I dont think the Mavs will make a move before the trade deadline. So all these rumors out there, should fall to deaf ears.
First, The Mavs are trying to keep cap space open for the 2010 free agent class. As of right now, they should have somewhere between 16 and 18 mil of available room. Thats if Dirk's contract stays the same. His contract is about 23 mil. But he could opt out and sign a lesser contract with the Mavs, freeing up even more space.
Remember this... Dallas is a PRIME destination spot for NBA players. Several players in the past couple years, i.e. Shaq, have stated they would love to play here. Cuban has rebuilt this franchise into one of the prime places to play. And Dallas is the #4 market in the US, so endorsements would also come with the money. And Dallas fans are starved for a Championship. So any top player that helps that would instantly move into Dallas's best known players.
Second, Im not so sure the Mavs need to make a trade. I know, I know... what the heck are you talking about? The only position this team is lacking in is a true center. Dampier is a good defensive center, but lacks offense. The back ups have been a combination of Brandon Bass, Ryan Hollins, and Dirk. None of these three can play consistant enough D toget regular minutes. Bass has been stepping it up, and the Bass - Nowitzki is pretty good ofensively. But there is a defensive liablitlty when they both play.
So why not upgrade that? Well... there isnt a big man available for the right price. Chris Kaaman's name was thrown out there, but only when they also throw in Baron Davis. Kaaman and Davis are good players, but neither can remain healthy. So do the Mavs really want to depend on these 2 guys for a long time, and clog up cap space? And there is NO way the Mavs (or any other team in the NBA) get lucky, and have a Memphis thats willing to just give away a player to their best friends.
The Mavs are still rebuilding under Carlisle. The team had lost alot of confidence the past 2 years under Avery. But Carlisle has done a fantastic job of rebuilding the veterans desire to win, and developing young players to fill roles. But he's only a little over 1/2 way into this season of developing his system. He still has some ways to go, but I think the Mavs aren't as bad as some think.
Remember that in the playoffs, usually teams go 8 deep.
So that leaves us with a starting 5 of
Kidd - can play the 1, 2, or 3
Wright - can play the 2 or 3
Howard - can play the 3, 2, or 1
Dirk - plays the 4 or 5
Damp - plays the 5
And a bench of -
Terry - 6th man
Bass - energy guy
Barea - back up point
And the specialists -
Matt Carol - outside shooter
Ryan Hollins - backup center
Singleton - defensive specialist
I just dont think making a move right now would be a good move. Unless you can get a big man for the right price.