Mavericks absent from trade rumor mill

If the Mavericks make a move before tomorrow’s trade deadline, they’ve done a magnificent job of keeping it quiet.

As of now, the rumor mill roars without any mention of the Mavs.

There hasn’t really been any buzz about the Mavs since ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reported last week that Dallas had a “level of interest” if the Milwaukee Bucks made soon-to-be restricted free agent point guard Brandon Jennings available. However, Milwaukee seems to have no intention of moving Jennings, instead aggressively shopping his backcourt partner, Monta Ellis.

The Mavs have never been in on the bidding for Atlanta’s Josh Smith, who has made it clear he wants a max deal but isn’t seen as a franchise centerpiece by the Dallas decision-makers.

Mark Cuban made headlines last month by declaring that the “Bank of Cuban” was open, but the Mavs always planned to proceed cautiously in this trade market. It would take a potential star – such as DeMarcus Cousins, whom the Sacramento Kings plan to keep despite offers from Dallas and others – for the Mavs to sacrifice the salary-cap space required to take a shot at Dwight Howard this summer.

There are plenty of teams that would be willing to dump salary in exchange for one or more of the Mavs’ many expiring contracts. There just doesn’t appear to be any of those types of deals that make sense for Dallas.

Veterans Vince Carter and Shawn Marion are arguably the Mavs’ most attractive trade chips. However, the Mavs are determined to make a playoff push, no matter the long odds. They’d rather hold on to Carter and Marion, who are under contract for next season and could be moved this summer, for the rest of the season than flip them for rebuilding assets.

There are no guarantees – well, other than Dirk Nowitzki's no-trade clause – until the deadline passes. It’d be a surprise, however, if the Mavs make any significant deal.