With all the attention focused on the Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets attempts to work out a trade for Carmelo Anthony, the Dallas Mavericks may be the team that sneaks in to steal a valuable piece of the deal.
The Nuggets have a budding point guard in Ty Lawson who would step into the starters roll if Chauncey Billups is shipped off to the Nets. However, Denver would be getting back Devin Harris. For the Nuggets, Lawson is a cheaper and more viable option to run their team as they grow increasing cap conscience especially when Harris is set to make $9 million this season and $17.8 million over the next two years.
This is where the Mavericks step into the equation according to Marc Stein. Dallas has not completely dismissed the idea of bringing back Harris to bolster their roster. It is clear that the Mavericks need another point guard and scoring option to spell Jason Kidd who has been forced into a much larger role this season due to injuries by Caron Butler and Dirk Nowitzki. It is also very apparent that backup point guard J.J. Barea is simply not effective enough of a floor general to lead the Mavericks’ second unit when bench players have been moved into the starting rotation because of the aforementioned injuries.
Since Butler was lost for the season the Mavericks have struggled to find a way to replace his offensive production and have called on a bevy of players to fill the void. Harris could certainly do his part to alleviate Dallas’ scoring woes as he is averaging 16.6 points per game this season. However, is another guard the answer to the Mavericks’ problems?
Harris is not the Mavericks’ primary target to replace Butler but if he ends up in Denver Dallas will certainly inquire about the possibility of acquiring Harris before the February 24 trade deadline. Stephen Jackson has been also rumored as a possible replacement for Butler.
Jackson would fit the Mavericks’ needs more so than Harris. He is a small forward with the ability to play shooting guard. Since Butler’s season-ending surgery to repair a torn patella tendon Dallas has been without a true small forward on their roster. They signed Sasha Pavlovic to a ten-day contract today and he is now the lone small forward on the team.
Dallas is going to make a trade this season, that much is certain. What is not known is whether Harris realistically is the player that could help the Mavericks regain their winning ways. Dallas’ roster is replete with guards and they anticipate second-year player Rodrigue Beaubois to return to the lineup by the end of January. They need help at the wing but in all reality they simply need any kind help if they want to keep their deep playoff run hopes alive.