Mark Cuban has made it clear that he will certainly make some sort of trade before the trade deadline. With the Dallas Mavericks' struggles so far this season, it's no surprise that one of the most involved owners in the NBA is going to try to shake things up before the season slips away from his club.
With seven expiring contracts on the table (via HoopsHype), the Mavericks have some trade bait that they can put together around another player in a package deal to hopefully receive a higher-caliber player in return.
Rodrigue Beaubois has clearly fallen out of favor with Rick Carlisle and is no longer even in the point guard rotation, averaging just 3.0 PPG and 1.8 APG on 31 percent shooting from the field. Carlisle even preferred to play the less proven Dominique Jones ahead of Beaubois, which is confusing in itself.
At 24 years of age, the French product is still a very fast, talented point guard with decent court vision and a lot of upside. He has a qualifying offer for next season for over $3.2 million, but with the Mavericks recently bringing in Mike James, it looks as if he has lost the trust of this organization.
However, there are still other teams seeking a decent backup point guard who can push the tempo of the game and has proven that he can score as well as anyone.
Shawn Marion is the only other major contributor to the Mavericks' 2011 championship run besides Dirk Nowitzki.
With nearly $18 million booked to him in the next two years, his contract would definitely hinder the Mavericks' chances at signing a major free agent in the offseason.
Although Marion is still contributing to this Mavericks team with his intense hustle and pounding the glass, the team seemed to have drafted a virtual clone of the Matrix this past offseason in Jae Crowder.
His style of play and body type is vastly similar to Marion's, except his shot release looks much smoother than Marion's. His defense and athleticism probably don't match up to the former's, but he will most likely turn into just as good a rebounder and a better scorer.
Marion's time is dwindling in the big D, and his skills are still valuable to a team looking for a player who can crash the boards, defend multiple positions and do all the little things a team needs to win. If he's not gone by the end of this season, he will presumably be gone next season.
Chris Kaman is one of a handful of one-year contracts that the Mavericks offered last offseason. He hasn't been a detriment to the team, but he isn't a game changing contributor, either.
Kaman is the third highest paid player on a team that's seven games below .500. His effort and contributions are somewhat expected for a player going on the wrong side of 30, but with Nowitzki returning to form and Elton Brand playing well and eating up 31 minutes per game for the last three games, Kaman has become expendable.
He's putting up a solid 12.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG in a modest 24 minutes per game, but at this point, his play isn't living up to his $8 million salary this year. Not only that, but his expiring contract gives the Mavericks' some options when it comes to throwing in trade pieces to potentially match a bigger contract (Rudy Gay, perhaps?).
Dahntay Jones was the least hyped player to join the Mavericks last summer, and now we know why. He hasn't been playing well, to say the least.
The so-called "three-point specialist" is hitting his threes this season at an atrocious 24 percent clip, and while his perimeter defense has been solid, there just isn't enough valuable minutes available for a player as one-dimensional as Jones.
Jones is on an acceptable $2.9 million expiring contract, but with his limited skills and contributions in just 13.6 minutes per game, he won't be a valuable asset to the team going forward.
However, he still brings toughness and great perimeter defense, and many other teams love those attributes in a player. If he ever regains his shooting form, he could play a role on a team similar to the likes of Tony Allen and Thabo Sefolosha.
In his most recent game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Vince Carter proved that he still has something left in the tank. But through his two in Dallas so far, Carter has posted 11.0 PPG and 3.6 RPG on 41 percent shooting (per Basketball Reference), the lowest mark in his career by far.
The man once known as Air Canada is still providing valuable backup minutes behind O.J. Mayo, but with Mayo's play this season, he's most certainly going to reject his player option this summer and demand a bigger contract.
Carter has a reasonable $3 million team option for next season, but if the Mavericks don't decide to exercise it, they could still get back some decent trade pieces for Carter before the deadline instead of letting him walk in the offseason for nothing.