Dallas Mavericks' Trade Deadline Approach: Cuban Looking for 'Pau Gasol Deal'

Damian JacksonContributor IFebruary 15, 2009

The Dallas Mavericks roster as it sits today will not bring a parade to the city of Dallas in June. It's not pessimism; it's honest reality.

Josh Howard has been constantly involved in trade rumors since the summer. The Mavericks position on Howard hasn't been thoroughly clear to the public. One moment, a report would say Mark Cuban has no interest in moving the forward. A week later, new trade rumors emerge, "Mavericks actively shopping Josh Howard."

Enough is enough.

The trade deadline is fast approaching—four days.

Will Dallas be active? Yes.

Will they make an impacting deal? Very possible.

Will they 'blow up' the team? No.

The Mavericks are done making minor trades; look at the swap with the Charlotte Bobcats, for example. The deal was a realization of a signing mistake (DeSagana Diop) and a decision to restructure with pieces (Matt Carroll and Ryan Hollins) better suited for the team system.

Cuban always will do what it takes to win. Last season, he, along with the other 28 teams, witnessed the Memphis Grizzlies trade Pau Gasol to the Los Angeles Lakers. The deal was a steal.

The Lakers acquired an all-star power forward in Gasol for practically nothing. Cuban has spent time analyzing the Lakers' strategy in an effort to manufacture a similar trade for his Mavericks this season.

Possible? Very much so, due to the economic strap-hold many franchises are facing. They could possibly be willing to dump salary. There couldn't be a better time.

Dallas, if they make the playoffs, will not go deep if they decided to 'blow up' or keep the current roster intact. This is the present mindset of the Mavericks front office. This only proves more that Dallas will do something substantial by Thursday to spring the Mavericks into championship form.

Dallas is still committed to Jason Kidd. We saw this when they rejected G Baron Davis and C Chris Kaman. Two factors wrong with the trade:

1) The Clippers were attempting to lure Cuban into a trade which looked appealing on paper, but financially made absolutely no sense for the Mavericks.

2) Kidd alone is still more valuable to the Mavericks than Davis and Kaman together. Not to mention both Clippers are constantly injured and neither possess the leadership qualities Kidd provides Dallas.

Several similarities are evident with this year's Mavericks and last year's Lakers.

However, one difference is the most important of all...

The Lakers got Pau Gasol! What will the Mavericks do?