Cuban Insists Trade Not Essential for Reeling Mavericks
DALLAS -- Dallas has lost five of seven.
The Mavericks fell last week at home to, egads, Minnesota.
Dallas was crushed 127-91 Tuesday at Denver.
This sounds like a team that needs to make a deal. But Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said Thursday he's not feeling any extra pressure to make a move by next Thursday's trade deadline.
"We kind of know the parameters about which we would make a deal,'' said Cuban, whose Mavericks are playing host to All-Star Weekend. "If somebody meets our parameters, we'll pull the trigger. But if not, we're not going to do it.
"I don't see us doing something just to do something because that will kill our flexibility this summer. But, in the event that there's somebody that really upgrades our talent and really makes our team better, then maybe we'll do it.''
The Mavericks' flexibility stems from center Erick Dampier's $13.08 million deal not being in line to be guaranteed for next season and from Dallas holding a team option on forward Josh Howard's $12.34 million deal. There's no question the Mavericks would consider moving Howard.
Despite his team having slipped from 30-15 to 32-20 at the All-Star break, Cuban insists the Mavericks must look at the big picture while considering any possible move. Dallas does have a two-game lead in the Southwest Division.
"I've been doing this for 10 years [as Mavericks owner], and we've had ups and owns every year,'' Cuban said. "The year we got to the Finals (2006) we give up 62 points to Kobe [Bryant of the Lakers]. The year we go to the Western Conference finals (2003), we gave up a 30-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
"You look at other teams around the league. It's a unique season. There's other teams that are struggling more than we are. The Celtics were talking about winning 70 games, and they've given up 11 double-digit leads right now. I think there are a lot of teams that would love to take our place right now.''
Maybe and maybe not. Yes, the Mavericks are in first place. But they're an aging outfit that has slipped since kicking away the Finals in Miami in 2006 and going 67-15 in 2006-07 before being stunned in the first round by Golden State. Among their top players, Jason Kidd is 36, Dampier 34, Jason Terry 32 and Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki both 31.
But Cuban insists he's not going to overreact to Dallas' recent tailspin with a deadline deal.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@christomasson