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January 11, 3:00 PM ET
Mavs with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (2:59 PM)

Welcome back everybody. Not a good week for the Mavs, dropping games to OKC and Orlando as Dallas gets used to life without Dirk and Caron. At least they know the big man will be back soon. Just don't ask Rick Carlisle when. Let's get to it...

Matt (Plano,TX)

I feel really different than last week- disappointed in the loss of Dirk and Butler and the downfall of the team. Are the Mavs going to be looking for trade deals or when Dirk comes back everything will be back to normal?

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Will the Dallas Mavericks play a home game at Cowboys Stadium in the Future either during the Regular Season or the Preseason?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:01 PM)

Hey Matt, Thanks for joining me again. The Mavs are always going to be active when it comes to trades. They'll need to fill the void left by Caron. The bad news is that they can't rely on Roddy Beaubois to fill it. We don't even know if he'll play before the All-Star break or how effective he will be. Dirk will be back sooner than later, probably at some point on this road trip. The Mavs will assess things when he gets back. Will things get back to normal? They won't be like they were before, where things were really rolling, but they won't go 2-5 either.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:03 PM)

Chris, sorry, if things got out of order there...as far as the Mavs playing a game at Cowboys Stadium. It won't happen this season, but Mark Cuban has said that's something he'd like to do. I wouldn't put it past him, but right now that doesn't seem to be high on the agenda. I'll look into it and report back.

Marty (Dallas)

Why are so many people here panicking about the Mavs? I know Dallas is one of the most fair-weather-fan cities in the country, but does no one notice how big in-season trades NEVER work very well? If Beaubois comes back (a big 'if', at this point...), that's basically a good trade without giving anything up. Besides, since EVERYONE has an expiring contract or two to offer these days, the Mavs really don't have a lot of assets for a trade

Jeff Caplan
  (3:05 PM)

Marty,Panic is what we do best. Plus, skeptical Mavs fans started to turn the corner with this team and then the injuries hit, so everyone gets skeptical and cynical again. Let Dirk get back and see where things go. I'm with you on the mid-season trades. It didn't work the year Kidd came here and it didn't work last year -- both first-round exits. Had Butler remained healthy and the team kept rolling, Cuban would have had a hard time making a move, it just wouldn't have been needed. But, now that Caron is injured and remains an expiring contract, moving him might seem like the right course. It all depends who the Mavs feel is available and gettable.

Chris (Irving)

Have their been any talks about Orlando needing a Center with the multiple wing players they have, and are we looking into that. Is Monte Ellis or Stephen Jackson even available anymore.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:08 PM)

Hey Chris, Yes, Orlando needs a center to back up Dwight Howard, but if you're inferring that Brendan Haywood somehow might be a guy the Mavs can deal over there, I'd forget it. It's going to be almost impossible for the Mavs to deal Haywood with the length and size of his contract, plus the double-whammy of the expiring CBA and uncertain salary cap. The Warriors have talked about bolstering their roster, not putting their best player on the block. They see how weak the West is right now for those bottom four playoff spots. I do think Stephen Jackson will be available. It depends on how the Bobcats do in the coming weeks under Paul Silas. If they get hot, they might want to hold onto him for a playoff push. If not, they might want to get rid of his salary.

dan (dallas)

we need depth and denver has lawson as their pg, why dont we get in the 3 way and send butler and barea with a 1st to denver for harris and harrington. nuggs dump harrington and get more compensation.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:10 PM)

Dan, as my colleague Marc Stein has reported, the Mavs would be interested in re-acquiring Devin Harris if he's shipped to Denver. As you say, they have Lawson and no need for Harris. However, Harrington would be a hang-up. I thought Harrington would be a good fit here and the Mavs went after him over the summer, Denver offered more years and more money than Dallas was ready to take and I don't think they're crazy about adding that kind of salary bulk now.

casanova (lewisville)

why are we taking so long to make a dea? the more losses we pile on the more ground we lose, i know dirk will be back soon but butler wont

Jeff Caplan
  (3:11 PM)

Casanova,Relax. It's a long season. There has to be a team that wants to deal and even if the Mavs lose ground, so what? They're going to make the playoffs and we've seen year after year that seeding really makes no difference. That might even be more true now than ever with how good the Mavs have played on the road. Remember, last year they were the two-seed and lost to San Antonio in the first round. As you know, that wasn't the first time.

Christian (Germany)

any news on Dirk and/or Roddyb? Read on a german sportspage today that Dirk will be back this weekend?! And my final question would be, why dont trade for GWallace, is he on sale?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:14 PM)

Hey Christian,Well, that German newspaper might be right. Dirk is getting closer. I don't think Wednesday is looking great since he's really been limited at practice Monday and Tuesday. But, Friday in San Antonio? Saturday at Memphis? Those are possibilities. As for Gerald Wallace, that's another good name that might be available. Is he on sale? Well, that's up to Charlotte, but the question the Mavs have to ask themselves is what do you give up? Charlotte might not be willing to just say give us Caron Butler's expiring deal and we'll give you Wallace. They might demand Roddy Beaubois and then the Mavs have choices to make.

Chris (Dallas)

What is the future for JJ Barea? What do you expect from him in the future?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:16 PM)

Chris, that's a good question. Firs, the Mavs love this kid. They signed him as an undrafted free agent have stuck with him for five seasons. He has played pretty well this season although his 3-point shooting has been horrendous. A lot of fans get tired of his dribbling or think he's a defensive liability. But, really he's not. If the Mavs make a move, J.J. could be involved. He's a low-salary player and an expiring contract. Otherwise, I think what you see is what you get. I don't know how much better he can get. And who knows what the situation would have been if Roddy Beaubois had been healthy and able to play backup point guard. But, he isn't and J.J. is the guy and I think the Mavs are happy with him.

get Nash back (dallas)

Any chance we get Steve Nash back in a trade?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:16 PM)

I have a hard time seeing that.

g (dfw)

whats the status on Roddy B.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:18 PM)

g, congratulations, you are the first one to ask about Roddy B's status. No change. He finally is allowed to jump, meaning he can stop taking only set shots during Mavs practices that he still doesn't participate in. At this point, there's no guessing. I don't see him playing in a game until February, and it might be after the All-Star break at that. They are taking the slow route with him. Perhaps he begins practicing in the next couple of weeks.

Anthony Kahn (Plano, TX)

Is Stephen Jackson for sure available? Is he is the missing piece for this team to get back to the Championship? From what Ive heard and seen first hand over the years, he is a great passer, 3 pt shooter, scorer, and defender, not to mention hard-nosed a la Stackhouse/Van Exel/Stevenson...

Jeff Caplan
  (3:20 PM)

Anthony, I really felt the Mavs should have moved on him last year. He's the 2-guard they've always wanted, big, aggressive, can shoot, can D-up. They just don't like his contract. It's a lot of money to take on, although not as much as Andre Iguodala, another favorite among you folks who write me all the time. The question is what does Charlotte want back. Do you give up Roddy and are you prepared to take on his contract. Cuban has said he'll take on salary if it means improving. So we'll see as things heat up into February.

Charlene Warner (Oak Cliff)

What would you say are the chances of Devin Harris coming back to the Mavs and if he does, does that mean Roddy becomes trade bait?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:22 PM)

Charlene, good question Devin and then the ramifications with Roddy. I don't think Devin comes back here. I think there are other teams that will be able to make better offers to Denver (assuming the Melo trade gets down and Devin heads to the Nuggets). Portland is a team that would love to pair Harris and LaMarcus Aldridge. Devin just doesn't seem to fit here right now, although it humors me that the stated reason for trading Devin is that he couldn't create for others because he was a one-man layup drill, and once he left the Mavs realized they no longer had anybody that could drive the lane.

Zach Trammell (Houston, TX)

Are the Mavs going to ever retire Derek Harper's #12?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:22 PM)

Don't know if there are any plans in the works.

Otto Malone (Memphis, TN)

U kinda look like Manu Ginobili in that picture, anyone ever told you that?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:23 PM)

Yes. I just wish I was 6-6 and drive to the bucket like that.

Tony Kelly (Dallas Texas)

Do you think the Mavericks would be interested in Tracy Mcgrady

Jeff Caplan
  (3:23 PM)

No sir.

Gus Rabinus (Boston, Ny)

Why do the Mavs need Devin harris?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:24 PM)

Gus, the Mavs have no one on the roster that can penetrate like Devin Harris. It is a severe problem for the Mavs when it comes to the halfcourt game. They become an isolation offense with Dirk. Dirk and others would benefit from a guy that can penetrate and force defenses to collpase.

Will (Houston)

Is there a backdoor chance that we can get into the Melo deal and to acquire Rip Hamilton?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:24 PM)

I don't think so. Not for Rip. I'm not sure how he really improves this team. But, that's just me.

Austin (Fort Worth)

If Dallas can get in on the Melo deal, would they be more than happy to take back Harris and Al Harrington, especially if they could unload Haywood?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:25 PM)

Austin,please stop dreaming about unloading Haywood. It's not going to happen. Why would Denver take him at that salary when they're trying to unload Harrington's salary, which is less? The Mavs don't want Harrington's contract either as far as I can tell.

Leroy (Dallas, TX)

shouldnt the Mavs be desperately trying to trade Roddy now? his value is extremely high for some reason and he has barely played any ball. this team needs someone now- not in a year or two.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:28 PM)

Leroy,The Mavs hope Roddy produces as soon as he plays, not in a year or two. Sure, they'll be takers out there for Roddy, but the Mavs desperately want to keep their younger players, especially ones with great potential such as Roddy. I just don't know if giving up on him before he's done anything is wise when you're talking about bringing in guys like Iguodala or Stephen Jackson, who I believe is now 32.

Brendan (DC)

Stein had an article about internal discussions regarding Devin Harris. He would seem to be a nice fit next to Kidd but what could Dallas really offer? Stevenson, DoJo, JJ and a pick and cash? I can't see that being enough and anything more wouldn't help the team.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:29 PM)

Brendan,I don't really see Devin Harris as a fit next to Kidd. Harris is not a great shooter. He's a penetrating point guard who has to have the ball in his hands. He is not a prototypical 2-guard at all. I just don't see it.

Potsy (SMU)

Don't you think a guy like Greg Buckner could be a better option than Pavlovic? Buckner will play defense and developed a 3 point shot in the past few years.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:30 PM)

Greg Buckner? I think his days are done. We'll see on Sasha. He was starter for Cleveland in '07 when they went to the finals and was a pretty good 3-point shooter. He's gone downhill from there. This is just a stab by the Mavs for some temporary help.

Monroe (Dallas)

Hi Jeff, does the Mavs still need to pursue Iggy for CB's contract?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:31 PM)

Monroe, it will take more than CB's contract, I would think. Even though they may be in tear-down mode -- again -- I can't see sending Iguodala out simply for an expiring contract.

joe ohio [via mobile]

Do you think the mavs will win the NBA championship and beat the Heat. I hope the Heat lose everygame in the playoffs

Jeff Caplan
  (3:32 PM)

Joe,you already have the Heat in the finals over Boston. And the Mavs in the finals of the Lakers? Right now I don't have the Mavs in the finals.

wacc_attack (Dallas)

one interesting option that no one talks about is Toronto...that team doesnt seem to be heading anywhere, 2 games out of 8th in the east. Heard any talk of swinging a trade for Calderon, or perhaps even Bargnani (Dirk of old, great shot with limited D). Takes care of backup PF and PG.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:34 PM)

Not really. Why would you trade for Bargnani. If the Mavs bring in another PF, I would make it more of a bruiser, rebounder type PF. They don't need another shooter. Calderon, well, I guess you're unhappy with J.J. Barea backing up Kidd?

Ryan Barrett (Dallas, TX)

Heard Rasheed is coming out of retirement to play for the Celtics again, I doubt he wouldve come here, but did we at least place the call? Legitimate low post threat...

Jeff Caplan
  (3:35 PM)

Ryan, I had not heard that. Rasheed huh? You'd really want him here?

Dan Scott (Tree Hill, NC)

Prediction for the finals?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:36 PM)

Dan,It's January. I don't have to predict anything just yet. OK, how about L.A.-Boston III (meaning the Kobe-Pierce era).

Jake Ramage (Philadelphia, PA)

Heard Dirk is pushing Cuban hard to make a move since he took less money in case something like this happened. Have you heard the same?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:36 PM)

Jake,Who are your sources?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:37 PM)

Well, looks like that will do it for the questions today. Check back tomorrow for a Mavs chat with Tim MacMahon and then Thursday with Mavs radio play-by-play man Chuck Cooperstein. Also, make espndallas.com your home page for the most up-to-date Mavs insight anywhere with myself, MacMahon and the indomitable Marc Stein of espn.com.