By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com
DALLAS – There is a little less than six weeks remaining until the NBA trade deadline, and the Dallas Mavericks will once again be right in the middle of the rumor mill.
“There’s a 100 percent chance that we’re going to try to do something,” Mark Cuban said.
That, of course, is no surprise considering the Mavs’ opportunistic approach. Oh, and their 14-23 record.
Striking before the Feb. 21 deadline might be the Mavs’ best chance to make a significant roster upgrade before next season.
The odds of catching a big fish (Chris Paul or Dwight Howard) this summer are awfully slim, as Dirk Nowitzki noted, much to Cuban’s chagrin. However, Cuban insists that chance to make a major splash in the free agency market isn’t the only reason he deemed it wise for the Mavs to create financial flexibility, an infamous decision to this point.
“Despite what you guys think – and what Dirk says – it’s not like we put all our eggs in one basket,” Cuban said. “We put all our eggs in all baskets, wherever the opportunities come. One of the reasons you take a step back salary-wise is so that you can take on salary (in trades), so it’s not about just the free agents.”
Cuban pointed out that the harsher luxury-tax rules that kick in next season could prompt teams to make quality players available, especially because free agents can’t be moved in sign-and-trade deals if teams are over the cap. The are loaded with expiring contracts -- their only real trade assets -- that could be attractive to teams trying to cut costs.
“Hopefully that will play to our advantage because (teams) can’t avoid looking at trades,” Cuban said. “But I don’t have a preference one way or the other. I’m not going to do a trade just to do a trade, even if it’s a star. ... It’s hard to find just one guy who puts you over the top. It has to be somebody who gets us to the point where we could get back on track to where we want to be.”
The only option Cuban would never consider is trading Nowitzki, who would have to approve any deal involving him anyway due to the no-trade clause in his contract.
“I just wanted to make clear to him that we’re in this through thick and thin,” Cuban said. “So there’s no way that I’d trade him, no matter what.”
Interested in anyone else on the Mavs’ roster? Give Cuban a call – if he isn’t already calling you.