Or at least you’d think so. Stein tackled a few of the more popular Mavs rumors out there, hopefully stopping any momentum on some of the more underwhelming offers floating around the mainstream media:
There are a couple GMs out there who believe that the Trail Blazers will enter (or have entered) the Vince bidding. Dallas, by contrast, continues to say that it won’t.
The Nets would want Josh Howard in such a deal and the Mavs, according to club sources, have no intention of making Howard available for a Carter swap.
Dallas insists that it’s interested in Carter only if the most valuable trade chip it surrenders is Jerry Stackhouse’s virtual expiring contract (which has only $2 million guaranteed in 2009-10). As covered in Thursday night’s Daily Dime, one Mavs source went so far as to claim that the Nets would have to include rookie center Brook Lopez to change that stance, which obviously isn’t happening.
The Mavs believe that the recent arrival of Darrell Armstrong as an assistant coach — after Armstrong’s influence was badly missed in the locker room in the final, fateful days of Avery Johnson’s run as Mavs coach — gives Howard a confidante on the staff who can help keep him engaged after a rough year-plus for the former All-Star.
The swingman Dallas has actually been chasing, sources say, is Sacramento’s Salmons, but the Kings want the Mavs to take back Beno Udrih as well since they don’t have a first-round pick to sweeten the deal. But Udrih won’t be Dallas-bound with three years and nearly $20 million left on his contract after this season.
I like the Mavs’ hard stance on Vince Carter. Howard would seem a steep price to nab a scorer poised to decline in production and increase in salary. But you already knew that.
I’m also pretty excited that the team isn’t high on Beno Udrih. I’m not sure how anybody could be at this point. I wouldn’t mind adding Salmons to the squad — his slightly above average production warrants his midlevel contract. Udrih is definitely a deal-breaker for me, though.
Stein’s trade frenzy also brings up a point that hasn’t been discussed here in any length, and that’s the impact of trades on the rest of the West. Terry Porter’s firing in Phoenix would definitely seem to help the Mavs (and the rest of the West hoping to stay in the hunt for the playoffs or homecourt advantage), and a major trade for Phoenix, New Orleans, San Antonio, or Portland could significantly alter the playoff picture. There’s no point in digging through the rumors for all of those teams, but we’ll talk if anything seems imminent.