Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

February 29, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Jeff Caplan

Jeff Caplan
  (4:00 PM)

Hello folks, thanks for waiting an extra hour than usual so I could get to Memphis. Really looking forward to tonight's game. If the Mavs don't show up with more intensity than last night, they could be stepping into a hornets nest. Having said that, the Mavs, losers of three of four, are typically very good when they have to be. On to the questions.

David (New York)

Maybe i'm missing something, but why isn't Vince Carter ever in at the end of games? He's made a ton of game winning shots in his career, I'd think he'd be more of an offensive threat than Roddy or Kidd at this point. If i remember right he was a KD buzzer beater away from hitting another one earlier this year. any thoughts??

Jeff Caplan
  (4:01 PM)

Well, David, he has played some situationally at the end. Remember OKC way back at the start of the season when he hit the 3 that looked to be the winner until Durant hit the game-winner at the buzzer? Terry is always going to be on the floor, so is Marion, Kidd, Dirk...so where is a spot for Vince other than on set plays coming out of a timeout?

BK (Dallas(work))

Cap 24 points 10 reb 3 stls usually id say thats a pretty decent night from the big german but if you watched the game last night you can easily say that this game was lost because of dirk and his poor play/shooting am wrong in this??

Jeff Caplan
  (4:03 PM)

Hey BK, well I'm not going to put losing to the Nets all on Dirk. No secret, he didn't shoot well, 7-of-19, but no one shot well. Kidd was 1-of-7. Terry was 2-of-6 from 3s. Carter had no impact. This game was on the entire team. Little defensive intensity early, poor shooting.

jason (new london tx)

lets say howard and williams dont come to dallas what then? and would that make letting tyson, deshawn and jj walk go down as the worst move in franchise history?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:05 PM)

Jason, that's the risk Cuban took. Now, if the Mavs don't land Williams or Howard or both, then the Mavs have to figure out how to put their team together around Dirk. Rumors are surfacing that Nash would be an alternative plan. There will be lots of free agents out there, none of superstar caliber like Howard and Williams. Big risk-reward.

Ricky (Houston)

Is Lamar's dissapperance any inclination that he is on the trading block or might get traded, or is it really a "family" issue. Seems very strange to me, especially him ducking out on the Lakers game. I know alot of times guys seem to not suit up before the trade deadline, because they are on the way out.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:07 PM)

Ricky, I really don't think Odom is on the trading block. First of all, who's going to take him. Second, trading Odom doesn't do the Mavs any good unless they can trade expiring contract for expiring contract that would aid both teams on the court for the remainder of this season. I don't see it. Odom was attractive to the Mavs because his deal next year is only partially guaranteed and can be easily let go.

Shawn Jacob (Carrollton, TX)

The Mavs just looked disinterested last night. Did the team think that the season was over when the All-Star game rolled around?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:09 PM)

Hey Shawn, yeah, I mean giving up 56 points in the first half did not show a lot of intensity did it?I don't think they think the season is over, but again, this team is kind of in transition once again with no Delonte, no Lamar, Roddy's back...did you see some of the lineups out there last night?

MavsFanatic (Phoenix,AZ)

Hey Jeff, it's your buddy Mavs Fanatic! Thanks for all your support. Do you think it would benefit the Mavs more to buyout the remainder of Odom's contract, and pocket that important cash for the summer free agency or do you think LO can turn this around. This whole situation is a mystery. Thanks Jeff!

Jeff Caplan
  (4:11 PM)

MavsFanatic, dude!... No, I don't think buying out Odom does the Mavs any good. I think Cuban is saying, hey, if he's not going to play here, he's not going anywhere. If the Mavs did buy him out, Odom could not go back to the Lakers, but he could go to the Clippers. What if he goes back to LA and gets back in his comfort zone and then you face the guy in the playoffs on a very good team. The Mavs have been very patient with Odom and he does owe them his effort.

MsLettic (Dallas TX)

What's can be done to #Mavs offensive end?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:13 PM)

Hello MsLettic...always good to hear from you. The offense, wow, I don't know what to say. Jason Kidd told me the team won't be a great offensive team or a great shooting team because of the energy they exert on the defensive end. It is getting bad though.Dallas has been around 43 percent overall all season. They really haven't improved. They rank in the bottom half of the league and this deep into the season that might be who they are.

jason (new london tx)

with west out and odom playing hookie, this tems depth is taking a big hit. will mark and donnie look to add a free agent prior to the deadline? if so who?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:15 PM)

Jason, you got lucky sneaking the second question in. The Mavs have 15 players on the roster. Adding a player means you have to cut someone. And don't say Odom. The Mavs really believe that this guy can still be of value. He's been a good player his entire career. He didn't forget how to play, I think he just has to decide to get his mind and body on the same page and go do it.

Jimmy (LR)

Prediction for tonight's contest?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:16 PM)

Jimmy,I got to tell you I think this is a real tough one for Dallas. Mavs on a back-to-back, Memphis real rested and they've been playing well. Having said that, the Mavs have always been good when they really need a win. But, I think this will be their third consecutive loss.

jfb (dfw)

Any chance we could unload Odom, 3 mil. cash to pay for his buyout, Roddy, and Dojo for Nash, Garnett, or Kaman? Would any of those teams take that deal, no cap hit for next year and they get two young players?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:16 PM)

Um no.

Brad (Toronto)

Do you think the Mavs will give up Roddy and D Jones before the deadline? Maybe for a veteran with an expiring deal?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:18 PM)

Brad, no I don't. There is no reason to, especially now with West out likely right up to or beyond the trade deadline. Roddy and DoJo are easily sent on their way this summer if the Mavs need to create more cap space. Moving either one now makes no sense. Look, they still want Roddy to be a success here.

jv74 (Denver)

How much of a distraction is the Odom story becoming in the locker room?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:19 PM)

I don't think it was much of a distraction until now. I think the all-star hiatus and the fact that it appears his dad is fine, is making these guys wonder what's going on. Kidd mentioned the other day that this thing will resolve itself and he hopes it happens soon.

Kevin (Dallas)

Jeff, I saw a story about the Mavs possibly going after Steve Nash this summer. My question is, why don't they attempt to trade for him before the deadline? His expiring contract wouldn't have any affect on this coming summer's negotiations and I'm sure Jason Kidd would be fine with having another solid PG to take up some minutes.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:20 PM)

Kevin, again, who do the Mavs have that the Suns say, sure Dallas, take our face of the franchise, the only guy people here come to see? They aren't going to trade him for nothing. They need young players will real upside.

Scot (AZ)

If the Mavs land Williams or Howard how does that impact the rest of the roster? If they land Howard, does that leave Mahinmi out? If they land Williams, do they attempt to resign West or is Roddy out?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:22 PM)

Scot, if the Mavs land both, expect that the only player left on the roster from this team will be Dirk. Then they'll do what Miami has had to do and that's fill out the roster with vets willing to take the minimum.

Dylan (Denton)

I already knew Brook Lopez was a great young center, but after last night I am very intrigued with his RFA status after this season. What do you think are the chances of the dominoes falling (Howard and D. Will for some reason choose to be in the Knicks shadow in Brooklyn) to where the Nets wouldn't feel any need to match a Dallas offer for Lopez this summer? He would be in line for a huge raise, but nowhere near a max offer. I like the thought of this.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:23 PM)

Dylan, interesting. If Howard lands with the Nets, then true, they have no use for Lopez. He has some real nice skills, nice touch. He doesn't rebound though does he? But, I like your thinking here.

Jimmy (LR)

Who's the best Mav interview this year? Funniest?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:24 PM)

Shawn Marion, hands down. Only problem is you can't use half of what he says.

John (Dallas)

All season it has been Deron and Dwight. Today it's Nash. Can we just worry about defending our title and our shooting woes until our season ends? We have zero assets to trade at the deadline. All of this talk is a waste of time until the offseason.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:24 PM)

John, John, John, haven't you learned by now that the speculating where guys will play has become far more exciting than the actual season?

Matt (Dallas)

Aside from the D-Will/Howard/Nash rumors we've been hearing, who could you realistically see the Mavs targeting in the trade market and in free agency?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:26 PM)

See John...more speculation...Matt, to be honest, I don't know, I'd have to really take pen to paper and start looking hard at this. I have not done that yet. I couldn't even tell you the full list of guys that will hit free agency or could be available via trade. You nailed the big names, and if they don't come, then it's on to Plan C,D,E,F...

David (work)

Lamar for Kris Humphries?? How ironic and a pretty solid trade.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:26 PM)

David, please...why would NJ trade Humphries, a walking double-double for a sulking Lamar?

jfb (dfw)

Is the schedule finally catching up w/ the Mavs older legs of Kidd, Dirk, Terry, Marion, and Carter or do you expect them to have their ups and downs (last night) w/ this schedule without going into an all out free fall?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:29 PM)

Shoot jfb...they just had 5 days off over the All-Star break and Carlisle has done a great job of limiting minutes. I mean go look at the averages. Now, I do think there is a great threat of this team being too physically taxed by the end of 66 games. March is absolutely brutal. The competition level ramps up big time after this 9 in 12 stretch.

Jimmy (LR)

Are you ever on time?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:29 PM)

Always, 2 o'clock sharp. Check your watch.

Brad (Toronto)

Seeing Stevenson last night in Dallas makes me wonder if he would return next year, especially if they were to add D-Will and Dwight. Why did the Mavs not even offer him a 1 year deal? Or did they?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:30 PM)

Brad, only if he'll take the minimum. He wasn't willing to do that this season and got about $1 mil more than Mavs were willing to throw his way. No, by this summer, the minimum might be all he can get anywhere. If Mavs get D-Will AND Howard, they will have plenty of roster spots to fill.

Scot (AZ)

I think the general consensus is Marion has been the Mavs MVP up until this point. Who do you think will be the team's MVP for the second half? Haywood maybe?

Jeff Caplan
  (4:31 PM)

Scot...wow, if Haywood is the MVP of the 2nd half, then the Mavs might not make the playoffs. Dirk needs to be the 2nd half MVP if this team is to head into the playoffs playing their best basketball.

Jeff Caplan
  (4:33 PM)

OK everyone, thanks again for your participation. Good one tonight at Memphis. Enjoy it and see you next week. Remember Chuck Cooperstein chats tomorrow and visit espndallas.com frequently for the most Mavs coverage you will find anywhere.