Simply put, the Dallas Mavericks were flailing before All-Star break. Last week owner Mark Cuban basically said that if he were to make any roster moves it would have to be a damn good one. The Mavs worked out a deal with the Washington Wizards that adds Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson to the mix. Washington was able to pick up Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross, and James Singleton (he remains a reserve player). But will this move take Dallas to the playoffs? I’d throw $20 on it.
Dallas president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson called trading Howard, who had spent his entire career in Dallas, an “excruciating decision.” But couldn’t pass up the chance to bring Butler, a two-time All-Star, to a team he acknowledges has been sputtering.
“Caron is kind of probably more of a conventional fit and a better fit of us,” Nelson said. “It’s never easy. You’ve got to give quality to get quality. We just got the pieces that are better fits for us at this particular time.”–Fox Sports
Did the Mavs make a good trade? Definitely. They picked up a really strong player in Haywood–a guy that was able to produce and stand out even on the tumultuous Wizards. While Butler and Howard are similar on paper, Butler’s “fresh blood” has potential to go a long way. But there are any number of extraneous factors that should be considered. It could take a while for everyone to gel, or they may not at all. A key player like Dirk Nowitzki could get hurt and send them reeling. It’s always possible Kidd and Nowitzki could have a standoff in the locker room and both get suspended for the remainder of the season. Nah…that sort of thing doesn’t happen in the NBA.