The NBA trade deadline is two weeks from Thursday and the Mavericks appear to be in a wonderful position.
Maybe not quite as wonderful after Dwight Powell went down in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers with an Achilles injury that the Mavericks are fearful could be severe.
Pending how that news develops, the Mavericks aren’t under any serious pressure to do anything before the deadline, although their depth on the front line will be hurt if Powell is out long term.
But here are the facts: The Mavericks have exceeded expectations. They have a young roster that fits well together. And they have lots of assets that other teams would like to have that aren’t named Luka Doncic. There’s a reason why they are 11 games over .500 barely halfway through the season.
As president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said, it’s difficult to know what will come around the corner in the days leading up to the deadline. And just like past years, the Mavericks will consider all options.
Then proceed cautiously.
“As long as we keep taking care of business, we like our young team and they’ve got to go through the ups and downs, get dirt kicked on them,” Nelson said before Tuesday’s game. “As long as we keep building and going in the right direction, there isn’t any reason we can’t go with what we got.
“But if we think that a move or two will help solidify us in the playoff picture or maybe to the next round, you’re always looking at those opportunities.”
The Mavericks are in fifth place in the Western Conference and are in no danger of missing the playoffs. Going into Tuesday night, they were eight games up on No. 9 San Antonio.
While the extent of Powell’s injury could have an impact on things, the Mavericks are looking forward to getting this group playoff experience come April.
“Coming into the season, we liked the pieces, we liked the youth and the direction,” Nelson said. “We have a group of guys that love to play with each other and have the collegiate atmosphere.
“You’re not looking for reasons to change those things.
“But at the same time, you’re measuring the rest of the West. And, look, we want to be able to sip from the playoff cup again. And we want to be able to go as far as we can. So we’re always looking for opportunities to make the team even better.”
Sipping would be great.
But a big gulp from that playoff cup would be even better.
“Yeah, exactly right,” Nelson said. “The growth curve changes by the day. You get greedy.”
Hearts are hurting: A couple of former Mavericks have been going through some rough times recently and it has been difficult for longtime Mavericks to hear what has happened to Chandler Parsons and Delonte West.
Parsons was involved in a car wreck that attorneys say left him with career-threatening injuries.
“He has a concussion, I think,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “But he was very lucky.
“He was a terrific player. He had two really good years here and the second year got difficult as the injury thing hung around. He’ll be fine when he gets done with basketball and I don’t know that he’s done with basketball. When healthy, he was a really fun player to both play with and watch.”
West’s situation is troubling to the Mavericks because they saw what could happen to the guard when he lapsed on medications designed to deal with his bipolar disorder. A video of him being accosted on a roadway has surfaced online.
“As long as Delonte stays on his meds, he’s capable of incredible things,” said Donnie Nelson, Mavericks’ president of basketball operations. “Even here, when he didn’t do what the doctors prescribed, it was more miss than hit. We just hope and pray he gets the help he needs and moves forward.”
As Carlisle said: “I’ve heard it’s a very sad situation. And Delonte was here for a period of time. I got to know him well. And we all feel bad that he’s in the situation he’s in. And the hope is that he will get help. You don’t like to see anyone go through anything like that.”