After the Mavericks balked at shipping Vince Carter to Memphis and in turn land Toronto's Jose Calderon, it appears Carter won't be going anywhere at the trade deadline.
Rick Carlisle himself told Carter that the Mavericks intend to keep him in Dallas, from NBA.com's Jeff Caplan:
"A couple days later he pulled me aside and said all the trade rumors, because I didn't know much about it, he said it's not going to happen," Carter told NBA.com after Wednesday's win that pushed Dallas' record to to 21-28 as it began a massively important run of seven of its next eight games at home.
"I'm happy where I am. I feel like my role here is needed," Carter continued. "It's a perfect position as a mentor, as a player, as a spark. I'm OK with that. I feel like for me, if they need me to start I'll do it. If they need me to come off the bench, I'll do it. I'm still going to play my same game and be effective. I'm a team guy and I want to see our team have success."
Carlisle told Carter this after the Mavericks overtime loss to the Thunder a week or so ago in which Carter scored 29 points. It makes sense. Carter's 12.8 points per game and 17.03 PER coming off the bench is an absolute bargain at the $3 million Carter is making this year. He makes $3.1 million next year but it's a team-option. Even if the Mavericks splurge and sign a big free agent, Carter's reasonable price-tag will be nice to help fill out the roster if Dallas overhauls again.
It makes even more sense when you consider what's out there on the trade market. Pau Gasol's foot injury effectively wipes him away from being dealt at the deadline, Dwight Howard isn't going anywhere and Josh Smith will be a free agent this summer, so there isn't much incentive to trade for him now.
Other then that, there aren't many players out there that Dallas would risk its cap space for this summer. Samuel Dalembert is an intriguing piece (and look here, he posted 35 points and 12 rebounds on Tuesday) and his contract also expires at the end of the season. But, again: the Bucks have yo-yo'd Dalembert's minutes all season and there's little chance he resigns there. The Mavericks can always try to lure him in free agency while keeping Carter around for the team or for another potential trade in the summer.
Again in the NBA, things change and coaches and executives lie a lot about trade rumors, especially to the media. It wouldn't surprise me all that much if Carter is gone by February but it seems the chances are lowering by the day.