|By John McMullen, NBA Editor |
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - A trade deadline deal that brought Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood in from the nation's capital was supposed to make Dallas tougher for the playoffs but a first round loss to San Antonio was the result in the latest disappointing finish for the Mavericks.
Veteran All-Star Dirk Nowitzki has given all indications that he will likely opt out of the final year of his current contract and renegotiate a longer deal in order to free up salary cap space for the Mavs to pursue a big name free agent via the sign-and-trade route.
Everyone dreams of LeBron James or Dwyane Wade but Dallas native Chris Bosh or Joe Johnson are the more likely targets in Big D.
As for the draft, the Mavs aren't up until 50 in the second round, an unlikely spot to find a contributor, at least right off the bat. Keeping UTEP power forward Derrick Caracter, a solid long-term prospect, in-state may be the way to go.
Players under contract: G Rodrigues Beaubois; G Caron Butler; F Matt Carroll; C Erick Dampier; G Jason Kidd; F Shawn Marion; F Eduardo Najera; G DeShawn Stevenson; G Jason Terry
Free agents: G J.J. Barea (Unrestricted); C Brendan Haywood (Unrestricted); F Dirk Nowitzki (ETO); F Tim Thomas (Unrestricted)
Draft picks: 2nd round (50th overall, 57th overall-likely to be conveyed to Indiana)