The NBA trade deadline is upon us and the whispers and rumors continue to circulate, coming primarily from unnamed league sources. Reading about the possibilities is always intriguing as the trade deadline approaches and there typically are a few star players that will find themselves with a new address.
There are a handful of teams that are clearly title contenders, for these teams their focus is typically adding another bench player that fills a specific role. The next tier of teams are close to being contenders and they are hoping to find a player who will have a greater impact, someone that could potentially swing a tight playoff series. These teams are typically in the third through sixth spots in each conference.
The teams that occupy the bottom spots in each conference are clearly looking ahead. Any veterans that are not part of their long-term plans will be shopped to the teams looking to fortify their rotation as the postseason approaches.The rest of the teams in the NBA face a more difficult decision as the trade deadline draws closer. Do they part with a draft pick or young asset in hopes of landing a quality veteran? Do they admit they are not true contenders and make the short-term sacrifice in order to acquire young assets and draft picks?
Despite their 117-106 loss to the Miami Heat, the Mavericks are playing their best basketball of the 2013-14 season. They will certainly be a team looking to improve at the trade deadline, but don’t expect any dramatic news Thursday.
Of course the Mavericks would love to improve their roster. Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson have never approached the trade deadline with trepidation, even in seasons that saw no significant trade materialize. The Mavericks have the reputation of a team that is consistently working the phones and fielding numerous offers. While the desire will be there to pull the trigger on a deal that could improve the Mavericks chances at a deep postseason run, don’t expect significant trade news to come out of Dallas.
The teams that are looking to unload veterans are looking for two things in return, talented young players and draft picks. The Mavericks are not currently in a position to offer either of these. The Oklahoma City Thunder control the Mavericks first-round pick which prevents Dallas from using it in any possible trade scenario. The Mavericks could attempt to gauge the level of interest in young role players, Shane Larkin and Brandan Wright, but it makes little sense given what the return would likely be.
If Dallas decides they are willing to take on a contract that another team is looking to move, they could possibly find themselves with a trade partner. This may have made sense prior to the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA), but the ramifications for taking on bad contracts are more severe than they were in previous years.
The Mavericks have displayed financial caution since winning the championship in 2011 and there are no indications this will suddenly change. Dallas is currently in position to once again have enough salary cap space to add a significant player in the offseason and it would take an enticing offer for the Mavericks to sacrifice that flexibility.
The Mavericks will be referenced in rumors, and tweets will fly that will mention Dallas has interest in a particular player. While anything is possible, the Mavericks brass will have to be incredibly creative to drastically improve their current roster via trade. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday at 2 p.m Central.