DONUT 1: Caron Butler loves love.
Valentine's Day is, apparently, Caron's day.
The media-savvy Butler has a PR firm (Swanson Communications) that does a smooth job guided him into the spotlight, and that's been done here, with "Caron Butler's Valentine's Day Tips: Top Five Ways to Impress Your Girl."
*Take Her To The Spa: It is a relaxing way to enjoy the day together, and you know she'll love it.
*A Romantic Dinner: You probably should have reservations at a restaurant by now. If you don't, then think about staying in and cooking for her. She'll be impressed.
*Roses: Do not mess that up. A must on Valentine's Day.
*Jewelry: All women love jewelry. Need I say more?
*Take her to a play: It will show your sensitive side and is sure to score you some points.
Caron didn't miss a step, but for two: First, what about "Take her to a Mavs game''? And second, what about "Mavs Musk''?
DONUT 2: Dirk Nowitzki's "Take That Wit Chew!'' is now YOUR "Take That Wit Chew!''
I believe you will love the t-shirt and its design almost as Dirk himself does.
Dirk's ‘Take That Wit Chew!' is available NOW in the DB.com Store!
DONUT 3: We keep telling you that the Suns have no intention of making a trade-deadline dealing of Steve Nash. Not to the Dallas Mavericks . Not to anybody.
And now we have some clarity, agent Bill Duffy detailing to Steiny-Mo a more sensible timetable.
"Steve is a Phoenix Sun and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say he's the face of that franchise," Duffy told Stein. "But logic dictates that it would be prudent for the Suns to start looking at their long-term future in the summer, so we would expect that they may entertain moving him during the summer. We are ready for that and we anticipate a very respectful process if they decide to look at starting over with a younger core."
And there you have it. A nudge, not a shove, from the Nash camp. And a timetable ... not a frantic, desperate move that would be suicidal for the franchise if done now.
DONUT 4: Would the Mavs be interested in acquiring Steve Nash in the summer?
That's a whole different conversation.
DONUT 5: Financier Tom Gores has struck a tentative deal to buy the Pistons from the Davidson family for around $420 million.
Does this mean the Pistons can get to the business of trading Tayshaun Prince to the Mavs, please?
DONUT 6: As DB.com Mavs Premium members are already aware, the Rockets' active pursuit of a starting center does NOT mean they are finished examining the viability of Brendan Haywood.
If you don't believe me, believe logic: Why would a club in admittedly desperate need of a starting-caliber center shut down the idea of acquiring a starting-caliber center two weeks before the deadline? They don't want Big Wood ... at ANY cost? No matter how cheap?
They don't want Haywood for Martin? Understandable. They don't want Haywood unless they can simultaneously unload other baggage? Sensible. They've completely crossed him off the list of possibilities?
Well, let's look at the list of possibilities and see if Houston can really afford to be crossing healthy starting centers off their list.
DONUT 7: Our Michael Dugat checks out the Houston Chronicle's list of Rockets center targets and the paper's comments on each player (in bold), and follows up with our evaluations:
Samuel Dalembert - Second season with Kings. Has expensive, expiring contract, but is a strong defensive center.
Samuel Dalembert was once one of the notoriously bad contracts the Philadelphia 76ers were trying to discard. Time has passed, and the jersey has changed, and what was once an albatross of a contract -- $12,200,000 -- is now reasonably attractive as it expires after this season.
If you are looking for a solid defensive presence in the middle with a reputation for the occasional uninspired play, Dalembert fits your desires perfectly. On most nights, he is not on offensive presence via a strong post-up game, not the fact that he has only reached double digits in scoring eight times in 47 chances this season, though he can make an impact on the offensive boards.
One possible concern beyond his lack of consistency from play-to-play is the fact that the Kings are the second team in the recent past to name him the preseason favorite to claim the starting center role only to grow frustrated with his production in that role.
His stat line: 5.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 20.6 minutes, 13.1 PER. Hardly stout enough to make the idea of Big Wood (3.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and one block per) embarrassing.
Marcus Camby -- Expensive, but Houston resident would be ideal fit.
For a team a center away from contending in the immediate future, there may be no better fit than the 36-year-old Marcus Camby. He remains an impact on the interior of a defense as well as on the glass and has the range to step outside and drain a jumper almost as deep as the three-point line. His stat line: 5.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 28.7 minutes, 16.2 PER.
As has been the case for much of his career, is the fact that Camby is oft-injured. He is nearing a return from knee surgery (no firm timetable has been set, but it has been reported that a return is likely prior to the All-Star break) and has missed 13 games already this season. Over the course of his 14 prior seasons, Camby has only managed to take part in 70 or more games four times. Though, to be fair, three of those instances have come in the past four seasons.
Again, if Camby is the final piece, he may come as an ideal fit. For a team requiring a few years to grow, he likely won't be around long enough to be anything more than a stop-gap solution. He's certainly a more attractive player than Haywood (consider that Camby's two years left are at $8,453,250 and $9,256,500, while Haywood is locked in at $8.5 mil a year for five guaranteed seasons.)
Also there's this: Why would Portland dump him again? Because he's "a Houston resident''?
Chris Kaman -- Seventh season with Clippers. An expensive burden on team building around youth.
Chris Kaman is quickly falling into the category of "what could have been." We've seen All-Star level talent, but all too frequently we're also seeing the perils of an injury plagued career that is never quite allowed to get fully rolling.
For the 2010-11 season, Kaman has played in only 10 of a possible 52 games and continues to sit with a bum left ankle that most thought would allow him back to the court in early January. He may be close to a return, and it's possible the Clippers have been careful to keep him from the court for fear of wrecking any trade value he may retain, but the past remains.
When healthy, Kaman is easily the most all-around potent offensive option on this list. He has a decent jumper and can back his defender into the paint where he has the ability to finish. But Dirk's German brother doesn't have the right numbers in either category.
His stats: 10.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, 1.2 blocks, 26.5 minutes, 11 PER
His dollars; $11,300,000; $12,200,000)
Omer Asik -- Second season with Bulls. Young talent with room to grow on contender's bench.
Omer Asik has shown signs of promise for a contending Bulls team. With the impending return of Joakim Noah and their glaring need at shooting guard, he may become the most valuable chip Chicago is willing to part with.
At 7-foot and only 24 years old, Asik has the size and tools most team desire from the center position. He likely won't be ready to start for a contender in the immediate future, hence his possible availability from the Bulls, but would be a project worth investing in for teams with the time to do so.
But Houston isn't make noise about trying to acquire a "project.'' Asik is cheap ($1,721,000; $1,857,500) and not yet exactly productive (2.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 11.4 minutes, 11.4 PER). Is that Morey's goal?
DeAndre Jordan -- Third season with Clippers. Former Aggie, but he would be tough to get out of L.A.
Considering the affordable nature of his contract, particularly in comparison with Chris Kaman, and the young core surrounding him with the Clippers in Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin, you would have to believe DeAndre Jordan would be on the list of "keepers" for Los Angeles.
He has supreme athletic ability to go with good size. If he is made available you may be able to surmise one of a few options are in play. One, the attitude has been rumored to carry is no longer deemed worth the hassle for the Clippers. Two, there are no possible takers for Kaman, and if he is not going to be moved the team has decided not to risk trying to resign Jordan this summer with money they may not have. Three, they truly believe in Kaman to the level that they no longer see a need to keeping Jordan.
With two viable centers, when healthy, it will be interesting to see how this one plays out. But there is little logic to LAC giving away a kid with attractive numbers in every way (salary: $854,389 … stats: 7 points, 7 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, 25.7 minutes, 14.5 PER).
DONUT 8: In summary on that subject:
We know that at Mavs HQ, most deep-thinkers still believe Haywood will be a useful weapon come playoff time. Meanwhile, we know the fan base and media in Houston won't find the idea of Brendan Haywood as sexy as some of the aforementioned five names. And hell, the guy got a DNP on Saturday AGAINST HOUSTON! But we still believe that a team in search of a starting center can be expected to have, shall we say, at least six guys on its list.
DONUT 9: The Mavs win in Houston. Meanwhile this weekend, OKC, the Lakers and Denver all lost. The temperature in Dallas was 60, felt like 78!
DONUT 10: If you follow your Mavs via DallasBasketball.com, you are in good company. Maybe you are a subscriber -- you would be in good company there, too, as Mavs-smart types like Brian Cuban, Kevin McCarthy and Chuck Cooperstein (just to name a few of the hundreds) are all DB.com Mavs Premium Members -- or maybe you are a subscriber-in-waiting. :) Either way, again, good company: This month, you are among the 80,000 unique visitors to this humble No. 1 "information destination'' (Mark Cuban's words) website.
More numbers? Those 80,000 unique visitors (compare that, by the way, to the number of people who specifically pick up a newspaper or listen to a radio show to get Mavs info) are making 400,000 visits in a month ... are spending five minutes per visit on the site ... and are totaling 1.5 million page views.
I'm just a broken-down ol' sportswriter. But ... I think, 11 years after the birthing of DallasBasketball.com ... you are making this work.
DONUT 11: I've got a couple of Mavs Packages for Wednesday's game left. Two UberMan shirts + two Mavs tickets for just the $37.88 price of the shirts ... So yeah, FREE Mavs tickets! ... Who wants 'em?
DONUT 12: Once Roddy B is back (Wednesday, please!), where does he fit?
How about he slides right into the spot now occupied by DeShawn?
Check the numbers on DeShawn: Since Jan. 12, over the course of 17 games, Stevenson's touch has slipped drastically. During that time he is hitting 29.9 percent of his field-goal attempts and 28.6 percent of his shots taken behind the 3-point arc.
DeShawn is a starter who was milked for all he was worth ... until he was being milked for 30 minutes in games. Now he's nearer 12 to 15 minutes ... and those are minutes that can easily be transferred to Roddy B.
That doesn't mean DeShawn doesn't have a role. It just means the Mavs have options beyond enduring a month of 29-percent shooting from a starting shooting guard.