"I think we need to stretch defenses," Dallas coach Don Nelson said.
"If we're going to have to play Phoenix, Seattle and other
high-scoring teams, he's going to be nice to have. ... I don't know
if you can ever talk about titles, but I think he gives us a better
shot than we had before."
Moving Van Horn, in addition to the trade of Mike James to Houston earlier Thursday, removes nearly $13 million in salary-cap obligations from the Bucks' payroll next season.
The Bucks made the moves in anticipation of presenting free agent-to-be Michael Redd with a contract offer sufficiently lucrative to convince Redd to spurn advances from his home-state Cleveland Cavaliers and stay in Milwaukee.
"I think what we've established is that Michael is a piece to
building a championship team," Bucks general manager Larry Harris
said. "He has a skill that is unmatched (except) by maybe four or
five players in the league."
When healthy, Van Horn would provide Dallas with another scorer,
perhaps when star Dirk Nowitzki rests or even alongside him at
small forward. Coach Don Nelson loves trying to create mismatches,
so he might even pair the two perimeter-oriented big men at center
and power forward.
Problem is, Van Horn isn't always healthy. He's missed 19 games
this season because of tendinitis in his right ankle and has been
hobbled often in his 10-year career. Milwaukee has mostly limited
him to fewer than 20 minutes per game since he came off the injured
list in January.
In addition to his lessened role, the Bucks were willing to give
him up for salary-cap reasons. He's due nearly $16 million next
season, while Henderson becomes a free agent and Booth is owed a
little more than $6 million; Booth also gets a small raise the next
Dallas acquired Henderson and Booth over the summer, with
Henderson basically a throw-in on a deal with Atlanta after he
played just six games last season. He wound up becoming a key part
of the team's rotation -- he was the only Mavericks player to appear
in all 52 games so far this season.
The timing is a bit awkward for the Mavericks because center
Erick Dampier just went on the injured list with a stress fracture
in his right foot and Henderson started in his place the last two
games. Booth's role had increased, too. Dallas had no choice,
though, because Thursday was the trade deadline.
Information from ESPN.com senior writer Marc Stein and The Associated Press was used in this report.