Okay, so the title of this piece is a little bit sensationalist. I can't guarantee you the Mavericks won't make a trade, especially a minor one. Perhaps to improve on the Curry-Murphy-Fisher-James carousel. A lot, too, will depend on the front office's perception of how things are going. If they, like many other metroplex observers, have given up much hope of Big Fish Free Agents any time soon, a lot of things are possible. But one thing isn't:
The Mavericks are not going to make a trade to improve for THIS year.
So you can put down the telescope. You can stop walking from crenellation to crenellation, Beau Geste style, pretending to be a whole army till the cavalry comes. It's not coming. For a very simple reason:
Unless you are George Custer, or whoever was in charge of the Light Brigade, you don't send cavalry in to die.
If you're not making the playoffs, why would you trade for help to miss it by a little less?
So you're not going to see Jose Calderon here. You're not going to see anyone expiring. Would the Mavericks hop on some DeMarcus Cousins something something, if they could figure it out, if they could find anything Sacramento might want? Personality issues aside, I believe they would. If it's a piece for the future, and above all a cheap piece for the future, I believe they'd jump on it.
They will continue to be, as Mark Cuban always puts it, opportunistic. And they do have some options. Chris Kaman is a big expiring contract. Shawn Marion, if he can revive his offensive game, might be a nice piece for a contender to have. They can't trade both to the same kind of team, since one is cap relief and one isn't, but there would presumably be some interest. And yes, they can trade Collison or Mayo, though I wouldn't bet on it.
But you're not going to see a vet come in here. Barring a huge front office philosophy shift, you're not going to see a high salary guy come in here at all unless it's in the company of a big future piece, attainable by means of salary dump. It does happen, and it is the Mavericks best bet.
Scale of one to ten, however, how likely are you to see Cuban and Donnie squander their precious cap space when they have no idea what the team will look like next year, in other words, before the offseason? I'm giving it a three.
In fact, even if the Mavericks do find their way back into playoff contention, and it is not at this point strictly impossible, they're still not going to make a trade because they are not the kind of front office--thankfully, really--that is going to invest a lot of money in finishing seventh.
So are you going to see something like Dom Jones for a draft pick? Sure, maybe. Would they, if it were possible, trade Kaman and something for, say, Marcin Gortat and maybe take on a little salary? I think they probably would, even if a likely deal such as Gortat and Michael Beasley's bloated salary for Kaman and expiring filler would end up costing the Mavs just about what Tyson Chandler would have. It's a different time and Gortat would be a nice piece.And, after all, the Mavs are playing much, much better these days---that's WHY they're breaking your heart.
But are the Mavs going to make a trade, this season, to fill a need, to make them more immediately watchable?
I would say no. And I'd say that's probably the right move.