Today is the day. The trade deadline is finally here. At 2 pm central standard time, the wheeling and dealing will pretty much be over. The Mavericks are in a tough spot as they try to balance their run for the playoffs this year and continue their process of transitioning into the future. With viable trade assets in Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Chris Kaman, anything is possible. Dallas could be looking for players that can boost their playoff chances this year, they could look to accommodate other teams and acquire nice pieces in return or they could unload everything and work with a relatively clean slate going into the offseason.
The most recent report came from Ken Berger of CBSSports.com suggesting that the Mavericks have made Roddy Beaubois, Dominique Jones and Brandan Wright available for draft picks, according to sources. Some have joked that the Mavericks would be willing to take a third-round draft pick for either Roddy or Jones (there are only two rounds in the NBA draft). Picks are quite valuable in today’s new NBA as rookie-deal players are all the rage. The Mavericks would be interested in obtaining those picks, but they won’t do anything to compromise their cap room.
As the festivities of All-Star weekend faded away, the trade deadline became the top story for the league. Rumors, like the ones mentioned above, always run rampant as the deadline approaches. Owners and general managers are valuable sources of information, but it’s hard to really figure out if they’re giving you information that is worth running with. The best thing to do is just look around the league and get a feel for where each team is at and determine if there is something in terms of a fit for your team. That’s what we’re going to do here. As the trade deadline inches closer and closer, it’s time to look at every team around the league and see if there’s anything that makes sense for the Mavericks.
It’s a given that Josh Smith is the most attractive name on the Hawks’ roster. There’s no doubt that he’s athletically gifted and he’s found a way to harness it all together to make himself a multidimensional weapon on the floor. There aren’t that many players in the league that can do what Smith can do. As he is in the final year of his deal, it appears that both the Hawks and Smith are ready to part ways. Atlanta doesn’t necessarily demand a top dollar offer in exchange for Smith. They’re open to acquiring expiring deals or picks.
Dallas has been linked to Smith over the last few weeks based on the fact he’s going to be a top level free agent and the Mavericks have been looking to snag a big fish in the free agent market. According to sources within the organization, there is an interest in Smith, but it doesn’t appear to be a strong enough interest to consider bringing him on at the dollar amount he might command on the open market. The Mavericks wouldn’t want to relinquish most of their assets to acquire Smith only to see him leave in the summer. While Smith is a sexy name and will likely be moved, I’ll be very surprised if he ends up a Maverick.
The C’s have had the injury bug take up residence at their facility for a better portion of this year. The biggest incident was losing Rajon Rondo for the year due to a torn ACL. Trying to acquire Rondo would actually be a very Mav-y kind of move. They would clearly have to give up a lot to get him and indirectly concede to not having any major intentions of winning in the very immediate future. Rondo is a player that is a true game-changer as he is a tough defender and one of the best facilitators in the league. I find it hard to believe they’ll actually give Rondo up, though. There have been mumblings that Jason Terry might be let go to help free up some cap room going forward. I imagine that tattoo he got of the Celtics leprechaun holding the Larry O’Brien trophy would become awfully cumbersome. It doesn’t appear there’s an immediate fit for the Mavericks.
Deron Williams hasn’t been overly great this season, to say the least. Would the Nets consider trading him? Yeah, I don’t think so.
Oh, the Bobcats. Michael Jordan loves Dirk, right? Maybe he’ll want to make another deal for the Mavericks that helps them out in a big way. Remember when Charlotte sent Tyson Chandler to Dallas? With Charlotte, it’s simply a case of there nothing really to see.
It appears Richard (Rip) Hamilton is the only real asset that might be available on the Bulls’ end. Hamilton only has $1 million guaranteed out of the final year of his deal next season ($5 million total). That would sound attractive to the Mavericks as an asset that has a little extra value with that hidden value (kind of like Erick Dampier). It might sound attractive if the Mavericks didn’t already have the same kind of player but better in Vince Carter. Pass.
The Cavs have a ton of young assets and picks to work with. That sounds like a great situation for the Mavericks as a trade partner. The problem with Cleveland is they still aren’t a good team. It doesn’t make sense for them to add someone like Vince Carter or Shawn Marion to the mix at this stage of their progression. Pass.
Dall….wait a tick, whoops
See Cleveland, but not nearly as attractive.
Golden State Warriors
While he doesn’t fit as a trade target, keep an eye on Jarrett Jack. The veteran guard has been a good influence on the young roster in Oakland. He’s a game and is a very steady player. Jack won’t wow anyone, but he definitely won’t hurt you when he’s on the floor. He might be an attractive free agent target this coming off season.
Would Houston want to help a team that’s trying to chase them down in the race for the 8th seed? That’s probably not how they would look at the situation. A team’s goal during the trade is not to worry about how it influences the team they’re dealing with. Their man goal is to do whatever it takes to make their team better. The move they made to acquire Thomas Robinson gave them some wiggle room going forward as they try to acquire someone like Dwight Howard in the summer. It appears two of the three teams in Texas will be in an arms race for Howard’s services.
It gets a little interesting when you look at the Pacers. They’re a team that is squarely in the hunt in the Eastern Conference. They pushed the Heat during the Conference Semifinals but fell in six games to the eventual champions. The Pacers are in the hunt but they’re also in a bit of a tough spot. They locked up Roy Hibbert to a near max deal this past offseason. They want to retain forward David West after this season. They also have to keep in mind Paul George, the new face of their franchise, is still on a rookie deal and will be getting paid in the near future.
Dumping Danny Granger might be an option they look at. Would a package of Vince Carter and Shawn Marion interest them? It would be a move that frees up future space for the Pacers and brings them two talented assets and gives them a boost as they make their push for the playoffs. The Mavericks would get the best overall and youngest player in the deal. Another goal in any trade is to obtain the best player in the deal. It would certainly put Dallas in a position to help lure more free agents on board as Granger is a proven All-Star in the league. Granger does come with some blemmishes. He has missed the first half of the season due to patellar tendinosis in his left knee. At just over $14 million due in the final year of his deal next season, his contract would definitely hamper the Mavericks’ chances of acquiring someone like Dwight Howard during the free agency window. Do they actually get better by acquiring Granger and losing Marion and Carter? On paper, it sounds like it’s possible. It’s a tough spot for the Mavericks. The Pacers are a team that’s worth keeping track of.
Los Angeles Clippers
The hot name with the Clippers is Eric Bledsoe. The backup point guard has shown flashes of his potential during his time with the Clippers. He did get exposed to an extent while he had to fill in for Chris Paul earlier this year. That being said, Bledsoe is still the target of many teams around the league. According to sources within the organization, the Mavericks aren’t completely sold on Bledsoe as a pure point guard. Even if the Mavericks were interested, I don’t think they have the right amount of assets that would entice the Clippers to let go of the young and talented asset.
Los Angeles Lakers
Depending on who you talk to, it appears that it’s up in the air as to whether or not the Lakers will deal Dwight Howard at the deadline. It clearly hasn’t worked for this superstar-driven squad. The Mavericks probably don’t have the right amount of player and pick assets that would satisfy the Lakers if they actually decided to trade Howard. I honestly don’t believe they’ll trade him and they’ll take the risk of seeing him walk in free agency. Howard is clearly the big fish the Mavericks are going for. If they’ve gone this far in their pursuit, they’ll keep themselves in a position to stay in the mix for him during the summer.
If Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph aren’t available, Dallas likely isn’t interested. Pass.
No, No, NO!
It begins and ends with Brandon Jennings. He has been discussed at length here at the Two Man Game over the last week. He still makes a ton of sense as a player the Mavericks should look at. It’s now just a matter of if the Bucks want to let him go or want to let Monta Ellis go. Reports came out on Wednesday suggesting that Jennings was untouchable. Is that posturing, trying to drive up the asking price in a trade or is it the real deal? It appears we’ll find out in a few hours.
There appears to be some interest in backup point guard Beno Udrih, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. The interest contingent on Milwaukee not needing to include the backup guard in a bigger deal. It’s clear now Milwaukee is a team to watch as a partner as the deadline approaches.
See Cleveland and Detroit, with picks
New Orleans Pel…Horn…New Orleans
Eric Gordon’s name has popped up as someone who might be available. He’s a potential star so the Mavericks will clearly look into his availiability. He’s had knee issues over the last year and a half, making him a major red flag. The Mavericks would have to chose between Gordon and O.J. Mayo. For the price and the value of having Mayo on board for this season, I’m inclined to think they’ll pass on Gordon.
New York Knicks
“Chris Kaman for Tyson Chandler? Hello….? I guess they went into a tunnel.”
Oklahoma City Thunder
There’s an outside the box theory that ultimately helps the Thunder in a big way and helps unload Shawn Marion’s price tag for the Mavericks. I find it hard to believe that the Thunder and Mavericks could manufacture something of that scale in such a short window of time. The Mavericks would ultimately be gifting Marion to the Thunder and getting minor and cheap assets in return. It’s a massive stretch, to say the least. Maybe something could be manufactured in the offseason.
J.J. Redick is the hot name for the Magic. He’s really developed in a nice all-around player since he came into the league. In the final year of his deal, it appears the Magic will be looking to get assets back as Redick doesn’t fit in their rebuilding plans. While I like his upside compared to someone like Eric Gordon, Dallas probably doesn’t have the kind of assets that would fit into what Orlando is looking for. It would also force the Mavericks to decide between Redick and Mayo going forward.
The only name of interest from a Dallas perspective is Andrew Bynum. The skilled big man has yet to play a game this season due to lingering knee issues but is hopeful to return in the next few weeks. There is still a very realistic possibility that Bynum could go the entire season without playing a single game. That will make for a very interesting situation as Bynum will become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Mavericks have had an interest in Bynum in the past, but it’s hard to get a feel for how far the team would be willing to go in terms of offering big money to a big man who has a loaded history of injury issues. If the Mavericks strike out on Dwight Howard, they’ll certainly kick the tires on the concept of trying to bring in Bynum.
The Mavericks were kicked in the Gortats a few years ago, but it appears they could have another chance at Marcin Gortat if they decide they’re interested. The Suns are slated to be one of the few teams in the league that are actively pursuing deals as the deadline approaches. Things haven’t worked in Phoenix so they’ll be looking to make some changes. An attempt to acquire Gortat would likely mean Dallas would have to absorb someone like Michael Beasley (and his ridiculous hair). Beasley still has one full year next year left at $6 million and the final year of his deal in 2014-15 is only partially guaranteed.
Gortat has roughly $7.7 million left on the final year of his deal next season. If the Mavericks don’t feel like they’ll have the chance to acquire Dwight Howard or feel too squeamish to try to go for Andrew Bynum, they could always look at making another run at Gortat. His performance since arriving in Phoenix shows that the front office was correct in their assessment of him when they tried to acquire him as a restricted free agent.
Portland Trail Blazers
With $4 million expiring after this year, J.J. Hickson is probably the only name of interest from Portland. The Mavericks might be interested in him based on his tenacity and energy, but they’ll run into a problem of acquiring a player that would be listed behind their best player (Dirk) on the depth chart. Hickson is an intriguing name, but likely not one that’s directly on the radar for Dallas during the deadline.
Sacramento Kin…Seattle So…The team with DeMarcus Cousins
DeMarcus Cousins is a definite target for the Mavericks. He may be a little sideways with his demeanor on the floor but he’s one of the most skilled big men in the league. It appears that the Kings are still slated to move to Seattle after this season. Depending on who you listen to, there’s a chance that Sacramento will continue to make final pushes to keep their team in the capital of California. The move to let Thomas Robinson go was a surprise and somewhat defies the theory that the Kings will avoid rocking the boat during this time of transition. We’ll have to wait to see if anything radically changes. With such a big move to a new location possibly on the horizon, it’s hard to imagine that Cousins will be available in such a short window during the deadline, though he might become available during the summer.
San Antonio Spurs
It’s hard to imagine these two teams doing business with each other. If they do, watch out for what happens for the player the Mavericks send off because it seems that everything the Spurs touch comes relatively close to gold.
With the Raptors trading away Jose Calderon, Kyle Lowry appears to be the man now at the point guard position. That being said, the Raptors do have an out if things go south. In the final year of his deal next year, Lowry only has $1 million of his $6.2 million contract guaranteed. If he’s waived by July 15, the hit on the cap will only count as $1 million. Known more as a defensive minded guard, there might be some intrigue in Lowry, but I don’t think there’s a good mix of assets that really creates anything between Dallas and Toronto.
If you want a big man, Utah seems to be the team you want to talk to. With Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap or even Enes Kanter available, Utah is in a positive of uncertainty. Both Jefferson and Millsap are in the final year of their deals, and Utah will have only roughly $19-$25 on the books going into next season. The Jazz have the ability to absorb some money if they are inclined to do so. The Mavericks have walked down the aisle in terms of inquiring about Jefferson in the past. The issue with him back then would still be the issue now: defense. With a frontcourt of Dirk and Jefferson, you’re defense might resemble a plastic bag on a windy day. They’re an intriguing trade partner, but I’m not sure there’s a match there.
See Cleveland, Detroit, etc….without the lucrative assets.
So, there you have it. That’s a breakdown of what each team around the league has to offer in terms of a deal as the trade deadline arrives in just a few hours. The trade deadline could come with a bang or a mere whimper. Dirk Nowitzki seems to think it will be a quiet time at the headquarters. We’re going to find out soon enough on whether or not he’s right or wrong.
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.