Despite statements from Rick Carlisle and Donnie Nelson that the Dallas Mavericks wouldn't make trades at the deadline, Mark Cuban said that the team is still trying to make moves before the trade deadline next Thursday.
The Mavs have stayed pat since the owner said "the bank of Cuban" was open in mid-January, and the team has roughly stayed put in the standings as well, going 5-5. They're five games back of the eighth spot in the Western Conference standings with 31 games to go, and Cuban says the team is still trying to make deals -- both to push them closer to playoff contention and to shore up the tough-to-gauge future of the club, as Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas reports:
"It takes two teams to trade," Cuban said Monday evening. "There’s a lot of deals we would make [laughs], but nobody seems willing to do what we want to do. You never know, but nothing imminent. The bank’s still open."
Cuban said that the team wouldn't move for just anybody, but needed the right guy in return. McMahon writes that the team wants to keep its financial situation in order to lure a big free agent in the offseason, namely Dwight Howard. Just two years removed from an NBA Championship, the Mavs are in a strange position where they might need to consider rebuilding with the playoffs less and less likely this year.
Dallas blog Mavs Moneyball wrote that the prospect of an elite player falling into their lap isn't a very good one, and that the team needs to start winning or make a move fast -- with the potential future of the club hanging in the balance:
It is conceivable that the only reason a lot of those guys haven't been traded already is because Cuban, Nelson and co. want to keep as many bullets in the gun for "the big fish" trade; the blockbuster that brings Dallas a superstar or potential superstar, putting them right back in next year's contender group. The names most commonly discussed include Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, DeMarcus Cousins and Josh Smith. With the possible exception of Gasol, I think that kind of trade scenario occurring in-season is pretty unlikely. Very unlikely, actually.
The team had been reported to be interested in dealing either Vince Carter or Shawn Marion last week, but Carlisle came on record as saying neither player would be moved.