players, but not work them out or offer contracts. There was inevitably going to be some handshake deals that just have to be inked and made OFFICIAL on Friday.

  • fish

    If true about Dallas, sound moves by Cuban. Why overpay an oversized roll player? Why overpay someone who is good, but didn’t contribute to their winning run, and finally why pay an *undersized* roll player. Although each player made for a good story, they were mostly just that, a story.

    Battier has always been a good guy, but hate him already.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Er5TsQrGg alf (from melmak)

    @ beiber newz

    “….Shane Battier could be signing with the league villains as early as sometime today”

    Dime used the words “signing” and “today”. Not Friday. It should check facts first, right?

  • bdownunder

    i can’t believe chicago would go after jamal crawford. how will that help us??

    and why do a sign and trade and get rid of brewer? he was effective for us. i understand he’s lacking on offense, but made up for it on D. and if he was smart, he’d be in the gym all summer knocking down spot up 3’s.

  • Franchise

    which “shooter” did LA sign beiber??

  • Soopa

    Its Kapono.

  • http://brokejumper.com/ Brokejumper

    Sign white boy with swagger = millions in roi, eg. eminem, beiber, phil jackson. Pauly D. is next, good move 50.

  • Baloogawhales

    How is Battier going to get playing time behind LBJ and Wade??? He should just join the Lakers.

    @alf. Yep they should keep Chandler hes way to important for them to lose. And buter doesnt want to stay and Barea wants too much money

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    LMFAO@Bieb

    Dude are you serious? Jason Kapono is the answer to all the Lakers woes? Do you even watch basketball? Kapono will play something like 5min per game! He will suck balls in LA and not be a factor in anyway.
    And I’m not sure why you are stilling hanging on to this. Just because the Laker GM made this move doesn’t mean that what i originally said was wrong. The Lakers are just fine as is any moves they make will be overkill for the leagues best team.

    All Hail Jason Kapono:
    Jason Kapono played 5min per game last year for a Philly team that actually NEEDED his shooting.
    He shot 25%FG and 12%3pt
    Which means as a shooter, he’s ineffective playing so little minuters. The year before he shot
    41%FG and 37%3pt in 17mpg

    You claim the Lakers have no shooters, but Steve Blake, Derek Fisher, Ron Artest, and Shannon Brown all shot around the same % as Kapono did 2yrs ago.
    And those guys actually contribute on the basketball court in other areas besides shooting. You know like…DEFENSE!

    @DIME
    Richard Jefferson had his best shooting season of his Career. I personally know this one because his 3pt rating is higher than Larry flucking Birds in NBA2k12.
    He shot 44%3pters last season and was generally considered a big role player for SAS.
    But I like how management wasn’t afraid to admit they flucked up and could do better. That’s why that small market organization is always one of the best teams.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    I don’t understand the love affair with Tyson Chandler. I understand he helps Dirk defensively but can’t Haywood do the same thing?
    Plus you guys have to realize Tyson Chandler only played that well because it was a contract year. Once he gets overpaid this season, he will go back to being injured every year. Not to mention the guy has the old T-Mac build. He’s skinny, but he looks out of shape. Tyson Chandler doesn’t look like he works out at all during the summer. Which means he doesn’t take good care of his body, which always leads to injuries. Thats why T-Mac was always hurt. But look at T-Mac now, he’s gotten into much better shape since he’s being rehabbing the past two years during the summer.

  • Goattree

    Fish – Chandler and barea may just be stories to you, but to intelligent basketball fans they are stories with championship rings ( that they played major parts in securing)

    And as for kapono being a great shooter…u forgot to add only in contests when there is no defense

  • Jzsmoove

    Smart business moves by Cuban will get Dirk another title shot down the road. Overpaying role players ain’t savvy.

    Atlanta hiring minuteman help in Tracy Mcgrady is funny. Book the 1st rd exit.

  • Buckets

    Tyson Chandler tricking GMs again. Some people will never learn.
    I’m getting a funny feeling Shaq will not fit in w/ the TNT crew.
    Jamal Crawford will only work in Chicago as a 6th man he can’t take the ball out of Rose’s hand.

  • Patrick

    I am a huge believer in a free market system. That being said in this industry owners are fans first. Dime is always grinding the owners for not wanting to pay players what they are worth, but typically the owners are overpaying not underpaying. I applaud Mark Cuban for these decisions. If all of the owners could suppress their fandom and do a legitimate performance analysis the league would be a lot better. I like all three of those players, but not at the money they want.

  • Baloogawhales

    Kapono being signed has to be a sign that theres gonna be some upgrades/changes in our roster. Otherwise we spent money on a guy whos not going to get minutes behind our other small forwards who are more well rounded despite not having a shot like Kaponos. We have to move Ron or Barnes but who will take em??

  • Baloogawhales

    @Buckets. Yeah jamal needs the ball in his hands but the bulls need thatsecond playmaker. Rose had to do everything on the court for them and that wore him out in the end against the heats. And i think we are undervalueinf jamal crawford. His role on the hawks was to score. To come off the bench and make buckets. Maybe ina new system and role he can adapt and make plays for others.

    He has those amazing ballhandling skills so he will keep his head up while keeping his dribble. The bulls bigmen have good hands and ar capable of finishing near the bucket. Reminder i said capable didnt say they excelled at finishing off dimes

  • beiber newz

    hahahhaha @ chicagorilla comparing kapono’s 3 point shot to anyone on the lakers. kapono is easily LA deadliest 3 point shooter. it DOES NOT mean he’ll get any more minutes than he got in the past, but it will definetly get his foot in the door. all he has to do now is practice hard (which kobe likes) and he’ll prove himself to the point of when needed he can be the type of player to come in the game and knock down a 3 when called upon. the point wasn’t kapono SAVING THE LA FRANCHISE. i never even said the Lakers need to be SAVED! they are championship contenders as is. MY POINT IS THEY STILL SIGNED A SHOOOOOOOOOOTER.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    Question that occurred to me last night regarding Michael Jordan:

    If MJ is/was so famously uber-competitive, why did he quit baseball in the middle of the spring to return to an NBA that he said had become too easy for him?

  • dmitry of jersey

    hey all,
    my annual, and always competitive fantasy league needs a few people. if you’re interested, join up:

    http://basketball.fantasysports.yahoo.com/nba/43301
    pw: banana

  • That’s What’s Up

    players are one thing, but the compacted schedule is going to wreak havoc on the league. There will be severe injuries and older players will be taking games off on the reg.

    This season is looking geared towards young teams who can handle the rigors – OKC, Chicago, Portland, etc…

    I like those teams to do well in the playoffs.

    …and to answer Austin’s MJ question, it’s pretty well known that Stern told him to quit gambling (supposedly on Bulls games, to win) or he would be removed from the league, so Jordan said F.U. to Stern and “retired”.

    It could have been 8 straight easy for Mike and The Gang

  • That’s What’s Up

    …ohh, I read it wrong Austin

    He quit baseball because he sucked so badly at it and Stern was allowing him back. He wasn’t going to get any better at baseball so he said F it

  • beiber newz

    @austin

    this may make sense or not…jus came up wit this quick example to address your question…

    fucking a girl you know that’d giv it up easy, doesn’t mean you don’t LOVE the woman.

    jordan knows he would get to the GOODS in basketball (rings) easy because he was competitive/great and even though he was the best and made the game look ez, he still loved it. with every fiber of his body.

    i don’t know where your questioned stemmed from, but i don’t care of the origin, jus felt like answering the question…

  • beiber newz

    @that’s wahats up….you saying that mj knew he wasn’t gettin any better at baseball so he said FUCK IT kinda means JRDANS A quitter, and austin’s question was basically, “if mj was competitive, he wouldnt have quit a TOUGHER GAME to go to one he called EASY in basketball”

  • Big Island

    Actually, Jordan had started playing better towards the end of the baseball run. Even baseball studs need to get about 1000 big league at bats before they really figure it out. But like That’s What’s Up said, gambling suspension.

    Chandler is better than Haywood. He’s more active and has the nasty streak. And I get the Mavs not overpaying him on a long term deal. But the “rings down the road for Dirk” argument is bad. How much longer do you think his road is? I’d do the Celtics routine and try to get them all now.

    Fucking Laker fans. Every time they sign someone, it’s the greatest signing ever. It’s Jason Kapono guys.

    Laker fans: “YEAH BABY!!! We got a shooter!! We’re gonna get that ring!”
    The rest of the world: “Um, it’s Jason Kapono.”
    Laker fans: “But he’ll be with Kobe”
    ROTW: “Go away”

    I don’t hate on Pauly D except for the fact he says “yeah buddy”. Big Ronnie Coleman says that all of the time. Naturally, we started saying it while we were surfing, whatever. Well now people associate it with Pauly D so it sucks a little. My gf will still walk into the room, lift her shirt, say “we’ve got a situation over here”, and walk out like nothing happened at least 6 times a year. Light weight baby.

  • beiber newz

    does anyone here think i was anointing kapono the savior? because i wasn’t.

  • beiber newz

    and who was anyway?

  • beiber newz

    and if someone believes i called kapono the next bird, please let me know who thinks that

  • beiber newz

    heat bout to sign curry, eddy curry. i like

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @ AB: “If MJ is/was so famously uber-competitive, why did he quit baseball in the middle of the spring to return to an NBA that he said had become too easy for him?”

    Have you watched any of his documentaries? He retired from basketball because there was no other challenges left. Every year, he and Phil Jackson would sit down and think of new challenges for the upcoming season. He had already won League MVPs, scoring titles, defensive player awards, all-star mvp, dunk contests, Finals MVP, Back-to-back-to-back NBA Championships… there was nothing left. So he retired.
    Then during his retirement Phil called him and said, “You know Mike, nobody has every come back from retirement and led their team to a championship.” That did it. A brand new challenge. It sparked his competitive fire for the game again. He started hearing guys like Starks calling him out, and other NBA players saying they would beat him during softball charity games. He returned to show them he could do it again.

    When did he say basketball was too easy? Maybe I missed that interview.

  • baloogawhales

    well battiers signing with the heats….

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @JAY — So that’s why Jordan returned to the NBA. But why did he quit baseball, in the middle of the season no less? If I recall, MJ was hitting .200 at the Double-A level; hardly in that “I have nothing left to prove” area as a baseball player. So if he’s so competitive, why not stick with the challenge of becoming an MLB player?

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    Maybe it had something to do with the $30 million dangling in his face.

  • BiGShoTBoB

    Sure MJ was competitive but he played basketball his whole life. It basically came down to him missing the game. And let’s face it us fans missed Jordan in basketball as well. Everyone who loved basketball around that time knew when watching games that the real champion was missing. All that matters is that him came back and I for one am glad he did.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    ^ Thanks, aka Robert Horry.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    OK, another question: If Kobe is the anti-LeBron and would never “take the easy way out,” shouldn’t he be going to Lakers management right now and telling them NOT to bring in Dwight Howard or Chris Paul? (And don’t tell me that Kobe has no power in that organization.)

  • UncheckedAggression

    This Jordan discussion is strange. Part of the reason (perhaps the most important) Jordan retired had to do with his father passing away. What’s with all this “no more challenges” bullshit? His father was really important to him and had said before that he wished Jordan had gone into baseball. So Jordan gave it a shot. It’s not the strangest thing someone had ever done after a loved one passed away.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @UncheckedAggression — I don’t think it was that seamless. Jordan didn’t retire from basketball in order to play baseball. As I recall, he retired from basketball … thought about what he wanted to do with his life … then decided to play baseball for his father. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think he decided to play baseball before retiring from basketball.

  • http://www.zwani.com/graphics/funny_pictures/images/88funny-pictures128.jpg JAY

    @Unchecked…
    Because that’s what he said. That’s what Phil jackson said. Straight from the horses mouths. They both confirmed they had off-season talks each year to discuss challenges… in separate interviews. Then one year they could come up with nothing. “Bullshit”? Not exactly.
    FYI, just because YOU didn’t know about it, doesn’t mean it happen.

  • Big Island

    Austin – If the Lakers get Dwight, it will be for Gasol and Bynum. I don’t know that it really “helps” Kobe all that much to trade for Dwight. If they’re lucky, the Lakers that is, they could get away with Bynum and Odom for Dwight. Either way, all the Lakers would gain is star power. The Lakers won’t really improve. And the first person who says “when Kobe had Shaq they won so it will be the same” is going to get punched in the face. I will kill you with fire.

  • Big Island

    So apparently the Lakers are trying to work a 3 way trade with Houston and NO for Paul, Gasol goes to Houston, and Houston gives up Scola and a couple of dudes to NO. Well god dammit. I have a new wish. Lakers get Dwight and Paul, and neither them or the Heat make the finals.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    @AB

    Man are you trolling trying to get the comments up again? I doubt you are that unaware of what happened with MJ in baseball.

    The common thing to say is MJ sucked and thats why he came back to basketball. But its so far from being the truth. ESPN did a 30 for 30 special on the whole thing and I KNOW YOU SAW IT.
    http://youtu.be/CJc3aVv5hew?t=7m29s
    Baseball is a game that relies mostly on skill with very little emphasis on athleticism. So being that MJ didn’t play for so long and with his greatest strength (athleticism) neutralized, he practiced. He practiced like a mad man. To the point where he actually had gotten pretty good by the time the ‘Fall League’ came around.

    Listen to how the writer being interviewed says
    “I admitted i was wrong. I wrote a story on how MJ was becoming an actual baseball player and Sports Illustrated refused to print it. They didnt want to admit they were wrong”
    Anyone who was around MJ at that time knows how much better he had gotten.
    So did he quit? No. He actually accomplished something that almost any other athlete in America couldn’t have done. He ended up batting .255 in the fall league. He stole 30 Bases and drove in 50 runs. For a guy who hasn’t played baseball since Jr. High? that’s flucking amazing!!!

    Anyway, just watch the link.

    So to answer the (loaded) question.
    If you believe all the stories then…
    He came back to the NBA because he started to miss the game again. His love for the game had returned.

    If you are a conspiracy theorist then…
    The other side to that coin is that David Stern lifted his silent suspension for gambling. Probably because the leagues ratings where horrible at the time. You never know when it comes to DStern. The guy is a sneaky rat.

    On a side note:
    A better question would be, if Michael Jordan was such an “a$$hole” and a “Terrible teammate” then why was he so loved by his baseball peers and teammates? If he was such a horrible teammate, how come he didn’t punch one of the pitchers in the face for throwing inside on him during batting practice? I don’t think he was an angel as a teammate, but I do know that many of the stories are overblown and hyped up. That’s what writers do. Their job is to make it more interesting. And with MJ being the most popular at the time, he got all the good and bad from the press.

    They tried to do the same thing to Kobe and Lebron but it didn’t work out that way.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @Chicagorilla — But you also know that hitting .255 in Double-A isn’t exactly making it to the highest level.

    I’m not saying MJ didn’t play well in the minors, and I’m not even saying it wasn’t a great accomplishment considering he hadn’t played competitive baseball in so long. What I’m saying (actually, just asking) is that MJ leaving baseball right in the middle of their season (March 1995) when he hadn’t yet “conquered” the game to go back to the NBA (which he said wasn’t as challenging to him anymore) doesn’t fall in line with the whole MJ-as-Competitive-Dragon narrative.

    Not meant to troll, but I genuinely want to hear people’s opinions on the matter. Same for the Kobe/Dwight/CP question.

  • UncheckedAggression

    Haha man I knew about the meetings. Read some books. There is far more evidence for Jordan retiring primarily due to the passing of his father than anything else. This is such a stupid thing to argue about.

    I’m out.

  • UncheckedAggression

    AB–I didn’t mean for that to sound like I think Jordan made up his mind about baseball before retiring. I think the main reason Jordan retired was because of his father passing. I don’t know about the rest, other than one of the factors pushing him toward baseball was the fact that his father wanted him to be a baseball player.

  • http://www.psychodrama.com Chicagorilla

    @AB

    Well first, I’m pretty sure that the middle of the baseball season would be something like July.
    The END of the basketball season is close to MArch. So i’m not sure what middle you are referring to.

    If you saw the link to the 30 for 30 documentary then you saw actual baseball guys talking about how good MJ had gotten. You say batting a .255 in AA is not great. If we were talking about a 20yr old highly touted prospect of the Whitesox then I would agree wholeheartedly. But we are talking about a 30+ yr old basketball player who hadn’t swung a bat since he was in grade school. If you don’t think that is a success then maybe me and you need to visit the batting cages and see if you can even get wood on a 85MPH fastball. Then after that, maybe we can get a local high schooler to throw some breaking pitches at you and see if you don’t throw your back out trying to flail away at them.

    MJ even says in the video that he considered what he did in baseball a success even if most don’t. And while he didn’t see basketball as challenging and he was burnt out in 93′, his return in 95’more of a challenge for him. He evolved his game to more of a post player. He did more thinking than ever before in order to dominate the game.