The franchise no more.
Dallas traded Jason Kidd, Tony Dumas, and Loren Meyer to Phoenix for Sam
Cassell, Michael Finley, A.C. Green, and a 2nd round draft pick in 1997 or

Where to start...
This was a Jim Cleamons' trade all the way and gave stiff notice to the
players as to whose team this is and that they will be required to play 
team ball if they want to remain with the team.  Cleamons' comments about
the 3 acquired players is all about how they play team ball and have a
great work ethic - an obvious indication that Cleamons' wasn't thrilled
with Kidd's work ethic and problems he had with teammates.  Cleamons also
emphasized Cassell's and Green's championship experience and leadership
and Finley's potential.  He labeled Finley's inclusion as the key to the
trade.  Some are labeling this as a talent for character trade for the

I feel sorry for you, Phoenix, you are now cursed with demon agent Aaron 
Goodwin.  Better keep Kidd happy, else Goodwin will stir up as much 
trouble as possible through the media and whispering in Kidd's ear.

I hate this trade.  I like the players we got in return, but their
contractual downside is far too big and you do _not_ trade a player like
Jason Kidd.  And let me point out my biggest problem with this trade:

Player comparison                     Last year
Player           Born   96-97 Salary  of contract
A.C. Green      10/4/63   $4,315,000   98-99
Sam Cassell    11/18/68   $1,235,000   96-97
Michael Finley   3/6/73     $723,000   97-98

Jason Kidd      3/23/73   $4,408,000   01-02  (opt-out in 02-03)
Tony Dumas      8/25/72   $1,120,000   97-98
Loren Meyer    12/30/72     $639,000   97-98

Jason Kidd was _signed_ through 2002 (has a opt-out in 2003).  That is
locked in.  Cassell is a free agent this summer.  Finley is a free agent
next summer.  And Green has a huge contract until the summer of 1999.
The Mavs _must_ re-sign Cassell and Finley for this trade not to look like
a total joke.  I am of the belief that you do not trade a potential
superstar, especially in only his 3rd year, no matter what.  You do the
opposite - you build the team around him.  If the coach's style doesn't
fit the player(s), you make the coach change his style.  And if, for some
reason, you do decided to trade the player, you get a name in return.  The
Mavs just took a hit in the pocket.  Heck, I even saw a kid in Nebraska of
all places wearing a Kidd jersey this summer.  Kidd hadn't played well
this season, but those who saw him last season and the season before knew
they were seeing something special.  [Good thing I was at the game last
night and have had time to calm down, else this would be a lot more
volatile.]  You do not win a championship without a superstar.  The Mavs
no longer have a superstar or one that looks to have ability to become 
one.  They have a bunch of good or very good players, but no one who could
become Great.  You just don't toss that away.  I've had problems with 
Kidd's attitude, but I also felt he should have been untouchable.

On the upside, the Mavs did get a point guard in return instead of having
a gapping hole on the team.  Cassell is not a pure point, but can play
very good defense and score.  I love Finley and am glad we got him.  The
guy is explosive and can play good D.  But, we now have a log-jam at small
forward.  Finley will probably get some minutes at shooting guard.  Green
is a toss in whose contract I hate to be burdened with.  But he is a
quality individual and can be a mentor for Samaki Walker.  On the
downside, he'll be taking some minutes away from Walker.  The Mavs also
lost Kidd's attitude which has been getting worse since his rookie year.
His work ethic has been questioned and, thank goodness, we get rid of
Aaron Goodwin, who just loves to cause trouble.  I don't like the trade,
but at least we got something in return.  [This currently ranks in my mind
as the 3rd worst trade in Mavs history behind the Ellis and Aguirre
trades.  It will move up to 2nd if Finley or Cassell aren't re-sign and
could even surpass the Ellis for Wood debacle if neither is re-signed.]

With 3 players at small (McCloud, Finley, and Mashburn) rumors and 
speculation is strong that Mashburn will be the next to go.  I predict
he'll be gone in the next 2 weeks.

The players in the trade 96-97 stats (with thanks to Doug Steele)
Scoring Statistics
Player         Pos  G M/Gm  FGm  FGa  PCT  3m  3a  PCT  FTm  FTA  PCT AVG
cassell,sam     PG 22 24.5  100  241 .415  19  62 .306  106  124 .855 14.8
finley,michael  SF 27 29.5  141  297 .475  14  55 .255   56   69 .812 13.0
green,a.c.      PF 27 20.3   61  128 .477   0   3 .000   31   48 .646 5.7

kidd,jason      PG 22 36.0   75  203 .369  21  65 .323   46   69 .667 9.9
meyer,loren     PF 19 13.6   34   78 .436   1   2 .500    9   12 .750 4.1
dumas,tony      SG 18 12.6   27   77 .351   3  24 .125   15   23 .652 4.0

Rebounding Statistics
Player           AS AS/g  ST ST/G  TO TO/g  BK BK/g  TND  OR OR/g  TR TR/g
cassell,sam      99  4.5  23  1.0  60  2.7   6  0.3 12.5  12 0.5   50 2.3
finley,michael   68  2.5  18  0.7  44  1.6   4  0.1 12.7  34 1.3  120 4.4
green,a.c.       17  0.6  18  0.7  20  0.7   1  0.0  8.0  33 1.2  138 5.1

kidd,jason      200  9.1  45  2.0  64  2.9   8  0.4 17.3  31 1.4   90 4.1
meyer,loren       7  0.4   6  0.3  27  1.4   3  0.2  2.1  14 0.7   49 2.6
dumas,tony       22  1.2  10  0.6  15  0.8   1  0.1  2.0   3 0.2   14 0.8

Scoring Statistics
Player          Min  Pts  Tnd/48  TC  EJ  FF  PF PTS/48
cassell,sam     539  325   24.53   0   0   0  66  28.94
finley,michael  796  352   20.74   1   0   0  42  21.23
green,a.c.      548  153   18.94   2   0   0  34  13.40

kidd,jason      791  217   23.14   0   0   0  41  13.17
meyer,loren     259   78    7.23   0   0   1  52  14.46
dumas,tony      227   72    7.67   0   0   0  36  15.22

Rebounding Statistics
Player          AS/48  ST/48  TO/48  BK/48  OR/48  TR/48
cassell,sam       8.8    2.0    5.3    0.5    1.1    4.5
finley,michael    4.1    1.1    2.7    0.2    2.1    7.2
green,a.c.        1.5    1.6    1.8    0.1    2.9   12.1

kidd,jason       12.1    2.7    3.9    0.5    1.9    5.5
meyer,loren       1.3    1.1    5.0    0.6    2.6    9.1
dumas,tony        4.7    2.1    3.2    0.2    0.6    3.0

Phoenix coach Danny Ainge on the 3 players he gave up in the trade:
On Cassell: "He's a terrific scorer.  He single handedly can score, even 
with bad players around him.  There is no fear in this guy.  He's a tough
competitor.  He's not afraid to take the big shot and will make the big
play.  I know he's excited about coming to Dallas because this gives him
the opportunity to get more minutes.  He doesn't have great speed or
athletic ability, but he's like a crafty veteran.  He's an instigator,
someone who tries to stir it up on the court in a positive sense."

On Finley: "His shot is getting better and better from the perimeter, and 
we all know how good he is in the open court.  He's another high-quality
individual who doesn't complain about anything.  He's capable of defending
either guard position or small forward.  We always put him on the other
team's toughest offensive player at that position.  When we play Seattle,
he covers Gary Payton.  When we play Chicago, he takes Michael Jordan."

On Green: "He's been the true professional and is a stabilizing influence,
the team captain, and a great human being.  He's got some limitations, but
he is a high energy player.  A.C. is a real pro, someone who will do a lot
of the dirty work.  He has intangibles that don't show up.  I would not be
surprised if he is still playing in this league 4 years from now.  He
never gets tired, never shows any fatigue."

Quotes from Kidd
"I didn't have any sense I was going to be traded. I'm excited to be going
to Phoenix, but I'm also sad to be leaving a lot of good friends here."

"I've got mixed emotions.  I'm sad leaving Dallas because I thought we had
a great opportunity here.  But I'm also looking forward to getting a fresh 
start in a more wide-open system."

"I've had a lot of good times here, but unfortunately it's the end.  
Things weren't going perfectly smooth, no, but I never asked to be traded.
I guess I better welcome it, because it's a fact."

"I thought I was trying to do my best and what [Cleamons] wanted me to do. 
I was getting the grasp of it.  I know everyone talked about my style of 
getting up and down the court, but I thought I was starting to grasp what 
was going on."

"I was trying to do my best at what [Cleamons] wanted.  But this might 
work out for me.  [Ainge] likes to get up and down, and there's a lot of 
talent there."

"There was so much made of the three Js, but we never had time to really 
grow.  We never had that opportunity.  We were never given a decent shot.

Quotes from Mavs management and coach
Acting GM Frank Zaccanelli: "Coach Cleamons really felt that for the last 
30 to 60 days there needed to be some changes.  Jim Cleamons made the 
decision to pull the trigger."

Zaccanelli: "We understand the magnitude of what we've just done.  But, 
clearly, I think this franchise wants players who know what it takes to 
get it done, players who pay the price it takes to win.  We think we've
taken a step in the right direction."

Zaccanelli: "We understand the magnitude of this decision and what we've
done.  There's always a risk any time you make a trade.  We think the 
rewards outweigh the risks.  We feel we're more than one player away, and 
this gives us three solid players for one."

Zaccanelli: "It's definitely a possibility that Sam [Cassell] could opt to
leave.  But obviously we're confident we can sign him, or we wouldn't have 
been so enthusiastic to make this deal."

Dallas owner Ross Perot: "Obviously it's a huge decision, and one we 
didn't reach quickly.  But when Jim [Cleamons] and Frank [Zaccanelli]
talked to me, I was convinced it was absolutely the right thing to do.  I 
think we're taking a major, major step in the right direction."
Director of player development Mark Aguirre: "Yes, we are pretty crowded
[at small forward].  It's time for us to do some creative thinking there."

Jim Cleamons: "This is just another brick in the wall, and there will be 
others.  I don't see this being significant other than the fact we are 
trying to become a better basketball team and we're trying to add some 
depth and quality."
Cleamons: "If we can ever add quality persons to our basketball team, we 
will look seriously to do that.  I'm just saying these are some 
attractions that make it plusses on our side.  In every deal, you have to 
give up something to get something.  You look at what you had to give up, 
but also you look at what comes back to you.  When we added that value up,
it became something, we thought we could indeed live with."

Cleamons: "This isn't about personalities.  This is a business deal.
Anyone reading anything else into it wrong."

Cleamons: "I wasn't going to part with anyone in our organization until
Michael Finley was part of the deal.  He was the linchpin."

Quotes from Phoenix
Danny Ainge: "This is for our future.  Jason Kidd is a franchise player.
He's a perennial All-Star.  I knew he was unhappy in Dallas, and I think 
he'll be excited with starting over fresh in a new city.  If he can 
rekindle that fire he had in his first and second years, he'll be a 

Ainge: "Jason has an inner passion that few players possess.  I've 
watched him a couple of times this season and asked myself, `Where has 
that passion gone?'"
Ainge: "Jason Kidd is a franchise player.  I don't feel we had anybody 
on our roster who can be a perennial all-star, just potential all-stars.
Jason is a prime player.  This certainly solidifies our No. 1 guard spot 
for the future."

Ainge: "We gave up a lot. Michael Finley has a lot of potential and A.C. 
has been a warrior throughout his career and a great guy to have in the
locker room.  But we had an abundance of power forwards.  The chance to 
get Jason Kidd was the kicker in this deal.  Up-tempo is his strength, and
we'll use Jason's skills and push the ball up the floor as much as we can."

Ainge on Meyer and Dumas: "I'll give them a chance to come in and see what
they can do.  I do know Dumas scored 39 points against us in a game last
year.  He has a tremendous flair, but he hasn't been consistent.  Loren
Meyer has a nice touch around the basket, but it's going to be tough for 
him to beat out Danny Manning at the No. 4 position."

Phoenix GM Bryan Colangelo: "We called Dallas about 4-5 weeks ago and 
told them we were interested in one player.  They put it aside but things 
heated up today and I spent most of the day on the phone hammering the 
deal out.  If everything works out, we'll try to have them in uniform 
Saturday [vs Vancouver]."

B.Colangelo: "This trade gives us a new identity as we move into the rest 
of this transition year.  We needed somebody to take over when Kevin 
[Johnson] retires and that'll be Jason Kidd.  He's got six years remaining
on his contract."

Phoenix president Jerry Colangelo: "When the day started, I didn't think 
we'd have a major transaction like this."
J.Colangelo: "We gave up quality for quality, and we think we now have one 
of the top players in the league in Jason Kidd."

Players' reaction:
McCloud: "He was the backbone of the team, the franchise player, but coach
did what he thought was best for the team.  [Kidd] wasn't happy.  But even
though he wasn't happy, we never thought he'd be the one being traded."

McCloud: "You lose an All-Star for a guy who has shown he could win.  I
don't know if that balances out.  But we did get something back in the

Harper: "This is part of basketball.  Trades are part of what we do.  I'll
miss Jason, Tony, and Loren.  But we have to move on from here."

Jim Jackson: "[The trade] does shock me.  But they have made it clear
whenever they want to make a move, they're going to make a move."

Jackson: "It caught me off guard.  But we're getting three great players.
Things happen in this league that sometimes seem bizarre, but work out to 
both teams' advantages."

Jackson: "[The trade] caught me off guard.  We're gaining three great 
players.  Besides Kidd being traded, you're also losing Loren Meyer and
Tony Dumas yet we're gaining Michael Finley, Sam Cassell, who has won a 
world championship, and a veteran in A.C. Green."

Jackson: "Jason just wasn't happy with his role and with the type of
basketball we're playing.  Jason is a transition player.  I think Jason
will do well in Phoenix.  Now you'll see more of the Jason Kidd you used
to see around here."

Mashburn: "Everyone is susceptible to a change of address.  When you're
dealing with the Dallas Mavericks, you never know what to expect.  If
you're here, and you're playing, you just better be happy, because you
don't know what might happen next."


Golden State Warriors at Dallas Mavericks  (December 26)

Lost in this trade was the fact that the Mavs actually played a game last

Oliver Miller will undergo a MRI on his lower back to find out what is
causing the pain in his lower back which he has for the last 2 weeks.
Miller did not play in the GS game due to his back injury.

Mavs only had 8 players dressed due to the trade (only Meyer was expected
to play, Kidd had a sprained neck and Dumas had an injured finger) and 
Miller's injury.

I must say that I didn't play too close attention to the game until in the
4th quarter as I was trying to figure out what had happened and then was
upset about what had happened.  The first hint that something was up was
when Loren Meyer did not come out on the court for the layup drill.  Meyer
had been out shooting earlier and showed no sign of anything being wrong.
Then Tony Dumas came out in street clothes and sat on the bench with about
3 minutes until the national anthem.  Mark Aguirre came on the court,
talked to Dumas, and Dumas went back inside and did not return.  After the
anthem, Kidd came out briefly and then returned to the locker room and did
not return.  With all the people shuffling around the tunnel area and
paper being pass around, we knew something had happened, but didn't know
what.  They never announced the trade on the PA.  I went down at halftime
and found out the details of the trade.  I returned to my seat very upset
and me and those around me spent most of the 3rd talking about the trade.

As for the game, both teams opened the game with 3-pointers.  The first
quarter was pretty close and fast paced.  Dallas led 26-23 after one.
The Mavs seemed somewhat distracted in the 2nd and Golden State took a
58-49 lead going into the half.  Golden State slowly built on their lead 
in the 3rd as the Mavs kept fumbling the ball away (especially Harper).
Golden State led 86-66 with 2 minutes left in the 3rd.  Dallas closed the
quarter with an 8-2 run.  Golden State led 88-74 at the half.  The 4th was
fun for the Mavs as Dallas hit 10 of their first 12 field goals in the 4th
quarter and the 3s were dropping for the Mavs.  A 3-pointer from Jim
Jackson tied the game at 95-95.  The Mavs took the lead on a layup from
Jackson at 99-97 with 3:20 left.  Unfortunately the Mavs then ran out of
gas with their short rotation.  Golden State went on an 11-2 run starting
with a 3-pointer from Bimbo Coles.  Chris Gatling missed 3 shots during
that run.  Golden State took a 108-101 lead with 1:10 remaining and won 
113-108 by hitting free throws.

Joe Smith had a great game with 30 points, 16 rebounds, and 5 steals and
Latrell Sprewell (with hair this season) had 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 8
turnovers.  Chris Gatling led the way for the Mavs with 25 points and 5
rebounds and George McCloud had 22 points including 4-8 3-pointers, 6
rebounds, and 5 assists.  McCloud played 46 minutes and Derek Harper
played 47 minutes.

Rick Adelman: "Those were big plays [Coles' 3-pointer].  We swung it to 
the corner for 3, then [Coles] made a great drive to take it to the 
basket.  That turned the game around for us."

Chris Mullin: "Our team's been in a situation like that, like last year 
with Tim Hardaway, when a great player was being traded.  It's hard to 
concentrate with that going on.  Tonight we were able to hold off their 
runs and didn't fold.  This was a nice win for us."

Mullin: "Sometimes when things like [the trade] are going on, you've just
got to out there and play.  In the next few days, the emotion passes and 
reality settles in.  I was pretty surprised considering Jason's status, 
but as many things as I've seen here, it's not a shocker."

Jim Cleamons: "We've got to be able to sustain that kind of effort 
throughout if we're going to get this thing turned around.  We got back in
it, but we relaxed after we finally climbed the hill and let it slip away 
from us down the stretch."

Jamal Mashburn: "We're still trying to figure one another out, and you can
see that at the end of the game, when it's time for us to make something 
happen.  Once again, that was the difference in the game and it ended up 
costing us."

Derek Harper: "I think the trade was like a haze hanging over our heads, 
and it was like we were sleepwalking for most of the game before we 
finally woke up.  But we dug ourselves to big a hole and we used too much 
energy just trying to get in the game."

Derek Harper: "This is disappointing.  We had lots of chances.  But you've
got to make the plays in crucial situations, and we didn't make the

Jim Jackson: "These games are tough.  The best thing you can do is keep
yourself out of these situations where you have to come back."

GS-Dal boxscore

Patricia Bender
Not affiliated with or representing anyone besides myself.