Contrary to local media reports, the Dallas Mavericks are absolutely willing to listen to offers for Deron Williams.
But contrary to national media reports, the Mavs have no interest in dealing D-Will to Cleveland for salary-match ballast — in particular, Iman Shumpert.
“That’s a no-go,’’ a Mavs source tells DallasBasketball.com of that rumor.
Indeed, we’re told there is simply nothing on the Cleveland roster that works very well for Dallas, in terms of attractiveness and fit.
The trade deadline is February 23, and the Mavs — with a crummy 19-30 record but with three straight impressive wins this week (catch up here) — continue to weigh options as “buyers’’ or “sellers.’’
But we’d suggest the circumstance might call for a position … in between.
This team -- which plays at Portland tonight at 9:30 while trailing the eighth-place Blazers by just 2.5 games (GameThread here) -- just won three of its most impressive games (over the Spurs and the Cavs and then a blowout of the Sixers) without the help of Williams, Andrew Bogut, and J.J. Barea.
The first two of those guys are trade fodder. All three of those players are among the most fragile Mavs on the roster.
So, whether the Mavs plan to go for it and win this season, or they plan to organic-tank their way to a lotto pick (To Tank Or Not To Tank debate story here), they can consider unloading those players in the next couple of weeks. … and have the moves not impact the on-court product much at all.
Of course, being a “buyer’’ means taking something back in a Deron trade or a Bogut trade … and that’s the problem that so many of this bogus stories ignore: The Mavs are set up next summer to retain their Harrison Barnes-led core and have $29 million of cap room — exactly the number they’d need to sign a young max like Washington’s Otto Porter Jr. (David Lord's brilliant breakdown is here.) Take on a player like Shumpert and that $29-mil opportunity dissipates.
As DB.com has reported, there is a simpler way to give the Cavs the point-guard help they might desire; see our Devin Harris trade details here, with the terrific breakdown from our David Lord.
Devin is like a ghost sometimes. You forget about him. We got to watch him play basketball on the biggest stage, back when he couldn’t finish with his left hand, so every time we watch him succeed I feel a joy that’s weighted by my own nostalgia.
In Wednesday’s win over the Sixers, Devin was good for 14 points, he had three assists, and he agitated anybody who tried to score on him.
It’s easy to forget that while Harris was once the young guy on a team led by Dirk Nowitzki, he’s now a 33-year-old elder statesman in the NBA.
Many fail to even consider him in most of their “who gets traded” discussions, because he was injured for so much of the pre-season and start to this season, and maybe because he’s such a connected member of the Mav “family.’’
But, the reality is, he might have a lot to offer a team that needs a playmaker and an energy guy to come off the bench in the playoffs.
Devin is the giveaway fit with Cleveland. (Thanks to the Cavs' trade exception, a take-back-no-actual-salary match.)
Deron is trade bait but Dallas would be wise to want picks in return if it has to take on ballast — and would be wise to avoid taking on any at all. Worth nothing, going back to Cleveland: There are always possible three-way deals that gets Deron there, and yes, Dallas will be listening to those. The Mavs, meanwhile, should not be connected to any Ricky Rubio rumors (as we write here), are not presently interested in giving up a primo pick for Hassan Whiteside (click here), and are intent on keeping Wesley Matthews despite trade calls for him (story here).
JJB won’t be healthy again until after the All-Star Break, probably ruining any chance to swap him.
Bogut, too, has literally missed half the season due to injury and is of so little value here … but maybe could be a useful piece on a team with a legit shot at contention. (Bogut himself has been stunningly open about the idea.)
At one point, maybe these trade ideas were tied to whether Dallas was a “good team’’ or a “bad team.’’ But at this moment? Our man Steven Kilpatrick and I agree that Dallas — due to the play of Salah Mejri in Bogut’s place and Yogi Ferrell in Deron’s place — might be the same level of good/bad with ‘em as without ‘em.
So amid all the bogus trade gossip, there are real trade talks to be had.