With a record of 23-17, good for sixth in the Western Conference, the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks aren’t exactly playing up to their potential. With that said, though, they are best off sticking with what they have through the upcoming trade deadline.
According to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News, Mavs owner Mark Cuban has said that the team isn’t making any trade calls. Cuban did say they would accept calls, but unless an offer falls into their lap, it doesn’t seem as though the Mavericks are going to make any changes.
I don’t care about our record as long as we make the playoffs. So you know you’re going to lose games that you otherwise might have won. You hope the schedule balances where we get guys later in the season that are in their ninth game in 12 nights. Hopefully it will help us as well.
Cuban’s logic certainly makes sense as the Mavericks have played one of the tougher and more condensed schedules in the league this season. Even if their record doesn’t show it, the Mavs are a team nobody will want to see in the playoffs thanks to their championship pedigree and players like Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry.
With Terry, Jason Kidd and Lamar Odom all able to come off the books after this season, the Mavs will have a ton of cap space and will likely make a run at Dwight Howard and either Deron Williams or Steve Nash. As much as Cuban and the Mavericks would love to do everything possible to win another title this season, they have to look toward the future as well.
If there is a way to get a rental player without sacrificing any of next season’s cap space, that is something the Mavs should consider. Barring that, however, there is no point in making a deal. Dallas is set up extremely well for the offseason and has enough savvy veteran players to make a run this season without making a trade.
Some may misconstrue Cuban’s unwillingness to seek out a trade as a concession of defeat this season. That couldn’t be further from the truth, though. Perhaps some moves could be made to improve slightly this season, but Cuban believes in his team and isn’t willing to mortgage the future for a deal that may not even make a difference.
The Mavericks have a couple options right now. They can either go for broke and try to win it all this season while possibly setting themselves up to fail in upcoming years, or they could remain status quo this season, do the best they can with their current roster, and form a superteam next year.
It’s quite clear the better choice is to ensure they have enough cap space to make improvements during the offseason, and Cuban certainly must agree since he doesn’t want any trade calls being made. Dallas is going to have a tough time with the Thunder, Spurs, Clippers, Lakers and others anyway, so there’s no need to do anything drastic.
As much as some Mavericks fans would love to see a strong commitment to winning it all this season, standing pat could set the Mavs up to win many more titles in the future.
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