Once mighty Mavericks still can't close

DALLAS -- Shawn Marion declared last week that he would refuse to report if the Dallas Mavericks traded him to a, um, stinky situation.

That's certainly the versatile veteran forward's right, but reasonable minds might wonder what exactly there is to like about the Mavs' situation at the moment.

"Man, I'm done talking about that," Marion said after the Mavs' 105-100 loss to the Atlanta Hawks at the American Airlines Center. "I don't even want to talk about it no more, really. It doesn't even matter. I'm here. I ain't going nowhere."

Marion could have mentioned the Mavs' winning tradition, their 12 consecutive playoff appearances or the fact that a front office, coach and superstar remain from a team that won the title two seasons ago. However, Marion was in no mood to discuss the matter after another Mavs clutch meltdown Monday night dropped Dallas seven games under .500.

The cold, harsh truth is that there almost certainly isn't any help on the way via the trade market. Over the past few days, Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle have expressed strong doubt that the team would make a deal before the Feb. 21 deadline.

Owner Mark Cuban insists that the "Bank of Cuban" remains open for business. But Cuban acknowledges the odds of the Mavs pulling the trigger on an impact trade are slim, especially since he's willing only to sacrifice summer cap space to acquire a player that can be a foundation piece for years to come.

"There's a lot of deals we would make," Cuban said before Monday's game, punctuating the thought with a laugh, "but nobody seems willing to do what we want to do. You never know, but nothing imminent. The bank's still open.

"It's gotta be something really, really, really good."

Don't hold your breath for that to happen.

For more -- and to see the rest of the happenings in the NBA from Monday night -- check out the Daily Dime.