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January 25, 3:00 PM ET
Mavs with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (2:59 PM)

Welcome back to the best Mavs chat on the planet...or something like that. Well, Peja Stojakovic is a Mav, although he won't play tonight, there's excitement with L.A. in the house and it's not Kobe, and can the Mavs get their suffering offense in gear? Oh yeah, you all have trade questions, as usual. Basically one month left til the Feb. 24 deadline, so things will be heating up...Let's get to it...

Adam (Lewisville)

I think Peja will be a nice role player--but I am questionable if I am interested in him starting, what are your thoughts? When our offense is lacking it will be nice to pair him along with Dirk to space the floor and create open shots, do you think this would be practical? How many minutes (when full healthy) do you expect Peja to play, 8-10?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:01 PM)

Well, Adam, in a perfect world, no, Peja would not be your starter. And if Sasha can improve, he might hang onto that role. We know that Rick Carlisle wants to keep Shawn Marion coming off the bench. Still, if Peja can be a 15-20 minute player and score coming off the bench, maybe Marion moves back into the starting lineup. Of course, don't rule out a trade to come to fill that spot potentially.

Brian (Dallas)

Jeff,Are the Mavs using their zone defense less often than they did at the beginning of the season?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:03 PM)

Brian, that's a good question. talk of their zone certainly has died down. sometimes they switch back and forth to the point where it be deceiving as to what they're in. I'm going to ask Carlisle if they've taken the zone down a notch. Without Dirk, and then Chandler, it is possible.

eric cantu (irving texas)

As the mavericks fight through all the injuries and the slump that there in have you seen anything in the team that has had a positive effect for them and how do you think peja will help the mavs out

Jeff Caplan
  (3:04 PM)

Eric, it's pretty tough to pull something positive out of this other than they got a chance to see what life is like without Dirk. It's not pretty. But, guys had to take on different roles and do different things,so you never know how that might play out down the road.

Omer (Israel)

Who Is the best player mavs can get without giving up Roddy?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:05 PM)

Omer, in my opinion, I think right now Charlotte might be the best place to go shopping without having to use Roddy. I think Stephen Jackson can be had. Otherwise, I see everyone starting negotiatons with Roddy. The Mavs will have serious decisions to make in terms of what they get for what they must give.

Ted (Dallas)

Do you think Roddy will be back next week and what impact will he have?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:07 PM)

Next week? No, I don't, Ted. Roddy still isn't practicing with the club. I was asked at the beginning of the month, maybe by you, if Roddy would be back by Feb. 1 and I said I would certainly hope so. Well, all bets are off. All I know is that Roddy is doing more and more, but he is not practicing. When he hits the practice floor then we can legitimately discuss his return to uniform.

Christopher (Dallas)

I think we deserve to get something for Butler, such as Maggette. Is Maggette still one we may could trade for. I think he could give similar offense as butler if not better. Then Butler come back after the year is over to sign with us. It could happen then we would be true contenders and Dirk would get what he deserves.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:09 PM)

Christopher, yes, Magette is a guy the Mavs could trade for and is/have considered. However, Magette comes with a big ole contract that the Mavs would rather not touch.He's got another two years and more than $21 million. I'd rather shoot for Jackson.

Dillon Saunderson (New Braunfels, Texas)

Now that we got Peja, are there anymore moves in the MAVS future, I feel as if they need one more move (a trade)? Jackson? Harris?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:10 PM)

Absolutely. With the Mavs never say never. Stephen Jackson, as you mention, is No. 1 on my list, has been for a few years now. Forget about Devin Harris. Only was that any chance of happening was if Harris went to Denver as part of the Carmelo to NJ deal that is dead.

jfb (dallas)

What percentage would you give the mavs in signing melo and how far do they advance in the playoffs with and without him?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:12 PM)

I give Melo to Mavs a 2% chance of happening only because I've learned never to rule anything completely out, especially when pockets are as deep as Cuban. I don't believe Denver wants to deal with Dallas. They want Carmelo East. Plus, the Rockets have a better package to send. If Denver gets completely desperate and can't find a better deal, Mavs have a chance. But, I don't see it.

Chris (Dallas)

Jeff, the Mavs seem to be looking at these older players to trade for instead of someone young like Blake Griffin. Can't we package Butler's expiring contract, Haywood, maybe Jason Terry and Shawn Marion along with draft pics and $3million in cash. Donald Sterling is a money guy and maybe the cash could land us Griffin?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:12 PM)

Chris, whatever you are smoking, pass it around. Blake Griffin isn't going anywhere.

jason (new london tx.)

what are the chances that cuban stays put at the deadline and allows this current roster with beauboies to gel, and if not who goes and who do the mavs get in return?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:15 PM)

Jason, this is a very interesting theory that isn't given enough credence. To me, the Mavs are in a really tough spot here. They have to weight what they can get in a trade vs. what they have to give up, meaning Roddy, the only young, promising player they have on a very old team (I'm not counting rook Dominique Jones in promising category yet). Are the Mavs prepared to give up Roddy for a proven player, even though that player isn't a superstar, likely comes with at least two years of big money on their contract and ultimately might not make the team better? The Mavs could ultimately decide that they can't get measurably better with a trade and hold onto Butler, re-sign him at reduced rate over the summer and start again.

Baller (Irving)

Now with Peja on the roster does this open up the possiblity for the mavericks to inclued Jason Terry in trade discussions?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:16 PM)

Jason Terry in a trade before this deadline? Not likely. Before the '12 deadline, very possible (assuming there is a season). Terry is going to hit his incentive (1,500) minutes that fully guarantees his final year next season at more than $11 million. No one's going to want that now.

Ruben (Los Angeles)

It seems like this team just stands around and hopes dirk does something, should the mavs make a significant trade, because i dont think Peja and Roddy are the answer?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:18 PM)

Ruben, the Mavs' offense hasn't exactly flowed like wine...flowed? is that a word? Anyway, you get the point. There's been a lot of standing around, which is why this team can't hit 90 points for the most part anymore. The Mavs hope a healthy Peja will spread the floor, which he will and open driving lanes for the guard and free up more space for Dirk. we have to see how effective Peja is and how many minutes he can play once he get in, which might not be Thursday.

Michael (Irving)

Can you tell me about trade possiblitys or if they are even touchable such as Granger, Ellis, Jackson, Maggette or anyone you might think we may pursue in the next month.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:20 PM)

Danny Granger I don't believe is going anywhere. Nor is Monta Ellis. The Warriors keep talking about trading to get better, not worse or for salary dumps...Jackson definitely, Maggette, yes, but the Mavs aren't keen of either contracts.

Chris (Little Elm)

Any chance we get Devin Harris now? or maybe John Wall or Brandon Jennings so we have a young PG for the future?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:20 PM)

Someone sent me a tweet a few chats ago, asking why I let questions like this one get through. John Wall? Brandon Jennings? Chris, are you nuts?

Bill (Round Rock)

Dominic Jones is pretty good at driving the ball and dribbling but his shooting range seems limited. Is there any consideration being given to making him a point guard instead of a shooting guard? I can see a future with him at the point and Roddy at the two, giving us a really quick backcourt that can penetrate at will. What do you think?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:23 PM)

Bill, Dominique Jones started playing point guard on the Mavs' D-League team in Frisco. And he's handled the ball some in his limited time with the Mavs. They like his ball-handling and think he has good vision and court sense. He can't shoot. That's a big problem. But, I think the Mavs started to push him toward point because of Roddy's non-progress in that area. We'll see how that works out. Right now, Dominique really needs some seasoning before he gets any type of minutes at any position.

Damian (NY)

Is Dallas satisfied with its PG rotation? Kidd needs rest, yet when JJ goes in we all feel restless. Is Roddy going to fill the void or do they need to have an eye out for another backup?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:24 PM)

Good question, Damian. Carlisle has done a pretty good job of keeping Kidd's minutes down. there's games here and there where he gets up high, but nothing too bad. Carlisle will tell you the reason he's been able to manage Kidd's minutes is because of J.J. Barea. He's the best penetrator on the club and if he can hit the 3, which hasn't happened much, he can be dangerous. Roddy was penciled in as a guy to help out there, but I wouldn't count on that much when he returns.

Kenny (Dallas)

Do you get the sense that Mahinmi is about to get the majority of the backup minutes behind Chandler? If so, is Haywood tradeable with that contract of his?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:27 PM)

Kenny, not really, I don't. He played 13 minutes at New Jersey and Haywood got 5. But, when you look at their minutes in the games leading up to that, while Mahinmi is getting more PT,it's not like he's taking over as the backup. Carlisle continues to publicly say he has no problems with Haywood's effort and production. Not sure I can wholly believe that. Plus the guy is shooting 30% from the floor and we've already seen two teams to to hack-a-haywood. The problem with Mahinim is he remains very raw and he's not a very good rebounder for being 6-11. Having said that, Carlisle loves his energy and hustle and that will earn him PT.

Luke (TX)

Hey Jeff,i honestly believe Tayshaun Prince would be a better fit here than Stephen Jackson. Do you agree? And do you think the Mavs can get one of them?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:29 PM)

Luke, you could probably pursuade me that Prince is just as good or a better fit. I don't think I'd complain much about either playing coming aboard, both would be upgrades and I think help the club. Does it put them over the top? I don't think so, which is why the Mavs have to be super careful in what it takes to get those guys. Does Roddy need to go for Jackson? I'm not so sure. For Prince? The Pistons would likely be asking for him. Do you make that swap?

Rob (Dallas)

Is Deshawn Stevenson a Mav on Feb. 25?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:30 PM)

Rob,just depends if Mavs make a move. DeShawn is a likely partner with Caron's contract depending on how big the deal is. Stevenson's $4 million expiring contract is valuable.

Jeff (Little Rock)

With a hefty price tag and complacent attitude is Haywood tradeable? Does Dallas have enough confidence in Ian Mahinmi to make a move if it presented itself?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:31 PM)

Jeff, I'll answer this one again this week, but everyone, please mark this down: while no one is untradeable, Haywood is about as close as it comes. As mentioned just a bit ago, I don't think the team is ready to hand Mahinmi the backup job and sit their $43 million backup.

J (Fort Worth)

What kind of impact will Peja really have seeing as how he has had knee problems and not much of a defender do you see Carlisle putting him and Terry on the floor at the same time?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:32 PM)

J, you are right, Peja is not much of a defender. Him and Jet on the floor at the same time? Well, sure, that is a possibility. I mean a late-game situation if the Mavs need 3s and you sit Marion.

Rev Jones (Frisco, TX)

Should Dirk rest up and fore go the All-Star Game? Yeah, I think so. Besides, he's usually the most unselfish player on the court during the All-Star game, even last year when we hosted the thing.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:34 PM)

One thing to note with Dirk and the All-Star game is if he is picked by the West coaches as a reserve, and I fully expect him to be, he cannot take himself out to say he wants to rest. He would have to be legitimately injured and not playing the week of the game. Now, he can certainly ask Gregg Popovich, the West coach, to limit his minutes. Of course, the spurs coach might want to play him the full 48.

Clark (Austin)

Jeff, If Roddy B returns soon and makes a significant impact on the offensive end, do you think cuban will stay with the current roster instead of making a move before the all star break?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:34 PM)

Clark, I think that would be a possibility. I know everyone wants to see a big splashy trade, but again, i think the mavs are in a tough spot that is going to require some real introspection as to what they really want to do.

MFFLinOhio (Ohio)

Is Peja projected to eventually start?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:35 PM)

very possible.

rob (alabama)

say all the stars align: peja is good for a solid 15-20, dirk heals, tyson dominates, jet learns to shoot again, roddy actually plays, and our starting point guard averages at least 10 pts a game... do the mavs have a boxers chance at winning it all???

Jeff Caplan
  (3:35 PM)

Wow, that certainly is a lot of many of those can you legitimately count on?

David (Forney, TX)

Will the mavs host a 1st round playoff game ?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:37 PM)

Yeah, I believe they probably will. Unless Utah really catches fire, same with OKC, which could happen and NO stays red hot. after all the injuries and awful play, they're still right there. But, with this team, we see year after year that seeding is really inconsequential. As long as you don't play L.A. or S.A. in the first round, does it really matter?

Vlade (Croatia)

Hearing that Deron Williams is not happy in Utah and may pull a Melo. Any way we can get him to come back home to Big D ?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:38 PM)

No doubt Deron Williams is frustrated in Utah. They lost some good players, Boozer, Brewer, Korver, to the Bulls, and didn't sufficiently replace them all. That's still a good team and Okur is working his way back. I'm not going to get too excited about anything D-Will until we see how this season ends and what the Jazz do next offseason. I think Williams is very close to coach Sloan and won't leave Utah easily.

Dominique (Dallas)

What would it take to get Carl Landry and Omri Casspi. I think thats a realistic deal that would help alot.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:39 PM)

I agree. I don't think Casspi is necessarily all that available, but Landry should be easy pickings and I think the Mavs could use a guy like him. No doubt.

rob (alabama)

marion, and haywood are over paid back ups. kidd is great, but not kidd anymore. doesn't seem like cuban is a confused about his spending???

Jeff Caplan
  (3:41 PM)

Well, look, Marion has played pretty darn well this year and his salary &7.3, which goes up over the next few years, isn't awful. He's been good. Haywood is stealing money right now. He's been very disappointing, in my opinion. Kidd is making $8 mil, agian not terrible. Look, it is what it is, the Mavs have assembled an aging roster and Cuban has always been at the top of the NBA payroll.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:42 PM)

OK, everyone, looks like we've come to the end of a pretty good batch of questions. Time really flew today. Should be an interesting game tonight vs. the L.A. Blake Griffins. I'll be there. Follow me on twitter at ESPN_Caplan. I'll be tweeting throughout the game and always check for the latest in Mavs news. No one has fresher info more constantly updated. So check it out and tell your friends. See you next week.