GM Donnie Nelson's deadline-closing statement: "This group's got special chemistry and they've really earned the right to make a run for the roses. We feel great about it and we're looking forward to the playoffs."
While we chase, you review the day's stuff ...
*Portland's Marcus Camby is continually mentioned today by national writers. That one is coming out of Portland. Barring a complicated deal, on its surface it makes little sense for Dallas -- as talented as the veteran big man is.
Having been spurned by Detroit and Tayshaun, Dallas is visiting with Utah. No specifics yet, but our David Lord offers an idea:
If the Mavs have any interest in helping Utah get under tax line (and they do), something like this works:
Butler - Stevenson might get them Kirilenko - Miles (both expiring) ... Mavs could also toss Cardinal into the deal if they wanted, it would lessen the salary shift a bit ... I suspect the Mavs would rather have Miles, but Bell works instead if they prefer (he is older with a longer contract).
Consider the logic (and again, while we know Dallas is talking with Utah, we're spit-ballin' here):
* It gets them tax-free ...
*It also clears up minutes for Favors
*All of the contracts in Stevenson-Butler-Kirilenko-Miles are expiring.
*It seems to us like an "obvious'' match, if Cuban will swallow some salary and tax.
*Mavs replace Stevenson with Miles.
*And don't we know that the Mavs have liked Kirilenko for a long time but not his contract?
Coop is apparently digging into that Mike Miller for Haywood offer from Miami. Was Erick Dampier the sweetener being offered by the Heat?
Working to update the Tayshaun info below ... But at 12:17p, DallasBasketball.com is told by a Mavericks source, "The Tayshaun talks are dead'' ...
UPDATE: 'The Tayshaun talks are dead,' a Mavs HQ source just informed DB.com ... We're chasing gossip, rumors and facts on Haywood, Granger, J.R., Nene, Camby, Murphy, Raja, Battier … and most of all fib from Mark Cuban as Dallas IS (WAS?) a pursuer … and it's TRADE RUMOR TRAFFIC as we go to the deadline!
*Cuban said last night that Dallas isn't the pursuer of any deal.
That's posturing. Dallas is the pursuer in at least one case: Tayshaun Prince.
Sources say the Mavs' position in talks with Detroit has long been Caron Butler's expiring plus a young-player sweetener should be enough to acquire Prince, who remains a fine two-way player and is an expiring $11.1 mil contract as well. Detroit keeps saying it wants Tayshaun's "leadership.'' (The Mavs know GM Joe Dumars to be a "loyalty'' guy and they've told him they respect that, but …)
Of course, they can always re-sign him this summer if they value that so much.
The Pistons are holding out. HARD. The Mavericks will have to budge.
To be clear: This isn't about Detroit "panicking'' or "overpaying.'' The panic button, if you want to call it that, is in Dallas' paws.
Will Dallas pitch in a No. 1 pick? Can the Mavs convince Detroit that it doesn't really think it can re-sign Prince to a rebuilding situation this summer in any case?
And maybe the biggest question, the way we understand it: Does Dallas not only want this deal enough to add sweetener but also take on baggage like, say, Jason Maxiell?
I can tell you that the Dallas front office doesn't like Maxiell at $5 mil a year for two more seasons after this. I can tell you that the Dallas scouting dept. doesn't like Maxiell as a player.
Do they swallow their dislike for Maxiell because Prince makes the whole thing more appetizing?
This is truth: As the deadline approaches this afternoon, and as Cuban insists publically that Dallas isn't a pursuer, there are those at Mavs HQ who believe the situational value of Prince – imagine him guarding Kobe in the second round of the playoffs, or guarding Manu in the Western Finals – makes overpaying worth it.
That's not necessarily enough to push Detroit to agree. But make no mistake: It's Dallas doing the pushing.
*Our theories on Dallas giving a TE to Utah to get them $4.9 mil of relief so they can get under the lux tax is a real possibility. It's a way to get Raja Bell, a former Mav and a defensive stopper, for nothing.
*Other teams are discovering what the Mavs already know about the Bobcats' shedding process: Michael Jordan won't be able to rid himself of Jackson, Wallace and Diaw until he realizes he doesn't have the upper hand. The Mavs remain something less than motivated listeners.
*Little wonder Miami wants Brendan Haywood. He would start. He would thrive.
That's exactly why Dallas values him as both a player and a trade-worthy commodity.
Yes, the Mavs are getting other calls on Big Wood. And I bet they can do better than a long-term contract for a jump-shooting Mike Miller having a bad season in Miami.
*The feeling at Mavs HQ is that Portland is still trying to move Camby and Miller. Dallas has interest in neither.
*Let me repeat: Do the math on what's in Robert Sarver's wallet: He's not trading Steve Nash.
* O.J. Mayo might be going to Chicago. The Mavs don't view him as a difference-maker.
*Steiny-Mo says Dallas is exploring the idea of JR Smith of Denver. In terms of talent, JR would be Dallas' starting 2-guard – and because he's an expiring, the Mavs would've have to endure his nuttiness for long.
That's a difference-maker.
But if the Nuggets are going to be sellers, Smith isn't the Nugget most desired by the Mavs.
Dallas and everybody else will keep asking about Nene right up until the deadline, as Denver hopes he'll sign an extension. Leaving him dangling means he can use his ETO this summer if he doesn't like the Denver direction.
*The Rockets getting Thabeet? That's not exactly getting Bosh or Melo or Nene, but it would fulfill Morey's promise to "do something.''
*Baron Davis is going to Cleveland, but the point is the picks. The Cavs – and certainly Byron Scott can't be interested in keeping him around. Baron and Byron know each other well. Well enough to not enjoy each other's company.
*Teams are calling Indy on Danny Granger, but there's not much logic in moving him.
* Troy Murphy might not get his buyout from GS – word is they are trying to trade him. Eventually, he will be a target of the Celtics and others. … one way or the other. As a buyout guy, Dallas isn't interested in going beyond the $1 mil minimum for the big shooter.
*If the Mavs do nothing with The Caron Coupon, Dallas will spin the inaction a couple of ways. Caron's comeback … chemistry. … and in private, how they can sign-and-trade him away this summer. But that's for AFTER the deadline. The Caron Coupon still has its best value NOW as a trade chip.