The NBA trade deadline for this 66-game season is March 15th, and as the date draws nearer, teams in need of an extra lift will be scrambling to make moves.
One of these teams will likely be the defending champion Dallas Mavericks. They came out of the gate sluggish, losing their first three games of the season. Now sitting on an 8-6 record, they've shown a bit of improvement, but it's obvious they are not the same squad we were all used to seeing last year.
Dallas has one of the deepest rosters in the league, loaded with experienced veterans that play hard. However, they need some serious help at the center and point guard positions.
Big men Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahinmi have played well so far, but neither can compare to what the recently departed Tyson Chandler brought to the Mavericks' lineup. Mahinmi is still just a project, and Haywood is not at all worth the $7.5 million dollars that he is set to earn this season.
Jason Kidd is still a solid option at the moment for the Mavs, as he does an excellent job setting up his teammates for open shot. His 39th birthday is rapidly approaching though, and he'll likely leave the game after this—his 17th season in the league.
At Kidd's age, he doesn't need to be playing 35 minutes a game. He just doesn't have the energy that he used to on the court. Injuries are also still a concern, as his body is becoming more and more fragile.
Roddy Beaubois has a lot of potential, but he has yet to break out as a scorer like many Dallas fans expected him to be.
Both positions are concerns for Dallas, but they need the most help at point guard. Don't be surprised if the team pursues another veteran point-man as the deadline gets closer.
Mo Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers would be a great choice for the Mavericks' front office.
With CP3 and Chauncey Billups now in Clippers uniforms, Williams' minutes have seen a sharp decline. He's still averaging 10 points and four assists as the sixth man for the new-look Clippers, and his productivity would only increase with more minutes.
He's already shown displeasure with his new role, and these Clippers don't need any extra chemistry issues as they look to make the team's first playoff run in recent memory.
He's 29, so he's still got plenty of good basketball left in him. With rumors stirring that the Mavs will attempt to sign superstar Deron Williams in the coming offseason, Dallas could choose whether or not to hold onto Mo come seasons end.
He and Jason Kidd would be a nice one-two punch for the Mavericks at point guard, with Kidd running the floor and Williams racking up a few extra points.
Williams can score both inside and out, as he's a .386 career three-point shooter. We all know that Dallas loves outside shooters, so he'd fit in well among the reigning champs.
But who would the Mavs give up to get Williams?
Most of the team is either too old, too expensive or too unproven to garner much trade value, but one name could definitely catch the Clippers' attention.
Forward Lamar Odom was drafted by the Clippers with the fourth pick in the 1999 NBA draft, and had a pretty impressive four years with the team.
So far this season in Big D though, Odom has failed to live up to anybody's expectations, with career lows in almost every statistical category.
There have been reports that Odom's mind just isn't in the right place. He's had a tough few months recently, beginning with his Laker team being swept by the Mavericks in the playoffs, and ending with him being shipped out of L.A. to the team that had most recently bested him.
Odom has played in Los Angeles in 12 of his last 13 seasons in the league, so he's more than used to the area. Many have claimed that his departure from the city he's long called home is one of the reasons for his rough start in Dallas. Maybe a return to the city could get him back to the level of play that we're used to seeing from him.
He's only got a one-year deal with the Mavs, and with the team looking to make a big splash in free agency this summer, it's already unlikely that Odom will play in Dallas for a second season.
Both Williams and Odom are worth about the same this season, so the potential deal would be painless for both teams financially.
Odom's got tons of natural talent, and he's a smarter player than people give him credit for, so it's much to early for Dallas fans to write him off just yet.
Nevertheless, if he is unable to get out of this slump come March, trading him to the Clippers for Mo Williams could be just what the doctor ordered.
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