Big D thinking big

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:08 PM ET

They’re thinking big in Big D, where the Mavericks acquired a big coveted by the Raptors and are contemplating pursuing the Big Diesel.

Whether Shaquille O’Neal, a free agent whose name was linked with the Atlanta Hawks, ever surfaces in Dallas wasn’t immediately known on Tuesday, a day when the Mavs acquired Tyson Chandler from Charlotte — the same Chandler whom the Raptors thought would be joining them in a package involving Jose Calderon and Reggie Evans.

To get Chandler, Dallas shipped out Erick Dampier, Eduardo Najera and Matt Carroll, an ex-Bobcat. Charlotte also threw in Alexis Ajinca.

What’s interesting about this deal is that Dampier’s salary for this season is not guaranteed, meaning the Bobcats can waive him at the drop of a hat.

Chandler’s deal is guaranteed, which reveals just how desperate Charlotte is in clearing cap space.

Earlier Tuesday, reports surfaced that Mavs franchise player Dirk Nowitzki would like the team to sign Shaq, who last played in Cleveland, riding shotgun with LeBron James.

At his news conference in Las Vegas, site of the league’s board of governors meetings, commissioner David Stern announced he had fined Cavs owner Dan Gilbert $100,000 US for the comments he made after LeBron James snubbed Cleveland for Miami.

“I would have advised (James) not to embark on what has become known as The Decision,” Stern said. “I think that the advice he received on this was poor.

“His performance was fine. His honesty and his integrity shine through. But this decision was ill-conceived, badly produced and poorly executed.”

In the wake of James’ dog and pony show, a popularity survey was conducted regarding his.

Despite outrage from mainstream media, which is generally comprised of middle-class males aged 40 and older, the younger demographic clearly admire James.

“If you watched ESPN or read a newspaper last Friday, you would have thought LeBron had committed career suicide,” said John Dick, CEO of CivicScience Inc., the Pittsburgh-based group that conducted the survey.

“We need to remember that our media punditry is still dominated by Baby Boomers and older Gen X-ers. Millennials identify with James as one of their own and it appears his announcement may have actually improved his image overall.”

Gone fishing

There aren’t many players who have earned Kobe Bryant’s respect, but Derek Fisher is one of them.

When Bryant found out Fisher was being courted by the Heat, he encouraged Fisher to stay with the Lakers.

“While this may not be the most lucrative contract I’ve been offered this off-season, it is the most valuable. I am confident I will continue to lead this team on and off the court. Let the hunt for six begin,’’ Fisher said in a statement on his website.

All that Jazz

Utah could not have acquired Al Jefferson had it not acquired a $14-million trade exception the Jazz received when Carlos Boozer signed with Chicago in free agency.

Armed with the exception, Utah was able to accommodate Big Al and Minnesota ridded itself of one of last remnants of the Kevin Garnett blockbuster.


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