As we enter the All-Star break the Dallas Mavericks are in a position a bit foreign to them.
They are sitting outside of the playoff picture.
As I write this, the Mavs sit in 11th place in the Western Conference, four and a half games behind the in-state rival Houston Rockets. They also trail the LA Lakers and the Portland Trailblazers for that number eight spot. They are in danger of missing the postseason for the first time in almost a decade.
I've heard some rumblings that the Mavs should just "tank" the rest of the season and try to get a high pick in this years draft. That's not a good idea.
For now, it looks like the draft may have been stripped of it's most talented player, Kentucky center Nerlens Noel, after he tore his ACL this last week. It's looking more and more likely he could be back at Kentucky next year. Their are some talented players on the board after him, like OSU's Marcus Smart, Kansas's Ben McLemore and UCLA's Shabazz Muhammad, but after that, it's kind of a weak draft. The Mavs should try to get back in contention this year.
Plenty of names have been thrown around, most recently the Milwaukee Bucks' Brandon Jennings. Mark Cuban is a man who is not afraid to open his pocket book or make a big trade, and this may be the time to do it.
With Dirk healthy, OJ Mayo having a career year and Vince Carter having a career revival, the Mavs are just coming up short of what they need to be a playoff team. They need an above average point guard, (sorry Darren Collison), or a good solid big man down low. Jennings could address one of those needs, and there are a few guys who can fill the big man role nicely, such as Phoenix's Marcin Gortat. I can't predict which move Cuban will make, but I can almost guarantee he will do something. He has to.