DALLAS – The Bank of Cuban might be open, but Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle doesn’t expect it to do any business before the Feb. 21 trade deadline.
“If you’re asking me if we’re going to trade anybody, I don’t think we’re going to,” Carlisle told reporters after Monday morning’s shootaround. “That’s my opinion. I don’t think we’re going to trade (Shawn) Marion. I don’t think we’re going to trade Vince (Carter). I don’t think we’re going to trade anybody. That’s my opinion.”
Owner Mark Cuban declared last month that there is a “100 percent chance” the Mavs would try to make a deal before the deadline. Armed with a lot of expiring contracts as bait, Cuban made it clear that he’s willing to take back significant salary in the right deal.
However, the right deal would require the Mavs landing a superstar-level talent. That’s the only reason it’d make sense for the Mavs to sacrifice the salary cap space needed to enter the Dwight Howard sweepstakes this summer.
The Mavs are among several teams who have aggressively inquired about DeMarcus Cousins, but the Sacramento Kings have insisted that they don’t plan to deal the enigmatic 22-year-old big man this summer. Atlanta forward Josh Smith is available, but he isn’t a superstar.
The names of Marion and Carter have come up frequently in trade speculation because the veterans could have value to contending teams. A strong case can be made that the Mavs would be wise to jump-start their rebuilding process by flipping Marion and/or Carter for young talent and/or draft picks.
However, the Mavs are determined to make a push for the playoffs, not wanting to let their dozen-year postseason streak die without a fight. The Mavs would need Carter and Marion to play critical roles in that push if it happens.
Plus, it’s difficult to find a contender that could put together an attractive proposal for Marion or Carter.
So it’s probably pretty safe to predict that the Mavs end up standing pat as the deadline passes. But it’s worth noting that Carlisle makes the same prediction every year.