The NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks are struggling right now, but that doesn't mean they will force trades at the deadline. Jason Terry recently stated that he would, but quickly added that he neither is management nor ownership. Even if, the Mavs haven't got much to offer for other teams. The only real assets are Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones. Behind that they're stockpiling expirings (and team options with some guaranteed money) and hard to move Shawn Marion and Brendan Haywood. They also want to keep their flexibility, so as long as no other team is willing to swap expiring contracts (+picks +DoJo +Roddy), which is unlikely, the Mavs might stay put. We discuss the limited possibilities nonetheless:
- To make 3D happen (Dirk, Dwight Howard and Deron Williams) the Mavericks have to trade Shawn Marion or Brendan Haywood and amnesty the other. Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com is constantly pressing that button all season and has discussed Andres Nocioni for Marion for quite some time now. I disagree that the Mavs absolutely HAVE to move Haywood or Marion before the deadline. If necessary, both will remain movable during the offseason and it makes no sense to prepare cap room for something that maybe won't happen at all. Especially because Marion and Haywood are key pieces this season and moving one would most likely put the Mavericks out of contention immediately (probably they already are as of now, but this would certainly seal it).
- Chris Kaman is one of the realistic targets, if bought out. He has played with Dirk Nowitzki on the German national team and both are very close and know how to play alongside each other. A trade might be possible as well, because the Hornets want get rid of him no matter what and they are high on Roddy ever since. So a package of Haywood and/or Odom and three million to cover Odom's guaranteed money next season (2.4M) might be a possibility. I inserted Marco Belinelli to make the numbers work, but that's totally random. The main question is why the Hornets would take back Lamar Odom, who seemingly has a hard time not thinking of L.A. and probably wouldn't play a single game for the Hornets (which is why is he is so hard to move in general). And of course, they would have to envision Haywood being their long-term solution at center. I'd consider this highly unlikely to say the least. If bought out, the Mavericks could wave Sean Williams and add Kaman, but would have to compete with the Heat and other teams for his service.
- Other "blockbuster" deals include Dominique Jones for a trade exception. Jones is owed 1.2M next season and would be inserted in the sellout to acquire 3D. With Delonte West back, he is totally useless and the Mavericks could easily sign a random guard off the D-League or whatever to replace him.
- Do not even think of Steve Nash. The Suns won't move him. End of story.
- The Mavs own several trade exceptions (4.2M, 3.1M, 2.2M) and could acquire another expiring with it. They could certainly use an elite shooter at the wing positions, a small forward more than another shooting guard, but a trade would require a team willing to shred salary (to get under the luxury tax in example).
That's it. Looks like a quiet Thursday to me.