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February 22, 3:00 PM ET
Mavs with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (3:00 PM)

Wow, you know it's the trade deadline when the questions reach near triple digits. Haven't been able to go through them all, but many are repeats, so if I don't get to your question don't take it personally, someone probably asked it first...Well, the deadline is straight up 48 hours away. Do the Mavs make a move, do they stand pat? Let's talk about it.

Jaime (Mexico)

Hi Jeff hope you did alright on the All-Star Weeekend. I'm surprised believe it or not Hollinger gave the Mavs in his last chat a little bit of recognition and said they could be one of the teams that can beat San Antonio. Why do you think this Mavs are different from past years?, because as you have seen lately and you post it here Mavs defense is regressing game after game, will they get more motivated on playoffs and play a hard nose defense? Thank You Jeff

Jeff Caplan
  (3:02 PM)

I did have a relaxing All-Star game thank you. I think people have the right to be skeptical about the Mavs bc of past failures. But, this team is different. For starters, Tyson Chandler brings a presence, physically and emotionally, plus athleticism that has lacked. The addition of Peja brings another excellent shooter. Roddy B's speed (and J.J.'s) will help keep defenses honest and I like the overall chemistry of this team.

Colin (College Station)

Hi Jeff, I'm wondering if you think the movement of Carmelo Anthony does anything to change the Mavericks' trade prospect? I've heard that Devin Harris may be for sale... Dallas has an incredible amount of depth, but come playoff time it would be really nice to have some of that talent more condensed toward the top of the roster, in my opinion.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:04 PM)

Devin Harris could be on the move, but I just don't think it makes much sense here. First of all, the Mavs are crazy crowded at the the guard positions. Second, the Mavs have been pretty clear that they are going to stay away from contracts that will add heavily to payroll, one big reason they weren't interested in Stephen Jackson. Harris has a very similar contract spread over the next two seasons. It just doesn't make much sense to me.

Christopher (Dallas)

We have a sweet team but is there anyway we can get Stephen Jackson w/o giving Roddy up. I first thought it was smart to stand pat and not take on Jackson's contract, but we're just going to give butler a similar contract anyways and Sjax is Clutch.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:05 PM)

Oops. just answered this. Stephen Jackson is not coming to Dallas. Neither is Gerald Wallace. The Bobcats have served the Mavs well this season already by unloading Tyson Chandler and taking back Matt Carroll's silly contract.

CMG ( DFW)

What are some potential trade targets for the Mavs in these last couple of days.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:06 PM)

I think a guy they probably like most is Tayshaun Prince from Detroit. He's a good defender, a smart, heady player, who can give you some points in the mid-range game. He's not the scorer they might like to have, but his big attraction is an expiring contract. But, just giving back an expiring contract in Caron Butler isn't going to get the deal done. Other teams can add more attractive first-round picks.

Nick (washington DC)

i just don't know what to think of these Mavs....I feel like they have a solid team ,but i don't think its enough to get them over the hump. Yet every time i doubt them they come away with a winning streak. Do you think they need a trade for a solid number two for dirk or not?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:08 PM)

I really don't think they need a trade. I mean, if the Mavs decided that money didn't matter, Stephen Jackson would probably be here, and that would be great. But, clearly the Mavs are looking to the future with a new CBA and a lowered salary cap. They don't want to be stuck when the rules change.

Frank (Montreal)

Do you think Caron's confidence in recovery looks more realistic now than before, or is it just hype - a way for him to plead the team to keep him? If he does recover before the playoffs, might it be one of the determined recoveries in NBA?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:09 PM)

I don't know if Caron will really make it back or not. He's doing very well in his recovery so I suspect anything is possible. I think the Mavs would love to have him back if he can. Remember when Jameer Nelson came back in the NBA Finals against the Lakers. There was a big debate whether he should come back. We'll just have to see how this goes over the next 2 months. And see if he's still a Mavs in a couple days. He thinks he will be.

Leroy (Dallas, TX)

I'm sure you are being pummeled with trade questions, but the mavs have to make a deal to get Troy Murphy- no? I would think a shooting big man- a la Van Horn or Lafrentz (worked before) would really put this team over the top. Give up Marion and take back Outlaw as a replacement.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:11 PM)

Well, the problem with this suggestion is that I don't see many teams taking on Shawn Marion's contract. he's still got three years left on the thing for a pretty good chunk of change. Again, few teams are willing to take on salary. And when the Mavs aren't on of them, you know teams are serious about it. So forget about dealing Marion -- and really, he's been one of the Mavs' most consistent contributors, -- so why deal him anyway? On top of that, where does Murphy fit on this team. Where will his minutes come?

Bryan Ernst (Angola Indiana)

is there a chane dallas can get devin harris back and how would dallas have to give up.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:12 PM)

Whatever they'd have to give up to get him would be too much. Harris makes little sense here.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:12 PM)

One note on Harris, back in January when the Mavs asked the nets about his availability, remember J.J. was just starting to come around from an awful start to the season and no one knew when the heck Roddy would be back.

Matt (Charlottesville, VA)

What are the chances we see a 2006 repeat, Mavs vs Heat?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:13 PM)

I suppose it's not bad. Whose chances do you like better to get there, the Mavs' or the Heat's?

Daniel (Dallas)

Would the Mavs rather have Tayshaun Prince now, healthy and unacclimated to the team or Caron Butler come playoff time, coming off and injury but fully acclimated?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:14 PM)

You always want the healthy player. There's no guarantee Caron will be back. of course, to get prince, you might have to give up Butler.Still don't see a Prince sighting in Dallas.

Miguel (Collegeville, Minnesota)

The Mavs are now the 2nd seed. Do see them trying to stay at number 2 so that if they advance to the second round, then they can have homecourt advantage and possibly face the Lakers? I really want to see this matchup.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:15 PM)

Miguel, absolutely they'll try to stay in the No. 2 seed. Actually they'll try to catch the Spurs, but that's a long shot with 26 games left and six games back and only one head-to-head game left. So, if Mavs stay 2 and Lakers stay 3, yes Mavs will have homecourt advantage. If they swap spots, LA gets homecourt and that would be dangerous. Two meetings in March could decide the seed.

W (Ft Worth)

With Carmelo going to the Knicks, does this pretty much assure first round series wing for the Mavs and a meeting with the Lakers in the 2nd round of the playoffs?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:17 PM)

Well, the first round just got a whole lot easier you would think if the Mavs were to match up with Denver, but that can still be a pesky team. Now, Utah can always put it together. They have been a major disappointment, and I'm not sure I'd want to see Portland in the first round. Still, if the Mavs are who we think they might be, they should be able to beat any of those teams or they don't deserve much.

tyler (richardson)

Is the NBA as close to locking out as the NFL is?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:17 PM)

Probably closer.

Chris (Houston)

Roddy, DeShawn, Butler, 1r pick x DGranger, Posey??

Jeff Caplan
  (3:17 PM)

I hear that Larry Bird will not deal Granger.

Phil (Chicago)

Do you thing D-Will will be the sucessor of Jason Kidd?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:18 PM)

Interesting, but I really think that D-Will and Chris Paul will joust to become the next point guard of the New York Knicks.

Phil (Chicago)

Do you think that the Mavs will trade Caron Butler for a nice piece to the puzzle and resign him in the offseason??

Jeff Caplan
  (3:19 PM)

Trade him and then re-sign him? Hmm. I think if they trade him he will not be back. If they keep him he could very well be back. But, I could be wrong. Not sure how Caron would take being traded and then asked back, especially when he thinks he'll be playing in the playoffs.

Clint Payne (Harrisburg, PA )

With the Melo' deal finally having gone down is there any chance the Mavs make a play for either Wilson Chandler or Danillo Gallinari?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:19 PM)

No and no.

greg benjamin (arlington tx)

so is there any trade rumors still going around the mavs?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:20 PM)

The trade rumors for the Mavs are very quiet -- for once. Not a lot of shaking. Now, having said that, Donnie Nelson is talking to people all over the league and taking calls, shaking trees, etc.

Chasney (College Station)

If we fall short of a finals appearance (I'd be upset with anything short of a title) do you think we will aggressively pursue a CP3 or Deron Williams? And what do you think the chances of us getting one of them are? Also, what are our chances of re-signing Tyson?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:23 PM)

The most pressing of the names you mentioned is Tyson Chandler. It is imperative the Mavs hold onto him...which leads to a very good point. One very large reason the Mavs aren't going for guys with contracts like Stephen Jackson is because it will limit their ability to re-sign Chandler. Remember, the rules are going to change, possibly to a hard cap. The Mavs have like $54 mil tied up in contracts already for next season. This season's salary cap is $58 mil and we all know it will be going down next season with a new CBA. As for Williams and Paul, of course the Mavs will be involved in pursuing those guys, as will the rest of the league, starting with Miami and New York.

Michael Richardson (Long Beach, Ca)

What about making a smaller deal. What about adding a J.R. Smith to the squad? I think there is enough positive energy in our locker room to help him with his attitude!

Jeff Caplan
  (3:24 PM)

Michael, there isn't enough positive energy anywhere to help J.R. Smith. You really want that guy on your team? Plus, you are you giving up and how is he any different than Jason Terry, other than not as clutch and much more bizarre.

Mavsman (Austin, tx)

I don't really see that the Mavs need to make a move. I think if they can just work Peja and Roddy into the line up and get in sync they have a real shot at a title. Do you agree?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:26 PM)

I think that's the way it's going to be. The big thing for me is how Roddy and Peja work defensively on the floor at the same time. Roddy will mostly be taking point guards when playing with Kidd, but for a team that has had high defensive standards this season and has seen that slip, it will be interesting to see if they outscore people down the stretch or get back to sound defense.

melvox (Santo Domingo)

Hey Jeff, how do you think Carlisle manage the minutes between Kidd and Barea (Barea is looking awesome).

Jeff Caplan
  (3:27 PM)

Carlisle is doing a fine job managing minutes. Kidd is only around 32-33 minutes a game. That will go up in the postseason so it's important to keep them down now, which they have done. JJ on many nights is earning more than 20 minutes a night, even up to 25. Now with Roddy back, that could go down. Carlisle has to get Roddy in there to get him going, but he can't lose sight of how well JJ has played either.

Taylor (Dallas)

In your opinion is Roddy B available for Nene (good lord I hope not) or Harris? What are the Mavs chances of landing Devin Harris compared to using other teams?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:28 PM)

Last I read, from our own Marc Stein is that the Nuggets are working on an extension for Nene.

nick (boston)

whats the latest on the devin harris trade rumors?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:28 PM)

rumors. that's all.

Trey (Coppell)

What are the chance Dallas lands Devin Harris, Tayshawn Prince, Steven Jackson. Give a percentage and prefrence for the Mavs.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:29 PM)

As stated earlier, I would put Prince at the top because he's an expiring contract, but doubtful Mavs can get it done with what they offer.

Mike (Pittsburgh)

I know that this sounds crazy, but do you think that it would be better if the Mavs end up as the 4 or 5 seed in the playoffs as opposed to the 2 seed because of their recent performance in the playoffs as higher seeds. Obviously they lost as a 1 seed in 07 and last year as a 2 seed, but got to the Finals as a 4 seed and made it to the 2nd round as a 6 seed. Do you think that flying under the radar as a lower seed and maybe playing the Spurs(who the Mavs understand the best) would be better than dealing with LA in the 2nd round, if they get there?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:30 PM)

Yeah, that sounds crazy...you want to finish as high as you can, bottom line. if you go to the finals you're going to have to deal with the Spurs and Lakers most likely anyhow, so which round really doesn't matter. I don't see the Mavs slipping to fourth.

eddie (fort worth)

Do you see carlisle cutting down the rotation once the playoffs start? Or is do you think the rotation would work in the playoffs since it has worked during the regular season

Jeff Caplan
  (3:31 PM)

Certainly an interesting question. Normally rotations shrink, but this team is such a committee beyond Dirk. Minutes will shrink. J-Kidd will play more, we don't know about Roddy yet or Peja. So, I think it's one of the more intriguing story lines to follow going forward.

Tyler Loy (Waxahchie, Texas )

I do not believe that the Mavs should trade Roddy B. But if they do decide to 1. Do you think they would go after Devin Harris or Steve Nash? 2. If we trade Roddy do we stand a better chance of winning a championship with or without him?I personally like the idea of a starting 5 with Nash, Kidd, Nowitzki, Stojakovic, and Chandler.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:33 PM)

The Mavs aren't trading Roddy unless it's for a superstar and Carmelo just went to the Knicks and Chris Paul/Deron Williams aren't available. The Mavs have hyped Roddy as a superstar in the making, there's even billboards around town with Carlisle proclaiming that Roddy will be a superstar. It would take a lot of explaining for them to trade their one young player with upside, who will also come cheaply next season.

Justin (Dallas)

Do you think the kings would give up Carl Landry for a trade exception? Landry's contract expires after the end of this season so the mavs would not be taking on any salary and he is a pf so could possibly play behind dirk?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:35 PM)

Carl Landry is a guy that I believe will be on the move because he is an expiring contract. I've long thought he could help the Mavs, but it doesn't seem as though he's in their plans. I like his blue-collar game and he can score around the basket. Seems like a guy you'd like to have.

Cameron Ongena (Waco, TX)

At the end of the season, providing there isn't a lockout, what are the chances a team gives an offer JJ Barea can't refuse and leaves the Mavs and how much do you think the Mavs will have to offer to keep him?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:36 PM)

that's a good question. JJ certainly is making a strong case for himself, but I don't see him commanding say, what would have been the mid-level exception, because next year there might not be any exceptions if a hard cap comes to pass. It's very possible JJ could get a good enough offer to leave, especially if Roddy comes on strong and the Mavs want to use him at the 1 and 2.

Cameron Ongena (Waco, TX)

What team would give the Mavs the most problems (setting aside LA & SA) in the first round? I honestly think with the Nuggest losing Melo and Billups to NY that Memphis would. They seem to beat us every year and Zach Randolph kills us.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:38 PM)

Cameron, I think that's a great call. Memphis is not a team the Mavs would like to see in the first round, although i don't Memphis could take them in a 7 game series. Zach Randolph kills the Mavs -- always. Gasol is underrated and they've got young, athletic guys that can harrass the Mavs. Rudy Gay has to come back healthy for them, but I agree with you.

LL (VA)

Jeff, I was too critical on the play of the mavs a few weeks back.I regret saying those things now that they are winning,my question is can this team make a noise to the finals?I think they can take the lakers!Your thoughts?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:38 PM)

I think if things fall right that the Mavs can beat the Lakers in a 7 game series. I will never discount Kobe, but there is clearly something going on with the Lakers right now.

Michael (Dallas)

The Mavericks have arguably the most depth on their bench and can change their starting line-up to set the tempo however they want. The question is, can this depth of veterans last in the playoffs when it comes time to take out the Spurs or the Lakers who have some youngings waiting on the bench to play their heart out?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:40 PM)

That's the big question Michael. We don't know. We saw this team get extremely frustrated against the Spurs. But, again, some things are different this year...we'll see if that goes beyond the regular season. Hard to remember that the Mavs won 55 games last season. So we'll see.

Angie (Little Elm)

Are the Mavs basically done with the thought of acquiring Steven Jackson now that Roddy B is back?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:40 PM)

Even before Roddy came back.

Drew (Mesquite)

I think the Mavs most vulnerable position is at small forward. Peja is a liability on defense and I don't expect Caron to be totally healthy by the playoffs... if at all. What are the likely SF candidates that the Mavs might trade for? I hear Tayshaun Prince may be available, but what would the Mavs give up to acquire a player like that?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:42 PM)

Drew, just wanted to say that I agree, SF is the biggest position of need. Peja can be a liability defensively. I've been over the Prince situation -- don't think Mavs can land him. Not sure where they go from there to be honest.

Johnny S. (Addison)

With all the leagues super starts joining forces, do you see the league allowing teams a franchise tag? Is this good for the league or will it be like baseball with only a few teams realistically expected to win it all every year?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:43 PM)

I really don't know. I don't like the franchise tag, but the league will have to figure out a way to entice players to stay put. Of course ,the rules are slanted that way now and it doesn't always work. sometimes it does, ie Joe Johnson, Kevin Durant.

Josh (NY)

Now when the Knicks got Melo , they need C to make a deep playoff run and really be THE TEAM TO BEAT.. Maybe we could trade them Haywood for ... Fields.. Mavs get youth and a guy they really need while NY get the C they don't have .. Maybe we should add them cash and picks but that sounds good for me.. Agree??

Jeff Caplan
  (3:44 PM)

Josh, you really think the Knicks will trade the Mavs a hot rookie for a sad-sack veteran with a bad contract? That's not even getting to the point that the salaries don't match by a long shot.

Dirk Nowitzki (AAC Locker room)

Don't get me wrong, I love my team. How come no other super stars want to come here? They join forces in Boston, Miami, and now New York. Is it my style of play they don't like or something else?

Jeff Caplan
  (3:45 PM)

It's not that they don't want to come here Dirk, it's just that they haven't had the avenue to do so because the Mavs are continally over the salary cap and therefore cannot pursue free agents that command more than the mid-level exception without working out a complicated sign-and-trade situation.

Jeff Caplan
  (3:47 PM)

OK, everybody, good chat. I've got to get to the AAC for a late Mavs practice. Utah is in town tomorrow night. The Jazz could be a playoff foe --if they make the playoffs.Check espndallas.com early and often. Next week I'll be in Suprise for a week of Rangers spring training, so maybe we'll take baseball as well.Take care.