DONUT 1: And so it all comes full circle.
The smartest trade fit for the Mavs as this afternoon's NBA trade deadline approaches is the same smart deal that we've discussed for months.
It's time to push Detroit into swapping Tayshaun Prince for Caron Butler's expiring contract and sweetener.
We'll spend the day chasing that story and the rest. ...
DONUT 2: Wanna come down onto the floor with us? Take a look at a DB.com exclusive!
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DONUT 4: A sharp DB.com reader reflects on me swearing to you that Roddy B isn't 5-10 (as Steve Kerr reports) or even 6-0 (as the Mavs list him). I keep saying that Roddy is at least as tall as my 6-1 ... and here's more proof:
They measured him. Fairly officially. He's OVER 6-2 with shoes on.
DONUT 5: Speaking of Roddy B, who started last night in Dallas' 118-99 win over the Deron-less Jazz: What was Dallas going to do with him AND Devin (had that worked out)? Skin and I had this debate last night before the game and before we did our pregame segment on FS Southwest. (And then we argued some more later, too!)
The Mavs wanted to acquire Devin to PLAY him. An ensuing trade sometime in the future? Next summer? The summer after that? The decade after that? Yeah, sure. But had Devin landed here, he would've been the starting 2 and the backup 1. Roddy B would've remained in the rotation, of course (with JJB dropping way down in it). But Devin and Roddy B would've battled for minutes and Devin would've won his share of battles ... and, had Dallas gotten its way, it could've happened for the price of just Caron.
DONUT 6: Cuss out the Mavs because they didn't get Devin for Caron? When the next morning, after ideas were pushed around onto the table, Utah pushed Deron onto the table? I know you are impatient for SOMETHING to happen. But as we've said so many times, this is why the deadline is the deadline. There was no midnight urgency for NJ to decide on Devin-Caron ... so they waited unil the next morning and turned it into Deron.
DONUT 7: NBA.con David Aldridge's rankings of teams this week? Dallas is No. 1. Writes David: "All of a sudden, Mavericks have won 13 of 14 and have passed the Lakers in the west. They won't catch the Spurs, probably, for the best regular season record, but Dallas will be a major postseason threat.''
That's especially so with the transactions happening in the Western Conference. Amare leaves Phoenix. And now in the past two days, Denver (Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups) and Utah (Deron Williams) have moved starts. Portland might still deal point guard Andre Miller and center Marcus Camby.
There is a resulting separation between the tiers of teams in the West. Yes, it's SA, Dallas and LA. ... and the happiest team of all might be OKC, which is now clearly No. 1 with the teams below almost conceding first-round playoff losses.
DONUT 8: Who Deserves the Dirkie for the Dallas win over the Jazz? You decide! You vote!
DONUT 9: Mark Cuban is a multi-tasker, as he demonstrated on Wednesday night when he rode his Stairmaster, conducted a press conference, served as the Dallas Mavericks owner … and kind of served as the New Orleans Hornets owner, too.
Which is why he's miffed about a trade that his "other team'' just made.
"That's just wrong,'' Cuban barked before his Mavs beat Utah 118-99. "That's just wrong. That's just absolutely, positively wrong. … That is so far wrong that it's not even close."
What's Cuban upset about?
The Hornets sent Marcus Thornton and cash to Sacramento for Carl Landry. Landry, a nice addition to a playoff-bound team, is in the final year of his contract and is making about $3 million. The deal increases New Orleans' payroll by $2 million and the transaction cost the Hornets $3 million.
Why is a Hornets franchise that is in so much financial trouble that the NBA itself has taken over its management throwing around money – the league's money and therefore Cuban's money – in trades?
"There are so few teams in the league that can afford to do that,'' said Cuban, as an NBA owner one of 30 "partners,'' if you will, in the business of the financially-struggling franchise. "And yet we're allowing a team that's owned by the league to do that?''
It is, in a sense, a competitive advantage being granted to a Hornets team that under previous owner George Shinn would've certainly not spend the money to make such a transaction. And "competitive'' is an important point here. Dallas and New Orleans both compete in the Southwest Division. The Mavs are 41-16 and working to stay ahead of the 34-25 Hornets.
Cuban said he's not accusing the NBA of intentionally doing "something underhanded. I'm just saying when we wrote the rules, somebody forgot to close the loopholes. … I don't need to be competing economically with the league and with myself.''
The problem with Cuban's multi-tasking complaint? The NBA itself is multi-tasking here, too. In this case, the NBA is both "on trial'' and serving as "the judge.''
Who are you going to complain to about the NBA's misbehavior? The NBA?
DONUT 10: I know we all express amusement/frustration at Big Wood at times. But he has value.
Keep laughing ... or keep disbelieving ... but the Mavs think he's going to win them a playoff game or two.
Last night marked his third consecutive strong performance, which led to the backup center's second double-double in those three contests. Over this three-game span he has averaged 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds a night.
He finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes.
It's in there. Somewhere.
DONUT 11: Remember when we used to worry that the Mavs weren't making the AAC a "tough place to play'' and all that? Dallas is 14-1 in the last 15 games, as we know. But tucked into that big streak is a nice almost-as-big one: Dallas has also won eight straight at home.
OK, the AAC isn't a Pit of Hell or anything. But it's the scene of eight straight victories. It's a start that does have, I think, playoff implications.
DONUT 12: It was "90's Night'' at the AAC last night. Let's set the mood:
Yeah, it was "90's Night.'' Except that unlike the 90's, the Mavs actually won.