Time to say goodbye
Although some—perhaps, many—Mavs fans will argue that a potentially disastrous free agency was averted with the handful of signings Dallas made, critics and supporters alike have to agree that the team is in a transitional period.
With the one-year signings of players like Chris Kaman and Elton Brand, the organization has essentially told its fans that they will save their money for another splurge next year and hope for a better tomorrow.
The only problem is that Dirk Nowitzki is already 34 years old and is wasting away his prime on the same long-shot hopes that have Dallas in the current predicament they are in.
This is why there is a strong case to be made for Dirk Nowitzki to demand a trade.
To recap, Dallas dismantled their championship team two years ago for a shot at building the kind of core that could compete well beyond Dirk's prime and perhaps create a dynasty.
Among the names that were once in play: Deron Williams and Dwight Howard. Howard quickly took himself out of the equation, however, by waiving his player option with the Magic, forcing the trade/chip-less Mavs to move on.
Then, Dallas made a valiant attempt at signing Deron Williams, or as valiant an attempt as could be made when the owner of the team isn't present, by nearly convincing Williams to forgo the extra 20 million Brooklyn could offer for a shot at a championship.
To no one's surprise, Deron ultimately stayed with the Nets. A move that may have been swayed by ownership's commitment to put the pieces in place to convince their franchise player to stay.
Should the Mavs trade Dirk?
Sound odd? It certainly should to Mavs fans at this point.
Meanwhile, the Mavs are looking at a similar scenario come next year.
The top free agents in next year's market are Dwight Howard, Josh Smith, Chris Paul and Andrew Bynum.
Reading between the lines, Dallas' luck in securing Howard seems contingent on what Orlando, Brooklyn and Los Angeles does between now and next season's trade deadline. That doesn't sound like the savviest game plan.
Moving along, Bynum has expressed an interest in signing an extension with the Lakers but they are still biding their time and effort with Dwight Howard. Additionally, Bynum has, according to the Star-Telegram, noted an interest in signing with Dallas.
Nevertheless, this once again remains a contingency plan based on how other teams' fortunes settle.
Next is Chris Paul, a point guard who has more financial incentive to re-sign with the Clippers and, based on last season's success, probably basketball incentives as well.
Now if Deron Williams, a Dallas native, wasn't convinced to ditch a team in transition to return home and play for what could've been an instant contender, why would Paul?
Finally, Josh Smith and Dirk Nowitzki play essentially the same position. Not to mention, it's hard to picture Josh Smith being the guy that helps take Dallas to the next level.
At the end of the day, all this is to say that the short-term picture doesn't look promising for Dallas and there is no legitimate reason to believe they will return back to the place they were only two years ago.
For that, Mark Cuban deserves the blame. And Dirk Nowitzki deserves to be traded. He's too good and Cuban was too reckless for them both to continue this relationship.
Now, tell me what makes more sense? Trading Dirk while he still has a lot of value for a couple of young pieces that could become the cornerstones of the franchise and rebuild?
And all Dirk can seemingly do is just look on.