The Mavs’ front office doesn’t believe that Tyson Chandler would have made that much of a difference in Dallas this season.
So it’s safe to assume that Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson aren’t kicking themselves for letting Corey Brewer go for essentially nothing.
Still … it was impossible to watch the skinny swingman light up the Lakers last night and not think that the Mavs could use that kind of youth, athleticism and energy on their roster.
Brewer’s shining moment during his brief time with the Mavericks was sparking a comeback from a 16-point deficit at the Staples Center in Game 1 of the West semifinals sweep of the Lakers. He was even better in Thursday’s Game 6, scoring 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting while playing his typical tenacious defense during 19 minutes in the Nuggets’ series-tying win.
Dallas shipped Brewer to Denver along with Rudy Fernandez, who never reported to the Mavericks, in December, getting a 2016 second-round pick in return. It was a classic salary dump after the Mavs deemed the young wings expendable after signing Vince Carter and trading for Lamar Odom.
The Mavs rid themselves of a malcontent in Fernandez. They got rid of a good guy in Brewer.
But dumping Brewer was all about the money. He had a $3,059,000 salary this season, which would have been doubled for Cuban due to the luxury tax. Brewer is due $3,243,000 next season -- not a bad price at all for a rotation player, but a ton to pay a benchwarmer.
The Mavs believed Brewer would have been a benchwarmer in Dallas. The Nuggets found a niche for him, and he’s earning his money in the playoffs again.