Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
The Mavericks have been offering Jerry Stackhouse’s virtual expiring contract ($7 million this season, only $2 million guaranteed next season) and Brandon Bass ($826,000) to the Kings since this past summer, when Sacramento was shopping Ron Artest. The biggest obstacle for Dallas on a Salmons deal has been the Kings’ insistence that the Mavericks — lacking draft picks to sweeten the deal — also take back guard Beno Udrih, who has four years and nearly $27 million remaining on his contract after this season.
There is another complication for interested parties: Sources revealed Tuesday that Salmons has a 15 percent trade kicker in his contract that would require the team that acquires him to pay him a bonus of nearly $2 million and add that figure to its payroll. Salmons otherwise would rank as one of the league’s better bargains, earning just $5.1 million this season while averaging 18.3 points and shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 41.8 percent on 3-pointers.
Beno Udrih sucks. Been there, talked about that. But would this $2 million trade kicker influence a potential trade with the Mavs? I’d doubt it. Cuban has said he’s willing to spend to make things happen, and though the luxury tax implications make things a bit painful with the kicker (it’s effectively doubled, with $2 million going to Salmons and $2 million going to the league to be dispersed among the teams under the tax), I doubt it would deter Cuban from making an impact deal.
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.
From Sam Amick if the Sacramento Bee:
[Beno] Udrih may be on his way out as well, as Dallas is believed to have inquired about him as a possible backup for Jason Kidd with the pieces coming to Sacramento likely including Jerry Stackhouse (this season and next for a combined $14.3 million).
Yuck. Absolutely disgusting. Stack is one of the Mavs’ most valuable trade chips, and if you ask me, Beno Udrih is actually worse than J.J. Barea, who currently mans the backup gig. Tom Ziller sums Udrih up nicely: “…for every good Beno performance he offers two bad nights.” Oh, and let’s not forget that Udrih has a ridiculous contract as the recipient of the full midlevel exception (he’s due over $32 million and his deal ends in 2013). One of the motivations for shipping out Diop was to get out from under the weight of his contract. What’s the significance of that if Dallas is going to trade what basically amounts to an expiring deal to Sacramento for an equally bad deal for a player who clearly is not a starting caliber point guard? I’m hoping the inquiries Amick describes are nothing more than that, because after watching Beno play this season I think I’d rather him not wear Maverick blue, especially if it means parting with Stack.