After a hot start to the season, the Dallas Mavericks have taken a step back and currently sit at a disappointing 11-13, good for 11th place in the Western Conference standings. However, Mavs owner Mark Cuban tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that despite the team's struggles, he is not ready to consider undertaking a full rebuild.
“We’re not ready to go there,” Cuban said. “Look, I’m always the one who says there’s nothing worse than winning 41 games. That’s no-man’s land. You can’t get a good pick. And I don’t see that for us yet.
“Look at it the other way. If we were stumbling along like this and all of the sudden we made a big trade for a German guy for nothing, everyone would say, ‘Oh, let’s see where we can take it.’ So we’ll see. We’ll see what happens.”
The "German guy" Cuban is referring to, of course, is Dirk Nowitzki, who has yet to play for the Mavs in 2012/13 and does not have a definitive date to return. Cuban wants to wait and see how Nowitzki, the 2011 NBA Finals MVP, meshes with the current group before looking to trade standout players such as Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo.
Cuban also ruled out tanking:
“I’ll know when we suck,” Cuban said. “At the same time, I’ll also know what we’re trying to accomplish, and it’s not about anything other than, what puts you in the best position to win a championship?
“When guys know you’re OK with losing, guys play like you’re OK with losing. When guys play like you’re not OK with losing, you get a different culture, different attitude, different approach to the game. We’re not a team that everybody just retired and we’re starting to look like the Bulls in ’98.
“But you won’t see us like some teams have where you win 41 games for three straight years. Then, ‘Oh, this is the year,’ but nothing’s really changed. You won’t see us there.”
The Mavs will be a team to keep an eye on as the trade deadline draws closer if Nowitzki experiences a setback in his recovery or the team does not improve.