Originally Posted by ExpatSunsFan
Yeah, just the right time to scoop up all the credit.
The real problem with the pre-Avery Dallas teams was the GM. Seriously, a Nowitzki/Jamison/Toine front line? Who's idea was that?
Actually, the moves that led to that lineup were the first signs of Cuban becoming a thriftier and smarter owner. After the WCFs loss to the Spurs, he realized that his payroll was getting out of control and the team could not win a title as constructed. Cubes and Nellie also knew that Dirk, Nash and Finley would be good enough to make the playoffs no matter who was around them so he started wheeling and dealing.
The Mavs were able to get rid of an expensive ass Nick Van Exel when his value was at an all time high. Seeing as he completely faded away the following season, NVE and change for Jamison was a good thing. The Mavs were also able to unload junk like Evan Eschmeyer and Antoine Rigaudeau. In a funny side note, Current Mavs coaches Avery Johnson and Popeye Jones were also traded to GS in that deal.
Of course the downside to the deal was getting serial cancer Danny Fortson.
For a good portion of the summer it looked like the Mavs lineup was going to be something like Nash/Finley/Jamison/Dirk/Raef. Problem was byt this time Raef had clearly worn out his welcome and had a monster contract (that he is STILL on). He was foul and injury prone and had actually lost his starting spot to Shawn Bradley of all people.
All the sudden the basketball gods smiled on the Mavs when the Celtics hired Danny Ainge as their GM. Ainge was a noted critic of Antoine Walkers game and had repeatedly bashed his play on air in his previous job as an announcer. Danny then made the one move that has cursed the Celtics since. He broke up Pierce and Walker by sending Toine (and his relatively short contract to Dallas for Raef LaFrentz.
The moves saved the Mavs a ton of money in the long run and also led to the current roster construction as Walker was traded for Jason Terry and Jamison was traded for Stackhouse and the pick that led to Devin Harris.
I also think Mavs fans are being spoiled babies when they look back on the Toine/Tawn year as a complete failure. Its not like they were destroyed by the Kings. 3 of the losses all went down to the last shot with Fin, Dirk and Nash all clanking off the rim to lose.