We are now two weeks away from the trade deadline.
This time of year is crucial, for some teams more than others, as a time to patch up holes in the lineup in order to make a playoff run.
This segment will be about what areas some of these teams need to address and the moves they will need to make to achieve just that.
The Dallas Mavericks are no doubt one of the deepest teams in the league right now but, they seem to struggle from time to time. Despite their 30-15 record and being third in the Western Conference behind only the Lakers and Nuggets, they still manage to lose the so-called easy games, struggling to get it going from the tip-off.
Some attribute this to Josh Howard not being at 100 percent. Others (like me) say that there is no such thing anymore. While those are both valid points, the main thing to point out is that the Mavs have not had a legitimate center all year, and they haven't had an explosive shooting guard since Jason Terry stepped into a role that more suited him as the sixth man.
Let’s give credit where it’s due, though. Drew Gooden has been outstanding in filling in for the older Erick Dampier. If not for his ability to play the 4 and the 5, who knows where the team coached by Ogdensburg's greatest might have been at this point in the season?
With that said, here are some trades that I believe should be on the Mavs' radar.
1. Erick Dampier, Josh Howard, and James Singleton plus cash to the 76ers for Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert
Now, this is not to say that I’m completely thrilled about Sam-Dam coming to Dallas, but the fact of the matter is that he is an upgrade over Dampier and Drew Gooden. What scares me is whether he fits the system and whether he'll take plays off or not.
On the other hand, Iguodala is just the kind of scorer the Mavs need to go along with Dirk Nowitzki. His style of play complements the rest of the team, especially if coach Rick Carlisle runs an offense that better suits his players, such as Shawn Marion and Jason Kidd.
This would be a major and much-needed upgrade for this team. This trade works for both teams, as Philadelphia acquires the expiring contract of Dampier (since he has a non-guaranteed deal that requires him to play a certain amount of minutes, which the Mavs are not going to let him fulfill). The Sixers also receive Josh Howard’s contract, which has a team option, and they can decide whether his contract is worth the $11,835,000 he would be due if they exercise it.
This trade can only work with Philadelphia receiving a $476,510 trade exception.
2. Erick Dampier and Drew Gooden plus cash to the Wizards for Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood
Now this is a trade I think would be best for Dallas. Haywood is a younger, more athletic version of Dampier, which means he fits their system perfectly. A good defensive center would alone give the Mavs serious consideration.
Also, an upgrade at the 2 in the form of Caron Butler would be phenomenal. He’s averaging 16 points per game and 6.6 assists while shooting 42 percent from the field.
Money-wise, it works with a trade exception of $196,460 given by the Mavs. Washington gets two expiring contracts and unloads some unwanted salary.
Unfortunately, this trade is basically dead. With Gilbert Arenas suspended, Butler has become an essential player for Washington.