Reporting Mike Fisher
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Mavericks front office is making a statement about its desire to be a buyer as the Feb. 21 NBA trade deadline looms just over the horizon.
“We’re letting everybody know the ‘Bank of Cuban’ is open,” team owner Mark Cuban said Monday. “And if it’s the right deal, we don’t mind taking back money. But we’re not going to do a trade just to do a trade. It’s got to be worthwhile.”
Meanwhile Monday, Cuban’s team once again performed as if fortified by the “buyers’’ approach, recording a third straight victory with a comfortable 113-98 decision over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves at American Airlines Center.
A trio of first-year Mavs, Darren Collison (23 points), OJ Mayo (20 points, seven rebounds and nine assists) and Elton Brand (a season-best 20 points) fueled the win that was highlighted by a season-high 32 assists.
The Mavs rushed to a 19-5 edge and built a lead that bloated to 23 points in the second half, easing Dallas to a climb of a record of 16-23 — a humble mark for a team with a decade-plus-long history of winning 50-plus but enough of a turnaround to push the Mavs to within five games of the eighth spot in the West standings.
The Mavs hadn’t won three straight since early December.
“We’ve just got to continue playing well and understand the season is a marathon,’’ Mayo said.
While the players on the floor continue to try to turn the club in the right direction, Cuban’s front office is attempting to play its part. Over the weekend, Cuban said there was a “100-percent chance” the Mavericks would try to make a trade. At the same time, the owner crushed the foolish rumors of a trade-away of Dirk Nowitzki.
“Every day, I’m going through rosters, trying to come up with ideas for Donnie,” Cuban said.
So the Bank of Cuban is open. And with three straight wins, so might be a path to contention for a West playoff spot.