Thursday’s NBA trade deadline came and went without the Dallas Mavericks making any moves.
“This group has done some really good things in the past week and giving them an opportunity to continue that is important,” Donnie Nelson, the Mavs’ president of basketball operations said. “Obviously you’ve got to make the calls, you’ve got to turn over every stone.
“But in the long run we like the direction that the team’s going in and we stood pat.”
Nelson noted that he had numerous conversations with various NBA personnel and that he also talked with owner Mark Cuban and coach Rick Carlisle about trades and where the Mavs are as a team. But ultimately the price of change was too high, Nelson said, for the Mavs to make a trade.
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The Mavs have won six of their past eight games and are playing their best basketball of the season. Nelson took that into consideration while the Mavs were linked in trade scenarios involving Luol Deng, Kevin Love and Jordan Hill.
The Mavericks, who are tied with Memphis for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, will play the Philadelphia 76ers at 6 p.m. Friday at Wells Fargo Arena.
Making a trade and trying to fit in new players with only 27 games remaining could ultimately disrupt the flow the Mavs have developed lately.
“When you do make changes, even if it’s at the end of the roster, it takes a certain period of time to bring guys in,” Nelson said. “And in the West it’s so thick from top to bottom, you bring new guys in you drop a couple or three games here and it could be the difference of making the playoffs or not.
“So we definitely did not want to do anything that was lateral. We weren’t afraid to do something if it took us to the next level, but that ultimately didn’t present itself.”
The Mavs received a confidence boost when they went 1-1 in their past two games while playing the best two teams in the Eastern Conference.
Dallas put up a huge defensive front and won in Indiana 81-73 on Feb. 12.
But the Mavs committed 16 turnovers Tuesday and lost at home to the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat 117-106.
Although they lost that game, the Mavs were ahead with less than eight minutes left and see that as a sign that they don’t need to panic.
“We feel like we’re going in the right direction internally and obviously Coach [Carlisle] is involved in every decision that we make,” Nelson said. “We felt that it’s in our best interest to keep the crew together, to keep growing together and improving and getting better.
“We understand the challenges of the West and we’ve got people clicking on our heels and we’re looking to improve our own playoff position ... none of that was lost. Like I said, we were willing to have the discussions, make changes if it was a significant step forward for this year, and ultimately the price of change kind of prevented us from making a deal.”