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January 18, 3:00 PM ET
Mavs with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (2:59 PM)

Wow, there's a lot of bandwagon jumping going on out there with this 6-game losing skid. It's been brutal with the most amazing thing to me being the lack of emotion from the group, particuarly during the just-completed road swing. I know everyone's going to want to know about potential trades. Personally,I don't see a lot of great moves out there, but the Mavs are evaluating all of it now with more than a month until the trade deadline.

Kevin (Fort Worth)

Why arent we doing any effort to get better people on our roster?Any chance we can get Carmelo?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:02 PM)

Kevin, I can assure you Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson are making every effort to make this team better. You just cna't make a trade willy-nilly. You have to find a trade partner and you have to make the right move. There is no immediate hurry to do something today. Give Dirk time to get fully healthy. Tyson Chandler will be back. Roddy will eventually play...And, no chance on Carmelo...Well, if the NJ deal goes bust, then there's a chance, a tiny, teeny chance.

Matt (Plano,TX)

Well this week is even more depressing. How bad can it get? The Mavs have lost 6 straight and Dirk scoring 30. Do you see Cuban making a move quickly or the next couple of weeks. This has to stop because its not looking good at all.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:04 PM)

Well, Matt, can you see 8 straight? I mean the Lakers and their "Boy Toy" coach are in town tomorrow. The next night the Mavs are in Chicago, which is 18-3 on its home floor. If the Mavs don't pump up the volume on their intensity and production it's going to be two long nights...I don't see Cuban making a move quickly. If they're going to pull the trigger they've got to make a prudent move. Right now, the Mavs are in a position of weakness and teams are going to hike the asking price.

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

What Dallas Mavericks Players are in the National Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:04 PM)

None.

Sahar (Dallas)

Elis and wright for jet caron JJ and Stevenson?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:05 PM)

Ah Sahar, I love a person who dreams big. Monta Ellis is awesome, I love his game, but he's not being traded. The Warriors are actually trying to make deals to improve and make a run at the playoffs. If you haven't noticed, the West is considerably weaker than it has been in years and the those bottom three playoff spots are up for grabs. But, nice try on Ellis.

Mr.B (Israel)

Where was the energy yesterday?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:06 PM)

It sure wasn't on the court. But, you can say the same for Saturday in Memphis, Friday in San Antone and last Wednesday in Indiana. The lack of intensity and emotion from this club is the real worrisome thing to me. They act as though they've lost before the game starts.

Frank (NY)

Cuban is known as a guy who wants to win.. so why is it written that the mavs won't make a push for Andre Igulada because of his contract??

Jeff Caplan
  (3:08 PM)

Frank, it's not written that the Mavs won't make a push. But, I think there is plenty of trepidation regarding the length and size of his contract, not to mention the biggest thing and that's is he really a good fit. He's not a good shooter, he's like 43 percent on the season. He's a slasher, which the Mavs need. Personally, I'm not a big fan of that deal. In the past Philly's wanted to include Elton Brand's huge deal as well, and that's not going to fly.

Jason (LA)

Can Jason Kidd still lead a contender team?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:10 PM)

Jason, I have been posing this question since the Mavs made the trade in Feb. 2008. I am a huge skeptic. I like Kidd, I think he was a great player and I think he still makes great plays. But, he can't penetrate, which is a huge problem, he can't guard most point guard in this league and when his shot is adrift as it's been for a long stretch now, it's not a good situation. He was awful in last season's playoffs vs. the Spurs. On this last 0-4 road trip, he shot 25 percent from the field and averaged 5.8 points and 6.8 assists. A lot of guys can get you that.

Jackson (Plano)

Can we get Landry without giving up Butler??

Jeff Caplan
  (3:13 PM)

Jackson, thank you for presenting a solid trade name, a guy that can actually come in and contribute to an area of need and won't hamstring you financially for years to come. Yes, Carl Landry can be acquired from Sacramento without trading Butler. Landry's contract is $3 million. The Kings would just try to dump him.

Andrew (Houston)

Not sure on all the trade rules/finances, but is there any chance if we trade Butler this season we could re-sign him this summer in free agency?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:15 PM)

Andrew, yes you could do that. He'd have to agree to do that. With his injury, you're likely going to trade him to a team that just wants a salary dump, so he'll become a free agent, much like Josh Howard last year for Washington. If Butler wanted to come back, they could probably sign him at a reduced rate. Of course, they could also not trade him and then re-sign him, because due to the injury, the chances of getting impact players for him are not good.

kshiz ((Chicago))

I'm not sure I understand the desire for the Mavs to make a trade. Wouldn't the return of Roddy Beaubois be the equivalent of a mid-season acquisition (and a pretty promising one at that?) I see the allure of an Igoudala-type, but not at the expense of Beaubois - right?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:18 PM)

kshiz..I'm heading to Chitown on Thursday for Mavs-Bulls. Can you please turn up the heat???I think you're right. The Mavs are not going to rush into anything here. More and more Roddy looks like an after All-Star break addition so they won't have a lot of time to judge him before the trade deadline. But, the Mavs have to be careful here, because trades for players like Iguodala and Stephen Jackson, those teams are going to want Roddy. He's cheap and has plenty of upside. Now, if you're the Mavs, are you going to give up really your only young upside (maybe Dominique Jones will enter that conversation at some point) for an older player? In Jackson's case, he's 33 I believe. The Mavs really have to think about how they want to proceed.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:20 PM)

Eric, we'll just have to see. Of all the available names out there, from Iguodala to Tayshaun Prince to Corey Maggette, to me Jackson is the guy that serves you the best. I thought the Mavs blew it by not bringing him here last season. Now, Charlotte at the moment says they aren't dealing anyone because they've seen a bounce since making a coaching change. Obviously, that can change. Is Roddy part of the asking price? Again, this is where things get tricky. If you can get it done without Roddy, then to me it's a no-brainer.

Eric (Temple,Tx)

What do you think the odds are that we can land Stephen Jackson for Bulter's contract and without giving up Roddy B.? I think it is a no-brainer that Jackson is the man we need. Id say the two qualities that we need in a wing replacement are 1) lights out shooting and 2) toughness. Captain Jack fills both of those needs. If we get him, i say we are not only back on track, but even better than we were before.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:21 PM)

oops...looks like I answered Eric's question before I actually posted it. Sorry...let's move on.

John (Mesquite)

What's the latest update on Roddy B? The Mavs really need some energy on both ends of the court.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:22 PM)

John, the latest on Roddy B is not much more than has been...he is now doing some running and he's pretty active on the court when he does some one-on-one work the Brad Davis and others. He's still not practicing and Dirk today said he sees it as "weeks" before Roddy is legitimately ready to play.

MJG (Kansas City, MO)

Jeff, it would seem Caron's toughness was more valuable than most anyone else imagined. The teams to have no spine anymore. That is more troubling to me than the scoring or defense. How do they remedy it?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:24 PM)

Hey MJG...they remedy that by bowing up, showing a spine. That's what I said when opening this chat, that it's amazing to me how the emotion and intensity has just disappeared. They are lethargic on the court and their body language says it all, almost as though they decided to not compete. It's the exact opposite of the team we saw win 24 of 29 games. Confounding, I tell you.

Andrew Sturgis (Southlake, Texas)

Why do the mavericks keep giving jj barea som much pt? especially in the 4th. Instead, couldnt they give DoJo more experience?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:25 PM)

Andrew...Look at the Mavs roster. They have no one else that can backup Jason Kidd at point. You seriously want to see DoJo playing the point? He's a shooting guard with pretty good vision and passing ability, but basically no NBA experience. Not going to happen on a team that considers itself a contender (or did).

Erick E. (DFW-Texas)

When Dirk and Caron got hurt, I thought Jason Terry would relish the moment to carry this team and pick up his scoring but instead I saw the same 18 something a game or maybe even less. Why haven't I heard his name in any trade talks?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:27 PM)

Erick...Jason Terry has really become a one-trick pony and when that one trick -- 3-point shooting -- is failing him as it is now, it's a bad scene. Terry is still owed quite a bit of money. It will be easier to unload him next year when he's an expiring contract. They still like him and think he can get the job done in the fourth quarter, but he really needs someone like Caron or perhaps Roddy to be the second option on offense and allow him to sort of pick his spots and big shots as the third option.

Dimitris Kokkinakis (Greece)

We need to make trades... we must bring a star in Dallas and a younger PG! Cuban can't see that Kidd is old an none of Dallas's player can't take a match alone accept Dirk?????

Jeff Caplan
  (3:28 PM)

Dimitris...thanks for writing in from Greece..awesome...bringing in a star sounds good, so which one do you suggest and how do you suggest the Mavs go about trading for him? Not possible.

Kasjan (here and there)

Does Kidd want still to get a ring or he just give up?Time to Step up Jason and play better.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:30 PM)

Kasjan...I agree. I was just talking to someone about his leadership. I'm not a huge fan. I don't think he steps up and grabs guys by the boot straps, so to speak, and leads in tough times. He more often talks about being a piece to the puzzle. That's not why the Mavs traded for him, but look, it is what it is. That's why it's humorous the Mavs have had discussions about bringing back Devin Harris, because he brings qualities that Kidd doesn't and that the Mavs haven't had -- driving ability from a point guard -- since Harris left.

Craig Smith (Carrollton)

How long are Mavs going to hold onto Jason Kidd? I am tired of his 0 point nights. He is NOT a scoring threat and defenses don't respect his jumper. We must go younger at point guard. Who can we get?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:32 PM)

Craig, he has one more season left on his contract and depending on the CBA negotiations, the league might not let him play if there's a lockout. I thought for a while that the Mavs could eventually grade him to NY and let him finish out his career there with D'Antoni. But, now that the Knicks are improved and Felton is having a great year, I don't see that as an option.

Ryan Kahn (Dallas)

I always hear about how talented this team is offensively. Truth of the matter is we are not that talented offensively. We only have 4 guys that can really create their shot, with 2 of them being out (Butler and Roddy). Everyone else is a nice role player. Give me your assessment here please.

zach (new york)

can you eat crow now jeff?! i told you before we needed to do a deal, and this team looks lottery material outside dirk. do we get harris?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:33 PM)

Ryan...I think you are dead on.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:34 PM)

Sorry, more technical difficulties on my end.

Maverick (Oakdale)

With Jason Kidd struggling with his outside shot and the Mavericks needing offense more than ever, is there any chance Kidd could be moved to a backup role if we acquired another premier PG in Harris or traded away for pieces?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:35 PM)

I don't really see that happening. I don't see Rick Carlisle essentially benching Kidd for some other point guard, especially Harris, who the Mavs traded away to get Kidd. Wouldn't that be the ultimate kick in the pants.

Brett Townsend (Santa Monica, CA)

Is Mahimni going to start getting the minutes he deserves? I know he has fouling issues sometimes but isnt he worth at least 10-15 min a game at this point?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:36 PM)

Brett, he's making a case for sure. Especially with Brendan Haywood continually underachieving and being a real liability out there because he's shooting 30 percent from the FT line. 30%!!!!Mahinmi has to rebound better, but the Mavs like his athleticism and enthusiasm, no doubt. that kind of play on the court can be infectious.

Brad Holden (Plano)

What do you think of Carlisle's substitution patterns? He is all over the place right now and seems to have weird lineups despite the injuries.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:37 PM)

Brad..can you blame him? Look what he's working with and he's looking for answers and for guys to step up. Carlisle had a real thing going there until Dirk and Caron got hurt. His rotations and roles were defined and everyone had bought in. I can't blame Rick for being all over the place, as you say.

Dennis (Leeds)

When you have players in your regular rotation right now that include Cardinal, Ajinca, and Mahimni, it's no surprise that we are not competive. We went from being a very deep team, to having little to no depth over night, given everyone has moved up in the rotation. We have no athletic small forward who can score and create offense.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:39 PM)

Dennis...honestly, I never really bought into the whole depth thing. I think the Mavs were trying to sell that because they essentially thought they had two starting centers and two small forwards. Realistically, they don't have real power forward behind Dirk, they are not deep at point guard and they still have no two-guard or swing man that can really create his own shot.

Dan Anthony MFFL (Hurst, TX)

Does Mark Cuban want to win with Dirk bad enough to put up the cash necessary to give the team a chance? Is the money or the ring that most important thing to him?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:41 PM)

Dan, Cuban has put up tons of cash. For years, he's been at the top of the league or right behind NY in salary. I think right now they are third, pushed below Orlando after all those deals...but things are different now because the CBA is expiring and there is going to be a far more cost-controlled system in place. The Mavs can't just go add Iguodala... it would kill them whenever the NBA plays again after this season.

eddie (fort worth)

butler back for the playoffs? do you think its a real possibilty? and even then it still wouldnt be the same right?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:42 PM)

Um, no Eddie I don't think it's a real possibility. Butler might not even be on the Mavs then, he could be traded. But, hey, he's an optimistic guy and you've got to like that. when you're out like he is, you got to think positively.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:43 PM)

OK, everyone, thanks for all your inquiries. It was a busy 45 minutes. Should be an interesting game to see how this team comes out at home against the Lakers. Then onto Chicago. Stay tuned and remember, you find more comprehensive coverage updated more frequently than at espndallas.com. Go ahead, try me. Take it easy and see you next week.