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Dooby
10-27-2003, 02:54 PM
By Marc Stein
ESPN.com

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Dallas Mavericks intend to leave one spot open on their multinational, multitalented roster ... and they know exactly who they want to fill it.

The Mavericks just aren't sure if they'll ever be able to convince Arvydas Sabonis to join them.

They tried again last week, in advance of their Opening Night showdown with Shaquille O'Neal and the Los Angeles Lakers. Dallas president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson traveled to Lithuania on Wednesday to receive a special commendation, similar to a medal of honor, from the country's president for his work with the Lithuanian national basketball team. While he was there, Nelson made his second free-agent pitch to Sabonis since the burly center told Portland he was retiring from the NBA.

Nelson made a similar bid in August after the Blazers declined to pick up Sabonis' $7 million option. Sabonis will still receive $3 million from Portland this season whether he plays in the NBA or not.

"The main reason I went over there was to receive this award," Nelson said Monday upon his return. "But obviously when I'm in Lithuania, I see Sarunas (Marciulionis) and Sabonis.

"We would love to have (Sabonis), but he's 39 and he's happy there (in semi-retirement) playing for Zalgiris. Any team in the world would want him, even if you're talking five or 10 minutes a game. I guess you'd have to say it was a swing and a miss. But we told him that if you ever want to give the NBA another shot, we'd love to have him."

Of course, even if Sabonis did elect to return to the States, Dallas would certainly face competition. Portland general manager John Nash remains hopeful that Sabonis will consider a comeback for the playoffs after the Lithuanian season ends in the spring.

Nelson, an assistant coach with the Lithuanian national team since it was formed after the breakup of the Soviet Union, received the Commander Grand Cross from Lithuanian president Rolandas Paksas after helping the tiny nation win the gold medal at the European Championships in Sweden in September. Nelson called it "as big as any honor I've received in basketball."

With Sabonis intent on staying with Zalgiris, and with Raef LaFrentz traded to Boston last week in the Antoine Walker deal, the Mavericks are prepared to start Danny Fortson as their 6-foot-8 center in Tuesday night's opener against the Lakers.

"I'm a physical player, and I'm pretty sure (O'Neal) knows that I can probably give him a little trouble," Fortson told ESPN.com last week. "As a matter of fact, I'm not going to say probably. I know I can. If I can go out there with the right mind frame and watch my fouls, I know I can give him fits. I'm going to work as hard as I can so, October 28th, I can prove it."

dallas_esq
10-27-2003, 02:57 PM
"I'm a physical player, and I'm pretty sure (O'Neal) knows that I can probably give him a little trouble," Fortson told ESPN.com last week. "As a matter of fact, I'm not going to say probably. I know I can. If I can go out there with the right mind frame and watch my fouls, I know I can give him fits. I'm going to work as hard as I can so, October 28th, I can prove it."

You sure about that?

kg_veteran
10-27-2003, 02:58 PM
Personally, I think it'd be a master stroke to sign Sabonis.

LRB
10-27-2003, 02:59 PM
I'd love to have Sabonis. He wouldn't be good for very many minutes, but he certainly could make a difference for those few minutes he did play. Sabonis has the height and bulk to bother Shaq as well as anyone. I just don't think we have much more than a prayer of a chance of getting him if that.

dirno2000
10-27-2003, 02:59 PM
I get the feeling he's tired of playing with selfish Americans. The Blazers will do that to you.

grndmstr_c
10-27-2003, 03:00 PM
Do I dare to dream.

Dirk41= konsesjonen
10-27-2003, 03:01 PM
pipedream unfortunately. His passing would be so great to this team, can't you see him feeding dirk/twan on post cuts with backdoor passes?

kg_veteran
10-27-2003, 03:01 PM
Sabonis would be a perfect fit for the Mavs. He could play 15 mpg in rotation with Bradley and Fortson, and he could have a huge impact on the game.

He's immovable once he gets into the paint and on the boards; he's an incredible passer; he has three-point range; he's a crafty post scorer.

I'd give the guy the MLE.

DirkNash1341
10-27-2003, 03:02 PM
I'd give him the MLE in a heartbeat.

LRB
10-27-2003, 03:02 PM
Originally posted by: dirno2000
I get the feeling he's tired of playing with selfish Americans. The Blazers will do that to you.


Then he needs to come play with the unselfish UN team, your Dallas Mavericks. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

Lonnie
10-27-2003, 03:03 PM
Sobonis would add nothing to the mavericks for any extended period of time considering he cannot even run down the court. He would be useful in 4 games this year against the lakers... not worth it

EricaLubarsky
10-27-2003, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by: LRB
I'd love to have Sabonis. He wouldn't be good for very many minutes, but he certainly could make a difference for those few minutes he did play. Sabonis has the height and bulk to bother Shaq as well as anyone. I just don't think we have much more than a prayer of a chance of getting him if that.

ehn? I dont think he would be an inside pounder at his age. He dominated at one point in his career but now he seems to like to play the perimeter, or at least that is what Portland had him doing

I'd prefer an athletic defensively minded big man who would just pick up fouls, but Sabonis could teach everyone on the Mavs a little something. He has godly court vision (especially since he can see the whole court from up there), he is a smart passer and he knows how to be competitive. He's just a little old, but he has retired before only to be courted back.

Who knows how close the Mavs are to getting him. Are they openly thinking about him? Are they taking him out to dinner? Are they negotiating? Fitting his hand for a ring if he stays the year? Did li'l whis'l talk to him while he was over there? Did he leave an open offer?

XERXES
10-27-2003, 03:07 PM
I knew something had to be up with the 15th roster spot. I'm sure they've got a few other cards to play regarding who gets signed.

Rhylan
10-27-2003, 03:08 PM
I say we hold the spot 'til March, see if he wants it then. You'd have yourself one hell of a scary team with Sabonis logging 12-15 minutes in the playoffs.

kg_veteran
10-27-2003, 03:09 PM
Lonnie, no offense, but that's ridiculous. Sabonis wouldn't even have to play much in the regular season; his contributions would come in the playoffs. He could be a vital contributor in a series against the Lakers, Spurs, or Kings.

kg_veteran
10-27-2003, 03:10 PM
Originally posted by: Rhylan
I say we hold the spot 'til March, see if he wants it then. You'd have yourself one hell of a scary team with Sabonis logging 12-15 minutes in the playoffs.

I agree with this.

As an aside, if he did come back, why would he come back to any other team than Dallas? Portland doesn't have realistic title aspirations.

Perhaps he'll look at our 45-50 wins in March and come willingly. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

FineCubanCigar
10-27-2003, 03:11 PM
This article is trash, Marc Stein is an idiot. "The Mavs are saving the last roster spot for Sabonis. . . then goes on to state that sobinis isn't convinced, then goes on to say the sabonis is perfectly happy where he is, then says sobonis is INTENT on staying with Zalgiris, furethermore its revealed that Donnie wasn't even in Lithuania for that reason. . . so whats the news Stein? Why did you take the time to right this peice of trash article? I hate "journalists" like this. Anyway i gotta go write my article about how the Mavs are saving their last roster spot for Hakeem, and get ESPN to pay me for it.

LRB
10-27-2003, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by: EricaLubarsky

Originally posted by: LRB
I'd love to have Sabonis. He wouldn't be good for very many minutes, but he certainly could make a difference for those few minutes he did play. Sabonis has the height and bulk to bother Shaq as well as anyone. I just don't think we have much more than a prayer of a chance of getting him if that.

ehn? I dont think he would be an inside pounder at his age. He dominated at one point in his career but now he seems to like to play the perimeter, or at least that is what Portland had him doing

I'd prefer an athletic defensively minded big man who would just pick up fouls, but Sabonis could teach everyone on the Mavs a little something. He has godly court vision (especially since he can see the whole court from up there), he is a smart passer and he knows how to be competitive. He's just a little old, but he has retired before only to be courted back.

Who knows how close the Mavs are to getting him. Are they openly thinking about him? Are they taking him out to dinner? Are they negotiating? Fitting his hand for a ring if he stays the year? Did li'l whis'l talk to him while he was over there? Did he leave an open offer?

Actually Sabonis still played shaq as well as anyone. At his height 7'3", he' a little taller than shaq. Shaq still out weighs him, but even shaq finds it hard to push Sabonis around. Sabonis is very strong even now. He's not quick and he's no longer athletic, but his basketball IQ is Birdlike. He is also crafty enough inside to draw a few fouls on shaq and a good enough shooter to draw shaq out of the paint. Sabonis won't stop shaq by any means, but he can slow him down as well as anyone for limited minutes. Enough for the Mavs to make a push in a game.

As far as how Portland used him, they're some of the biggest idiots on the planet. I won't say anymore there.

BTW Sabonis if he returned would be the best passing big man in the NBA.

grbh
10-27-2003, 03:14 PM
I don't think he could handle more than 12-15 minutes a night maybe even 10, but I do think he could be a differrence maker in limited time.

Ummmmm Ok
10-27-2003, 03:17 PM
The main reason I went over there was to receive this award," Nelson said Monday upon his return. "But obviously when I'm in Lithuania, I see Sarunas (Marciulionis) and Sabonis."

Am I the only one who saw this? Who is this Sarunas guy and why was he interested in him?

Some sites say hes a 6'5" guard that played in the NBA back in 89-97. It shows that he played with Goldenstate from 89-93. Think he was just seeing one of Nellies old players and just to "catch up" on old times?

Dirk41= konsesjonen
10-27-2003, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by: Ummmmm Ok

The main reason I went over there was to receive this award," Nelson said Monday upon his return. "But obviously when I'm in Lithuania, I see Sarunas (Marciulionis) and Sabonis."

Am I the only one who saw this? Who is this Sarunas guy and why was he interested in him?

Some sites say hes a 6'5" guard that played in the NBA back in 89-97. It shows that he played with Goldenstate from 89-93. Think he was just seeing one of Nellies old players and just to "catch up" on old times?

Good God!!!! You don't know who Sarunas is??????

FineCubanCigar
10-27-2003, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by: FineCubanCigar
This article is trash, Marc Stein is an idiot. "The Mavs are saving the last roster spot for Sabonis. . . then goes on to state that sobinis isn't convinced, then goes on to say the sabonis is perfectly happy where he is, then says sobonis is INTENT on staying with Zalgiris, furethermore its revealed that Donnie wasn't even in Lithuania for that reason. . . so whats the news Stein? Why did you take the time to right this peice of trash article? I hate "journalists" like this. Anyway i gotta go write my article about how the Mavs are saving their last roster spot for Hakeem, and get ESPN to pay me for it.


its still trash

Lonnie
10-27-2003, 03:21 PM
KG, i seriously doubt that Cuban is willing to sign someone for only the playoffs. HE has already said he will carry a 14 man roster for the fist tome becasue he wants to SAVE MONEY. it wouldnt make much sense to use money on a guy to be on the IL all year just to come off the bench for 10 minutes or 6 fouls (which ever comes first) in a seven game series against shaq. Our payroll is almost 80 mil already.

BQuinn2210
10-27-2003, 03:23 PM
I agree completely with Lonnie. Sabonis would be of no help at this point.

Dooby
10-27-2003, 03:26 PM
If Sabonis told Cubes that he'd take the MLE but wouldn't sign until March, I have no doubt that Cuban would jump on that in a heartbeat. And so would I.

We don't need him for the regular season. Hell, we don't even want him for the regular season, except to incorporate him into the offense. We need him for the playoffs; we want him for the playoffs. And if he gave us 10-15 minutes a game at the center position, well, that is 10-15 minutes a game at the center position that we have to give.

EricaLubarsky
10-27-2003, 03:28 PM
with due respect neither of you know what you are talking about.

yes there have been statements about a 14 man roster being fine for the franchise

but Sabonis makes key plays and improves the whole squad. He wouldnt play even 10mpg during the regular season. No way he would. He is a guy that can makes key stops, and setup key plays when it gets to the wire.

Anyone else we would get at 15 would be a dead body that would just pickup fouls to save Fort and Bradley, but Sabonis is the only guy we could in reailty pick up that would help us.

AND when on Earth was Sabonis ever extremely foul prone? Dear lonnie please provide evidence for that one.

grndmstr_c
10-27-2003, 03:30 PM
Here's what I think Mark Cuban would say if Donnie came to him and said Sabonis would sign with us for the MLE: "Hell F'in yeah!"

LRB
10-27-2003, 03:30 PM
Originally posted by: Ummmmm Ok

The main reason I went over there was to receive this award," Nelson said Monday upon his return. "But obviously when I'm in Lithuania, I see Sarunas (Marciulionis) and Sabonis."

Am I the only one who saw this? Who is this Sarunas guy and why was he interested in him?

Some sites say hes a 6'5" guard that played in the NBA back in 89-97. It shows that he played with Goldenstate from 89-93. Think he was just seeing one of Nellies old players and just to "catch up" on old times?


Yeah he's an old player. One of the 1st players from the Soviet Block countries. Was an incredible player in Europe and a good one in the NBA.

EricaLubarsky
10-27-2003, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by: grndmstr_c
Here's what I think Mark Cuban would say if Donnie came to him and said Sabonis would sign with us for the MLE: "Hell F'in yeah!"

forget talking. He should just get out the pen.

LRB
10-27-2003, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by: Lonnie
KG, i seriously doubt that Cuban is willing to sign someone for only the playoffs. HE has already said he will carry a 14 man roster for the fist tome becasue he wants to SAVE MONEY. it wouldnt make much sense to use money on a guy to be on the IL all year just to come off the bench for 10 minutes or 6 fouls (which ever comes first) in a seven game series against shaq. Our payroll is almost 80 mil already.

Do you seriously think that Cubes would even blink at $10 million more this year (taking into account the luxary tax) if it would give us a better chance to win a champion ship. When you've already spent 80 Million, you don't want to risk losing out on that investment because you're a cheap @ss. Cubes will only balk at spending money when he thinks it won't help the club or when it would prevent us from getting someone even more valuable with that money.

LRB
10-27-2003, 03:35 PM
Originally posted by: grndmstr_c
Here's what I think Mark Cuban would say if Donnie came to him and said Sabonis would sign with us for the MLE: "Hell F'in yeah!"

Or "Does he need to stay in my pool house?" i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

EricaLubarsky
10-27-2003, 03:37 PM
Cubes will only balk at spending money when he thinks it won't help the club or when it would prevent us from getting someone even more valuable with that money.

and which other 15th man addition would actually get us closer to a champioship? I can't think of many.

It makes no sense for Cubes to sign Josh Powell, a rookie, because it gets the team no closer to championship contention. That is what the statement about having a 14 man squad was all about. If Cubes can improve the Mavs' chances, he will do it. He's just not going to waste money on another rookie or role player that won't get us any closer just so he can fill 15 spaces.

Murphy3
10-27-2003, 04:00 PM
Originally posted by: dirno2000
I get the feeling he's tired of playing with selfish Americans....

Well, not like that really applies to the Mavs..


And yes, I would love to pick up Sabonis just to have him play center for 20 minutes a night versus elite teams in the West


Or, here's an even better idea. Sign him and keep him on the IR until march. Hell, he can stay at home until then if he wants.

Then, in March, he can come in and work his way into the rotation. That way, he'll be familiar with the team and will be able to work his way back into playing shape AND be fresh for the playoffs.

bogey
10-27-2003, 04:02 PM
Sabonis would be a coup at the MLE. The national media would go ga-ga over the Mavs if they can pull this off. It is a pipe dream of course. However....so was getting Jamison and Walker. Who really thought that was a possibility?

Murphy3
10-27-2003, 04:11 PM
Can you imagine the DOMINANCE of Bradley and Sabonis? Sabonis is the big bodied compliment that Shawn's game has always needed.

Just imagine Sabonis blocking off the lane with Bradley flying in from the backside to swat away shot after shot after shot.

Just imagine the no look behind the back bounce passes from Sabonis that would hit Bradley perfectly in stride in the chest as Bradley cuts through the lane for the ferocious tomahawk slam!!!

Just imagine the sarcasm that's pouring out of every syllable of the last sentence that I typed!!

Dirk41= konsesjonen
10-27-2003, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by: Murphy3
Can you imagine the DOMINANCE of Bradley and Sabonis? Sabonis is the big bodied compliment that Shawn's game has always needed.

Just imagine Sabonis blocking off the lane with Bradley flying in from the backside to swat away shot after shot after shot.

Just imagine the no look behind the back bounce passes from Sabonis that would hit Bradley perfectly in stride in the chest as Bradley cuts through the lane for the ferocious tomahawk slam!!!

Just imagine the sarcasm that's pouring out of every syllable of the last sentence that I typed!!

Hey, your last sentence I could Definately see.......If you replace Shawn with Dirk

Or replace tomahawk slam with failed lay-up i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif

OutletPass
10-27-2003, 04:20 PM
Sabonis would be a perfect fit in our style, even if he does come in March. Fortson and Shawn are going to have a hard time holding down the Fort especially with all of their problems with fouls.

Sign him, Donnie, sign him. !!

What kind of savings are we really getting by holding the 15th spot open...it would normally be filled by a very low paid guy...there has to be a more LEGITIMATE reason that we don't have 15...hopefully, something like this is th real reason !

Murphy3
10-27-2003, 04:24 PM
I can honestly say that I would be more excited about the Sabonis pick-up if it were to occur than i was about the AW trade..and probably just as much as the AJ trade (although moving NVE may push that one over the top)

LRB
10-27-2003, 04:25 PM
I would feel that we were justified in passing over Karl Malone, if just barely, if we can get Sabonis.

Dirk41= konsesjonen
10-27-2003, 04:28 PM
Originally posted by: LRB
I would feel that we were justified in passing over Karl Malone, if just barely, if we can get Sabonis.

I dk about that. Only b/c it would depend on how much he could play. If he could play 15-20 mpg, I agree with you.

Max Power
10-27-2003, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by: EricaLubarsky

Cubes will only balk at spending money when he thinks it won't help the club or when it would prevent us from getting someone even more valuable with that money.

and which other 15th man addition would actually get us closer to a champioship? I can't think of many.

Exactly. This is a no-brainer for the MLE.

grbh
10-27-2003, 04:45 PM
Did Madape get ahold of your password Murphy.

Obviously it would be a great signing, but I would be shocked if it happened. I just cant see Sabonis wanting to put himself through the torture of even a shortened season.

superheadcat
10-27-2003, 04:51 PM
wow, the idea of having sabonis in mavs uniform gets most of us salivated. but honestly, this remains at most "a swing and a miss" so far.

i can see a distinct possibility in dallas: donnie's tie with lithuania, mavs' champ chance, and mavs roster's nice guy image, and most importantly, a real need for his service.
if he does decide to come back to nba, i cannot see a better place than mavs.

with that all said, from what i read, it won't surprise me if he retired for good this time: he bought the major stake of his team zalgiris, and had this to say about his leaving nba:
"I had kind of ended my career and said it's enough. Then I played for one more year. The next year could have been in Portland again. Anyway, everything converges into one thing - one has to make up one's mind. While I'm still riding the wave, while someone says hello to me, recognises me, I have to use it and do something for "Zalgiris". When no one will say hello and will forget - then it's harder to do something for the team. Come on, "Zalgiris" has such a history, and now finds itself in such a position - it's embarassing. It makes you want to change something"

a totally admirable man.

although it remains a dream, we as mavs fans do have the previlege of dreaming about him.

SeriousSummer
10-27-2003, 04:55 PM
An NBA championship for team with Sabonis on it would help Lithuanian basketball.

If Sabonis could play even 10 min. a game, he'd still be an enormous asset.

Max Power
10-27-2003, 05:02 PM
Originally posted by: SeriousSummer
An NBA championship for team with Sabonis on it would help Lithuanian basketball.

Maybe Donnie could be "persuaded" to coach the Lithuanian basketball team again?

Dirk41= konsesjonen
10-27-2003, 05:11 PM
Originally posted by: Max Power

Originally posted by: SeriousSummer
An NBA championship for team with Sabonis on it would help Lithuanian basketball.

Maybe Donnie could be "persuaded" to coach the Lithuanian basketball team again?

Doesn't Donnie still coach, or assistant coach the Lithuanian team? I believe he did in the summer EU games in Sweden?

Max Power
10-27-2003, 05:49 PM
Originally posted by: Dirk41= konsesjonen

Originally posted by: Max Power

Originally posted by: SeriousSummer
An NBA championship for team with Sabonis on it would help Lithuanian basketball.

Maybe Donnie could be "persuaded" to coach the Lithuanian basketball team again?

Doesn't Donnie still coach, or assistant coach the Lithuanian team? I believe he did in the summer EU games in Sweden?

Not at the Olympics.

Dirk41= konsesjonen
10-27-2003, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by: Max Power

Originally posted by: Dirk41= konsesjonen

Originally posted by: Max Power

Originally posted by: SeriousSummer
An NBA championship for team with Sabonis on it would help Lithuanian basketball.

Maybe Donnie could be "persuaded" to coach the Lithuanian basketball team again?

Doesn't Donnie still coach, or assistant coach the Lithuanian team? I believe he did in the summer EU games in Sweden?

Not at the Olympics.

Oh, ok. You said Lithuanian basketball team, so I assumed you meant period, b/c he was an assistant coach for Lithuania in the EU games.

Simon2
10-27-2003, 06:23 PM
Wouldn't you just love for either Fortson or Sabonis to "Accidentally" step on Shaq's big toe or heel? Seriously, that a lot of weight that the Mavs will throw at Shaq if they are able to sign Sabonis.

jayC
10-27-2003, 07:20 PM
Karl Malone doesn't equate to a title.

FineCubanCigar
10-28-2003, 03:46 PM
Fortson is 275, that should be enough weight.

mavsman
10-28-2003, 09:00 PM
This thread made me skip through my tape of lat years series vs the Blazers. And watching game 3, where Sabas put down 16 points and 4 rebounds in 14 minutes and especially game 6, where he went for 16 points and 8 rebounds in TWELVE minutes, face it, even with drastically reduced minutes, he'd be our best Center by a mile.