We already heard a little this afternoon from Mavs GM and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, who indicated the team probably won't make a trade before the February 21st deadline. He left himself a little wiggle room, however, adding that "we're not afraid to pull the trigger" if the right deal comes along. He had more to say to reporters at the team's shootaround today, including a response to Shawn Marion's plea that he not be traded to a team that's out of contention. We'll round up the highlights here, courtesy Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News.
On whether there are any new developments on the trade front:
"No. It’s a little bit before All-Star (break), and then of course (the deadline) after that. But you know us. We’re always going to be active. There’s certainly nothing to report. We like the boys in blue. We like the guys in our locker room. And we’re at a real critical point right now.Our focus is on getting into the playoffs, but certainly we’re knowledgeable about what’s going on."
On whether the Rudy Gay trade is indicative of the economic restraint needed under the new CBA:
"I think that’s kind of testament to the belt-tightening that Mark’s been predicting for a while. That’s a reality that’s coming up. So you’ll definitely see teams that are looking to be more flexible."
On the franchise's championship aspirations:
"We’re going to get back there. With Mark, my bet is it’s going to be sooner rather than later. But there’s no guarantees. That’s why every year, we try to put ourselves in position to make deep playoff runs and compete. Because once you get in the playoffs, anything can happen. And that’s our focus this year. We’re certainly fighting for our playoff lives, we understand that. We’re starting to kick in. We’ve got a nice little home stretch here where we can hopefully make up some ground. Who knows?"
Whether stability is important following a summer of upheaval:
"Listen, we really go out of our way to get good people in that locker room. You’re talking about Shawn Marion, Vince Carter. Those are the kind of guys … Shawn and Vince have probably been our most consistent players all year long. We like guys like that — veterans who know how to win. We’re looking to get those kinds of guys into our locker room, not out of our locker room. The fact that Shawn recently expressed an interest to stay here? Well, it’s mutual. We’re looking for guys like that. Shoot, the guy guards three and a half positions? That’s a commodity. You’re never the same team from year to year, but those are the kind of pieces championships are made of."