Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Mark Cuban, of whom you’ve heard, wants to land free-agent-to-be Joe Johnson via a sign-and-trade. This makes sense. Dwane Casey, whom the Hawks should have hired as their coach, works as an assistant for Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks, and in conversations Casey has stressed how difficult a matchup the Mavs consider Johnson.
Of greater interest (at least to me) than Cuban’s interest in Johnson is this: What Mavs would be apt to be available to the Hawks via a sign-and-trade? Dirk Nowitzki is a free agent, but he’s going to command max money himself and isn’t apt to leave Big D. Brendan Haywood has long been mentioned by you folks as a center of interest, and he’s a free agent, too. So let’s say Joe-for-Haywood … and who else?
Jason Kidd is on the Mavs’ roster, but he makes too much and is too old (37). Jason Terry is another option, but the Hawks have been there and done that. Shawn Marion is 32 and isn’t the player he was. But there’s one more name on the Maverick manifest that intrigues the heck out of me.
I like Caron Butler a lot. (He’s 30, and he has only one year remaining on his contract, which in the NBA makes him a hugely desirable commodity.) Heck, I proposed this time a year ago that the Hawks work a sign-and-trade with Washington for Butler, sending Marvin Williams to the Wizards in exchange. And if you’re asking me if I’d be willing to consider a similar package — Joe and Marvin to Dallas for Butler and Haywood — I’d say yes.
If you want Haywood as your starting center, that means Al Horford moves to power forward and Josh Smith shifts to small forward. And Butler is a small forward, which means acquiring him would be tantamount to setting up another deal. But if you’re hiring Haywood as a backup center … well, this could work.
A frontcourt of Horfy, Josh and Butler, plus a backcourt of Jamal Crawford and Jeff Teague/Mike Bibby. That might be OK. Not NBA-title-worthy, but definitely OK.