I know it’s hard to believe, but we are committed to making the mailbag a weekly occurrence.
We’ve started to get some really tough questions. After I throw those away, this is what we’re left with.
From ANDY: Glad to see someone is out there answering questions for the fans. Thanks for your effort. As of now, Kristaps is injured but at the beginning of the season Jason Kidd was saying how he would want to utilize Kristaps in the offense more instead of using him how Carlisle did as a stretch 4. I know it’s a small sample size, but in the games he has played it still seems to me that he’s still not being utilized as the number 2 player on our team. He’s still looking very soft in the paint on defense and on offense doesn’t really get too many plays called for him. So that leads me to my question. Why are we not utilizing him more? Or at least attempting to since it’s the beginning of the season? Is there something going on behind scenes with Kristaps? It’s absurd the talent that he has and he’s being used like Ryan Anderson out there.
SEFKO: Great question. In fact, it’s our question of the week. And we’re not just saying that because you lavished such great praise on the Mailbag. We’re not here for self-promotion at all. But just be aware that the semi-weekly podcast is coming Friday to a platform near you. Anyway, you sort of answered your own question with “small sample size.” And by the way, why you dogging on Ryan Anderson. The guy was a terrific shooter, decent rebounder and made more than $100-million in his career. Sound familiar? Listen, KP is either going to come through with 65 or 70 games played this season or he’ll hear about it again. He knows this. The Mavericks are a little gun-shy when it comes to pushing him physically. If he doesn’t show up 100 percent healthy, he’ll be he held out. But when you have a max player like this, it’s reasonable to expect a full-ish workload. As for how he’s being used, again, we don’t know yet. Two and a half games, one of which was a blowout, doesn’t constitute enough time to draw a bead on how Porzingis will be used.
From K. WILLIAMS: Frank Ntilikina? Do you think he’ll eventually take over Reggie Bullock’s role since he’s stronger defensively?
SEFKO: My gut tells me that the Mavericks didn’t pay Bullock the full mid-level exception to be a hood ornament. And he’s been a better player, quite frankly, for a longer stretch of his career than Ntilikina. That said, I am a big fan of the way French Frank has started the season. If he can hit a fair number of 3-pointers, he becomes a much different player than the No-3-and-D guy that he was for most of his time in New York. Again, it’s early. Let’s let it play out. But nobody is saying there’s not room for both of these guys in the rotation. Having both playing a key 3-and-D role would be a huge boost for this team.
From: JUAN: The Mavs have a winning record with a number of big changes and people want the coach fired, Nico Harrison gone, Luka traded and the arena torn down for scrap metal. And the team logo switched to a screaming toddler.
SEFKO: There’s no question here, but I just liked the rant. Yes, early in the season, nobody’s happy. Christmas can’t get here fast enough. Until then, enjoy the wins, don’t sweat the losses and enjoy the football season.
From: JOSEPH S.: The Mavs had another average or poor offseason. Trying to put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig. They haven’t fixed the court problems that they had from last season and changing a coach and GM isn’t going to do it. The roster doesn’t fit, does it? Luka’s handcuffed.
SEFKO: As referenced above, the Mavericks are 4-2 and nobody’s happy. Maybe that’s a good thing, I suppose. Expectations are up there. And the thing you can hang your hat on so far is that they are beating the teams they are supposed to beat. That’s half the battle. As for Luka being handcuffed, I don’t see it. Yes, teams are running double teams at him more than ever. And the rules are allowing for some rougher defensive tactics. The league got a little tired of 133-128 games, I think. That aside, if we look up at the trade deadline and the Mavericks are 40-20, who wouldn’t be happy? That’s the pace they are on. So let’s tap the breaks with all the negativity.
From VERNON W.: Think Big Mo can get more minutes anytime soon?
SEFKO: Of all the Mavericks, I probably get more inquiries about Moses Brown than any other player. Fans love him almost as much as Boban. But here’s the thing. The Mavericks have a slew of big men, all of whom are good. Not saying any of them are stars. But they are paying Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber and certainly Kristaps Porzingis a lot of money. Throwing Brown ahead of them doesn’t make a whole lot of sense on many levels. Brown is what he is: a project who could develop into a quality contributor. And he’s already shown in the first six games that he can handle himself in key situations. Trust Jason Kidd on this one. Let him channel Brown into sensible playing time and let the kid grow, figuratively speaking.
From PAUL F.: I keep hearing that the Rockets are open to trading Christian Wood. What would it take to get him to the Mavs?
SEFKO: More than you want to hear. We don’t get to talk a lot about other team’s players. Tampering and all, you know. But when you talk about any trade involving the Mavericks, you can start with Jalen Brunson. And probably Doe-Doe. And then a future asset, which are in short supply already. And don’t forget, some players are heading into the final year of their contract. That’s always a consideration. That means the farm is an appropriate number that you are going to have to pay those players beyond this season or next. And the Mavericks already have a load of their salary cap spoken for. Listen, I love a good 3-point-shooting center. But, then again, the Mavericks have one of those. More than one, actually. And rest assured the Rockets know what they have. If you’re willing to part with Brunson and Finney-Smith, fine. I personally am not. Of the things the Mavericks might need to get better, another big man is not high on my priority list unless it is a superstar. Six games into the season, I’m more inclined to see if this team can keep winning four of every six games, which by the way, would be a 54-win season.