As we continue to see the Mavericks show their true colors by blowing big leads time and time again, the same question begins to surface.
Why not go ahead and trade Dirk Nowitzki?
Clearly, this Dallas Mavericks team is not good enough to truly contend for a title, so why not?
The question is valid. Nowitzki is still a very good player, but at his age his sole presence no longer automatically makes the Mavericks legitimate contenders. He needs help, and the Mavericks don’t have enough.
So, with Dirk still playing at a relatively high level, he remains a heavily coveted player by contending teams around the league. Thus, the question begins to validate itself even more.
You can bet there are some teams that would be willing to put together some enticing packages for the chance to acquire Nowitzki at the deadline. And for the team that got him, the move would be huge.
But what about the trade from the Mavericks perspective?
Initial reaction from Mavs fans would be to do it. The Mavs look to be stuck on a hamster wheel of mediocrity right now with no hope for the future. The fans know this, and you can bet they would be in favor of a trade that brought a bright future back to this organization.
Yes, even if it meant parting ways with the beloved Dirk.
But I’m not so sure trading Dirk is the best route for the Mavericks to get back to their winning ways.
For one, at Dirk’s age, the Mavericks wouldn’t be getting any franchise players in return. Sure, they would get some really nice pieces. Guys like Omar Asik and Chandler Parsons come to mind (is it obvious which team I think would make the biggest push for Dirk?). But this is the NBA, and it’s imperative that you have a franchise player if you want to legitimately contend.
What about acquiring draft picks in the trade? They could draft their next franchise player.
Let’s be honest. When is the last time Mark Cuban used the draft to improve his team? Anybody?
The reality is, the “Cubes” doesn’t believe in using the draft. At all. Cuban is a free-agency guy. He always has been, and always will be. You can give up on the idea of the Mavericks using the 2014 draft to acquire their next face of the franchise.
So, that leaves us with free agency.
Combine that with Nowitzki’s willingness to play for significantly less than he’s worth, and I come to the conclusion that it’s in the Mavericks best interest to keep their aging superstar, and hope to catch a big fish in the summer.
To be clear, this conclusion is a result of how the Mavericks’ front office operates. Personally, I’m a believer in using the draft. I’ve seen what Oklahoma City has done since they’ve come into existence, building a dynasty with their draft picks. But I’m not calling the shots, am I?
So, with reluctance I say keep that powder dry, Cuban. You’re bound to catch a big fish eventually, right?