What Mavs REALLY Say To Vince About Trade

‘What we've got here,' the warden once told Cool Hand Luke, ‘is failure to communicate.' And that's what's up with a Mavs cool hands, too. If the rumors of Vince Carter having a 100-percent guarantee he won't be traded deadline sound ridiculous, it's because they are. Let me communicate to you exactly what Vince has really been told.

Vince Carter has been a surprisingly effective sixth man for the Dallas Mavericks – "surprising'' in that as recently as last July, the club was not at all certain he was in the 2012-13 plans. But at 36, he is playing at a rejuvenated level. He is being paid just $3.09 million this year, a bargain in comparison to his production. He's due $3.18 million next year, and given his talents and his leadership of this club, that figures to be a bargain, too.

But not bargain enough to guarantee he won't be shipped away for a better bargain, a better talent.

There is a discrepancy between what NBA.com says Vince has been told by coach Rick Carlisle … or between what Vince thinks he was actually told … or the timeframe of whatever discussion they had. … or maybe because other media member are misreading the story.

Or all four?

But that conversation (or at least the interpretation of is) is vastly different from what I know about how Vince has been informed. I'm told the respect for Carter goes all the way to the top of the Mavs organization, and that it's not just Carlisle who has visited with the veteran on the subject of job security, but owner Mark Cuban as well.

What the organization has actually told Vince: He's valued to the point that Dallas won't include him in a "change-for-the-sake-of-change'' swap. But believe me, Vince also knows that if a no-brainer deal is proposed, and it helps the Mavs in any substantial way – on the court this year or as part of Plan Powder for the future – Vince Carter will be packing his bags.

Ironically, given the tone of the NBA.com story, this all started because Vince's name was included in trade discussions last week involving Jose Calderon. DB.com learned that the reason Vince wasn't included in the three-way swap that involved Toronto and Memphis (and eventually Detroit) was because Dallas didn't want to include Carter AND Kaman.

Not because Carter is guaranteed "untouchability.''

It was during that time when Carter reportedly engaged Carlisle in conversation, Vince claiming to NBA.com:

"A couple days later he pulled me aside and said all the trade rumors, because I didn't know much about it, he said it's not going to happen.'' Question: How clear is it to you, dear reader, that Carlisle meant a trade to Toronto was "not going to happen,'' as opposed to a trade of any sort, at any time before Feb. 21?

Let me assure you again: Vince Carter is not untouchable. His talent and contract will make him attractive. If Dallas can find a way to swap him for cap space AND talent, Dallas will consider it. (Indeed, it my very educated guess that the reason the Mavs didn't pull the trigger on sending Carter and Kaman out is because the Mavs believe there will be more attractive deals offered in the coming days.

What is odd about the NBA.com story is that at the very bottom of it, Vince Carter is quoted one more time.

"If (a trade) happens, it happens, I mean it's nothing you can control, but I leave that for them (the Mavs front office)," Carter said.

"If a trade happens'' AND it's guaranteed not to happen?

What we've got here is "failure to communicate.''

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