Mavericks wise to value Vince Carter

The Rudy Gay deal looks like it will get done without any help from the Dallas Mavericks.

Sources tell ESPN.com's Marc Stein that Gay will go to Toronto in exchange for point guard Jose Calderon, power forward Ed Davis and a second-round pick, with the Grizzlies looking to move Calderon to a third team.

That team, per Stein's sources, will probably be the Detroit Pistons, which have agreed to send Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye to Memphis to acquire Calderon. It could have been the Mavericks, but they weren't willing to part with Vince Carter.

The Mavs made the right call. If they're going to give up Carter, who is in the midst of a terrific month and is a bargain with a $3.1 million salary, they need to get a quality young asset in return.

Moving Carter for Calderon doesn't make any sense for the Mavs. It would shore up a problem position at point guard but leave a large hole in the rotation at swingman while taking a leader out of the Mavs' locker room. It wouldn't increase the Mavs' slim chances of extending their playoff streak.

The future should be the focus of any trade the Mavs make before the Feb. 21 deadline, not a desperate attempt to salvage this season.

Acquiring Calderon and his expiring contract wouldn't have altered the Mavs' options this summer, but it's not worth dealing Carter, an asset whom Dallas should deal only for a player who can help the franchise down the road.

Carter, an offensive threat as a shooter and creator who is an underrated defender, is a veteran who has value to contenders. The 31-year-old Calderon wasn't enough for the Mavs to cash in on that value.