When attempting to negotiate trades, sometimes it helps to have those talks in person instead of just over a phone call. We saw a prime example of this three years ago when the Dallas Mavericks made a trade with the New York Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis. Dallas played in New York the night before, and former point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who was a key piece in the trade, posted an impressive triple-double in a Mavs win.
The Mavs take on the Indiana Pacers on Saturday in what will be Rick Carlisle’s first game coaching against his former team. Although it’s hard to envision a lot of pregame or postgame hugging going on between Carlisle and this current Dallas roster, the Mavs are planning to give their only championship head coach a well-deserved video tribute at American Airlines Center.
We will see if the Mavs can beat Carlisle’s Pacers, and also if Dallas can continue to close the gap on the Utah Jazz for fourth-place in the Western Conference standings. The Mavs, currently holding a 28-21 record, will be just one game behind the Jazz with a win tonight, and they still have three more head-to-heads with Utah coming up.
Although all eyes will be on the court, what could potentially happen behind the scenes with general manager Nico Harrison and Pacers management is what we’re really interested in. The Mavs have been connected to Pacers big man Myles Turner in a number of trade rumors. Despite Turner’s foot injury that will keep him out past the February 10 NBA trade deadline, Indiana’s asking price for him has remained unrealistic, which is likely a key reason why the Mavs backed off on their interest recently.
Things have slightly changed on the Mavs’ side with Tim Hardaway Jr. suffering a foot fracture that could keep him out for the remainder of the season. In turn, Dallas could raise its urgency level to get a trade done. Not only do the Pacers have Turner, who could help fortify the Dallas frontcourt, but they also have other wing players that could help ease the pain of losing Hardaway Jr. Some of those names include Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Torrey Craig and TJ Warren, who has yet to play this season due to his own foot injury, but should be back in action in a few more weeks if he avoids any setbacks.
“We have to continue to grow as a team,” Cuban tells DallasBasketball.com when asked about what is needed for his team take the next step towards title contention. “Our defense is there. Now we need to get there offensively.”
The Mavs don’t have the greatest of trade assets compared to the rest of the league, but sometimes all it takes is a good showcase performance in front of another team to pique interest. That’s what we’ll be looking for tonight. Stay tuned to DallasBasketball.com for all Mavs-related trade rumors and updates.