Jerry Stackhouse Presents Conundrum for Dallas Mavericks

Laura BrownCorrespondent INovember 20, 2008

Jerry Stackhouse, the venerable sixth man for the Dallas Mavericks, is unhappy with his role in Head Coach Rick Carlisle's new motion and opportunistic offense. 

Stackhouse has been an instrumental and fierce competitor in Mavsland in the past.  He has been a team leader in toughness on a team that lacks much toughness. 

Stackhouse's decline started last season, finally culminating in a relentless cycle of one or two good games, three to four bad games, followed up and capped off with various injuries, requiring a week to 10 day recuperation period.

It's clear to anyone with eyes that Stackhouse is now a declining player with a proud attitude and a reluctance to accept the inevitable. 

Carlisle is an "iron-fisted" coach, masquerading as a soft-sell pushover. 

Stackhouse repeatedly campaigned for more minutes under former coach, Avery Johnson, and repeatedly won that battle, resulting in sometimes very good play, but more often than not last season, resulting in shoddy turnovers, non-existent defense, and poor shooting percentage. 

The result: losses. 

The Mavericks have several holes in their roster that overshadow anything Stack could bring to the table, but didn't.

They lack a real shooting guard, a real backup point guard (who can shoot), and low-post offense and ball-handling (Dampier and Diop are not getting the job done with their limited skill sets).

With those holes in mind, Carlisle is being creative in how he uses his bench players.  Gerald Green, Brandon Bass, James Singleton, Shawn Williams, Antoine Wright,  DeSagana Diop, and Devean George are all being held to a very tight leash, and Carlisle plays whoever produces quickly. 

He won't jeopardize a possible game win to appease a veteran's plea for more minutes. 

In this environment, Stackhouse sees the handwriting on the wall.  He sees his role finally evaporating, and his ability to intimidate the coach is now fruitless. 

Carlisle, with management's full support, now has control over a team whose championship window is probably closed but may be slightly open, if, and only if, the environment of entitlement and pleasing one player over win totals is no longer accepted. 

Mavs owner Mark Cuban has stated that he won't buy out Stackhouse's contract (at least that's his stance for now), so that means that trading Stack is the only alternative.  I would imagine that General Manager, Donnie Nelson, is furiously working the phones, but is probably coming up empty. 

It's unfortunate that Mavs will probably have to pair a young talent along with Stack in order to get a trade done.  I would prefer they try and keep all the youth they can unless they can get real value back in return, but a trade is inevitable.