With the Feb. 19 deadline vastly approaching, the Dallas Mavericks have a lot to think about. The All-Star break is this weekend, giving the Mavs more time to do so. Many questions have yet to be answered in Dallas.
What changes, if any, need to be made? Who should stay and who should go? Can they ever go back to the powerful force they once were within the West?
Let's break it down.
With a sour 99-92 loss to the Celtics, and star Jason Terry out with a broken hand, this isn't exactly where the Mavs wanted to be going into the All-Star break. However, only one game out of fourth in the West isn't such a bad place.
Dallas needs to decide what makes sense for them. They could try to fix the problems now, but how effective will it be next year? There are many trade rumors going around that have Vince Carter, Baron Davis and even Shaquille O'Neal on the trading block.
Many teams are looking to get rid of high-paid players, some which may be a perfect fit for Dallas. However, many skeptics think the deadline is going to come and go without a word from the Mavs.
Has Dallas played well enough to refrain from shaking anything up?
With all due respect to the haters, Dirk will be a Mav no matter what. Nowitzki has been MVP-worthy, averaging 25.9 ppg and 8 rpg . Not to mention, if the Mavs want another "big" name, they need to use Dirk as bait to pull them in. The fans love Dirk in Dallas as well, and he is the franchise's star player.
Jason Terry might be another name to factor in—although he is injured, this year's Sixth Man is doing wonders off the bench.
This is where it gets hard. Although Brandon Bass is making a huge impact for the Mavs, he is currently a very desirable player, and Dallas might be able to get a worthy player for him. Other than that, package deals may be the best bet.
It's not surprising to see Jerry Stackhouse and Josh Howard's names come up frequently in trade talks. Stack has been out most of this season, and although Howard's game has been getting better since the 2007-2008 season, he still hasn't risen to his former All-Star status.
Jason Kidd, meanwhile, is another story altogether. Since he regained control of the court in Dalls, the Mavs have been 6-2. But, at 36 and a with his contract expiring this summer, is he worth keeping around?
Moves for short term or the long run?
Short term would send Dallas over the top. Obviously, they are looking for someone to help Dirk, and someone to help them reach home court advantage during the playoffs. But the summer of 2010 is lurking just around the corner and holds many possibilities. LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will all be free agents.
And although there is no guarantee about who will stay and who will go, its certainly something to think about (are you listening, Mark Cuban?)
Dallas wants to win, there's no question about that. But can they find someone to make it happen this season, or will they continue with the current roster? Only time will tell.
Until then, Maverick fans everywhere wait for the Feb 19th shoe to drop.
What do you think? Sound off, Mavs fans!