Mavs missed chance with Jackson

The Mavs are aggressively exploring the market leading up to the Feb. 18 trade deadline. They let a prime opportunity pass by earlier this season.

Wouldn't the Mavs be in much better shape if they traded for Stephen Jackson?

The Golden State Warriors, who are in town tonight, dealt Jackson to the Charlotte Bobcats for Raja Bell and Vladimir Radmanovic. That's not close to an even talent trade. The disgruntled Jackson forced the Warriors' hand, and they basically dumped his salary.

At the time, the Mavs thought they were too crowded at the 2 and 3 spots to add Jackson to the mix. They never imagined Josh Howard would be this unproductive. Plus, the Mavs didn't want to take on Jackson's contract, which will pay him $28 million over the next three seasons.

That contract doesn't look so bad, considering the higher-priced options in the current trade market. And the Mavs, one of the teams on Jackson's wish list, could have offered the Warriors a package that made more financial sense than the one they accepted from Charlotte.

Jackson probably wouldn't have put up the numbers he has in Charlotte (21.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists) for the Mavs. But the Mavs could definitely use a versatile proven veteran with Jackson's all-around game, scoring ability and swagger.

And the Mavs know all too well that Jackson shines on the playoff stage, having been burnt by him when he was with the San Antonio Spurs and Warriors.

The addition of Jackson has made the Bobcats, a perennial lottery team, a playoff contender. Who knows what he could have done for Dallas?