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Somewhat surprisingly, the Dallas Mavericks won the Corey Brewer sweepstakes after the New York Knicks totally surprisingly waived him after acquiring him from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a cap clearing deal that feed up space for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups on the payroll. Brewer is one of the league’s best defenders and to see the Knicks let him go like that was a pretty clear admission that they have no intention of playing defense over the next 10 years and are happy giving up 120 points per game as long as Carmelo and Amare put on a show.
Brewer was reportedly receiving offers from every team in contention: the Lakers, the Celtics, the Magic, the Heat, etc. But instead of picking the Heat or Celtics, who seemed like the logical choices to me, Brewer chose Dallas and right now he looks like the smartest man on Earth. I’m not sure if Dallas offered Brewer any more money than those other teams – a possibility, if legal under the salary cap rules, given Mark Cuban’s desire to win – but the real reason Brewer took his talents to Dallas was because he wanted to figure out who shot J.R.
Brewer’s reputation as the Nostradamus of our time only grows when you consider that he almost never had to get off the bench in the post-season. “So you’re going to pay me $$2,875,000+ for the next three years, never play me because I can’t shoot and I’m going to win an NBA title in three months? Do you have a pen?” I imagine that’s how Brewer’s conversation with Cuban went.
Aside from garbage time in the regular season, Brewer only played key minutes in a couple of games in the post-season. Though Dirk overstated his importance in the game, Brewer’s five-point performance against the Lakers in game one in which he hit a three during the Mavs’ second half comeback was probably his best game of the season as a Maverick. Again, $3 million paycheck, rare exertion of energy and an NBA ring? Not a bad deal.
A lot of folks were calling for Brewer to get minutes in both the Western Conference Finals and the Finals but obviously he was never needed that much. In the Finals I thought there was a chance that he got burn because Peja Stojakovic had ceased to make shots and LeBron torched him in game one. Putting Brewer on James or Wade to spell Shawn Marion wasn’t such a bad idea in my mind but Carlisle stuck with his rotation, Shawn Marion locked down James for the rest of the series and the Mavs won the title. Can’t argue with the results.
Assuming Peja retires during the off-season, Brewer will be Dallas’ back-up small forward and will actually be counted on to play a role next season. At the price Dallas got him at, getting 20 or so minutes of great defense off the bench while Marion sits isn’t so bad and there’s a chance that Brewer becomes a somewhat decent offensive player (though I’ve been waiting for that to happen for a couple of years now). Brewer’s length and versatility will also allow the Mavs to play some small ball at various points next season.
Corey Brewer may not have had much to do with the Mavs’ success this season but he did hit a three over Kobe Bryant in a playoff game and that’s something he can live to tell his kids about. And if that doesn’t interest them, Brewer can show them his ring (or his bracelet; or his diamond plated Navigator, or whatever Cuban comes up with), because Corey Brewer is an NBA Champion.