At 32-22 and sitting at 6th place in the Western Conference, the Dallas Mavericks have a tough decision to make with the trade deadline (February 20) nearing closer and closer each day.
Let’s be honest, if you don’t enjoy trades and hypothetical scenarios, you may not be a real Mavs’ fan.
Over the years we’ve seen the Mavericks pull of trades that have seen players such as Jason Kidd, Michael Finley, Jerry Stackhouse, Devin Harris, Nick Van Exel, Raef Lafrentz, Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, Shawn Marion, Jason Terry, Josh Howard, and many many more either come or go.
We all know the Mavs will be active in trade talks, something they never hesitate to admit, as they are always looking to improve the talent on the team.
With Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Devin Harris, and DeJuan Blair paying dividends after being brought in this offseason, the Mavericks are once again in the playoff hunt.
The Mavericks may and should be looking to make this team even stronger in an effort to not waste another great season from the 35-year old Dirk Nowitzki.
For a trade to work, it must involve both give and take. That “give” is something the Mavs don’t exactly have.
It’s hard to see the Mavericks departing with either Calderon or Ellis unless the return is too good to turn down.
In my opinion the Mavs should only trade Shawn Marion, who happens to be the only starter who can play any form of defense, if it nets them a small forward who is an immediate upgrade in the short-term and that the team plans on building around in the long-term (Luol Deng?).
The bench unit of Brandan Wright, Harris, Vince Carter, and DeJuan Blair have all played well. I find it very difficult for the Mavs to part with Wright, Harris, and Carter.
Samuel Dalembert? Trade him if an upgrade is found.
Shane Larkin and Jae Crowder? With no first round picks to trade, the Mavs may try to package these younger players to net a draft pick or use them as if they are a draft pick.
Let’s be real. The Maverick don’t exactly have the assets to bring in a big name without tearing apart the team. Something that the Mavs want to avoid in an effort to keep the chemistry and rhythm of the team moving forward.
My take? Unless the Mavericks are getting a defensive minded/rebounding center in the mold of Larry Sanders (won’t happen, injured and Milwaukee Bucks won’t sell low), and Omar Asik, the Mavs should stay put.
As much as I’d love to see the Mavs bluster their team to make a playoff push, I think it’s better to keep building what we have now and hope that all the parts click as they did in 2011.
A big trade involves integrating new players, parts, and roles, which will result in losses, something the Mavs may not be able to afford in the loaded West.
So unless they Mavs are offered Omar Asik or an upgrade at center for Dalembert, Wayne Ellington, Shane Larkin, and/or Jae Crowder, I say take our chances with this roster.
Who knows, a player like Emeka Okafor can get healthy, waived, and be brought in via free agency.
If the defense can somewhat resemble what it did against the Indiana Pacers, with the bench surging as it has, and Dirk, Monta, and Jose continuing to build chemistry, the Mavs may be a team you won’t want to see in the first round.
With all that being said, I will be living on the ESPN Trade Machine till Thursday.
I’m sure many of you will be too.