Dallas Mavericks

NBA Free Agency Commences in 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

So, the Mavs made a big deal yet? Well, GM Donnie Nelson promised a "very active summer," so let's hop to it.

Actually, though NBA free agency is just hatching, Dallas may be already making progress. That is, if you consider re-signing Jason Kidd progress. Kidd may not be the Mavs' most important signing this off-season, but he's by far their most important re-signing.

If Kidd walks - without compensation - I'm crowing about the disastrous Devin Harris trade, re-writing the Steve Nash nightmare and the Mavs immediately nosedive into rebuilding. Kidd isn't a consistently elite point guard anymore, but without him they can wipe "championship" off the 2009-10 grease-board goals.

Good news: Dallas' Only Daily's Eddie Sefko says owner Mark Cuban is already at Kidd's front door in New York, hopefully beating the Knicks to the pitch punch.

More good news: The Mavs have money and bargaining chips to fill their needs.

Drafting Frenchman Rodrigue Beabois did nothing for next year's team, but with the mid-level exception and the flexible contracts of Jerry Stackhouse and Erick Dampier Dallas should get busy getting better. Plus, Sports Illustrated ranks Dallas as the No. 6 destination for free agents.

How's this for a summer schedule?

1. Re-sign Jason Kidd and Brandon Bass.

2. Trade Stackhouse/Dampier for something close to Emeka Okafor/Vladimir Radmanovic.

3. Sign Ben Gordon.

4. Don't sign Rasheed Wallace.

5. Break Yao Ming's foot.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt