Despite the Dallas Mavericks making no moves prior to the NBA trade deadline, GM Donnie Nelson held his press conference Thursday, walking out and joking, “nothing to report, let’s go home.” Here’s what he had to say:
-Seemed to be the only team not to make a trade:
“Yes, a lot more went down than I thought would but your Dallas Mavericks held pat, we feel good about where the team is right now so we were more opportunistic trade participants more than anything else. Nothing really presented itself that we felt would better our team this year so what you see is what you get.”
-Any idea why so many trades went down?
“It’s funny because usually you get a feel on how things are going to go during All-Star weekend and you had some guys that thought a lot was going on and others thought not very much, lot of chatter, lot of scenarios thrown around and lot more went down this year than a lot of us expected.”
-Why do you think that was?
“I think you have teams that are in the hunt and other teams that are rebuilding and looking where they’re at and building for the future. I think by that factor, that made for a lot of deal making.”
-Important to pick up Amar’e since West is so tight?
“That was a big get for us, he has a dimension that we currently don’t have in our front line and certainly solidifies physicality and that’s important come playoff time and he knows how to win playoff games. We feel we’re excited about the addition.”
-When do you see him playing?
“We’re hopeful for Sunday but we’re going to take it slow and do it right, circling Sunday and I think that’ll be the day.”
-Sitting out wasn’t a health issue, more for adaptation?
“Yes, I mean he just needs to get his sea legs under him a bit, get comfortable with the systems but not something we want to rush given where we want to go in the playoffs.”
-Good fit with Dirk and Tyson?
“That’s the great thing about him is that he can shift back and forth, play some 4 play some 5 which is perfect for us. He’s a roller and still can get above the rim and can hit the outside jump shot. It gives Rick some versatility and some depth in our front court.”
-Concerned about adding piece with Rondo (chemistry)?
“I would say if we were overly concerned we wouldn’t have pulled the trigger but like with Rondo, it’s well worth the price of admission. Those two guys, one gives us a quarterback that’s been there done that, has won at the highest level, a pass first guy then a defender and rebounder, things that fit well with us and with Amar’e again, it’s a guy that can add a physical element, can win playoff games and isn’t afraid of any playoff scenario so it gives us depth and flexibility and that veteran experience that’s important for championship caliber playoff teams.”
“Oh we made lots of calls, received lots of calls, more than anything you want to know what’s going on out there and again sometimes there’s opportunities to develop a little of interference, certainly has its place, things go East so again we were more opportunistic than anything else and we didn’t really see anything that was a difference maker for us. At this late stage you’re not looking for reasons to change things, so it has to be for good reason. Today there just wasn’t enough good reasons to change gears.”
-Mess up some trade parties?
“Certainly helps when some of these guys end up in the Eastern conference, you know if we can be helpful with our friends in the East we’ll step in and take those opportunities when we can get them.”
-Some of the deals that went down, make you feel more good about the Rondo trade?
“Again, it’s a little bit of a setback with the accident he had, but we’re hoping with or without the mask, he can provide that punch that bought him a championship in Boston.”
-Surprised by what happened today from the competition?
“Actually I was expecting a little more. A lot of scenarios that were fairly close that didn’t happen that were relieving. But I think there were some teams that definitely helped themselves but again it’s also good to see some of the names that’s done damage in the past go East so I think overall we feel good about our positioning and now it’s just a matter of getting the boys in blue to get accumulated and get ready for the playoff push.”
-Buy out opportunities, still be buyers?
“Always opportunistic about buy out opportunities, again it would have to make sense with coach and players that we currently have. We feel like we have a pretty darn good solid set rotation so it would have to be significant enough to create a roster spot.”
-Coversation with Ricky Ledo
“Ricky is great he’s got a bright future. He spent quite a bit of time in the D-League which has been helpful for his development. We feel like his better days are ahead and unfortunately for the here and now for the playoff push we had to cut our Ricky experiment short. It doesn’t preclude us from revisiting that in the summer when we have some roster room but the future is bright for Ricky whether in a Maverick uniform or another NBA team.”
“We’re big fans of Bernard. He’s been with us, knows our system, great guy in the locker room, can’t say enough about his character so whether he’s thrust into significant minutes (like the other night) or he’s more of a support role, we’re looking to get guys like Sarge in our locker room.”
“We will (sign him). When his 10 day is up we will absolutely 100 percent renew him for another 10 days.”
Amar’e future in Big D
“We really can’t go there right now but we certainly love him and hope come summertime when we can engage with discussion like that, that he’ll see a long term future here because he definitely is our kind of guy.”
Dallas fell to the Thunder in its first game back since the All-Star break Thursday night. The Mavericks return home to host the Rockets Friday night and Charlotte on Sunday.
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