When Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that the “Bank of Cuban” was open several weeks ago, he was essentially saying that they were ready to make some moves and pay some players before the Feb. 21 NBA trade deadline.
However, head coach Rick Carlisle said today that he doesn’t think that the Mavs will make any moves before the deadline. Looking at this 22-28 Dallas team and the Western Conference, if they want to make the playoffs, they better hope that Carlisle isn’t correct and that some players and front offices are ready to negotiate with the “Bank of Cuban.”
As of right now, the Mavericks are four and a half games out of the eight-seed in the West and sit in 11th place. That’s largely because they have a roster that seems to be assembled with no real purpose.
Bringing in guys like O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison and Elton Brand seems like they would be quality additions to this team, but that’s only if those guys were role players. Instead, those guys are playing key roles on this Mavericks team and it’s definitely showing. Dallas has a solid offense, ranking seventh in the league in points per game at 100.9 per game. However, their defense is sub-par, to say the least, allowing 102.8 points per game.
In addition to this, Mavs superstar Dirk Nowitzki missed the majority of the season with injuries and has struggled since he returned to the floor. That’s probably one of the key factors in why they’re having issues thus far. They expected to get significant production from their German big-man and add complimentary players around him, only that hasn’t happened.
Because of this, the Mavericks have to make some moves before the trade deadline. They don’t need to pursue guys like DeMarcus Cousins or Andrea Bargnani, guys who would only add to their offense. Instead, they need to pursue guys that will help tighten up their defense. Essentially, that’s the only way that this team is going to make sense is if they can find a way to better their defense.
If they don’t do that and given their oath to grow beards until they reach .500, Dallas will probably have a team that looks like a group of lumberjacks; they won’t be going anywhere this season, particularly the playoffs.