Mavericks should consider trading Dirk Nowitzki

Much has been said about the future of Dirk Nowitzki. I can tell you
this morning that he is going to leave the Mavericks. I say this without

It’s going to happen.

One day.

The fact that it doesn’t have to happen this summer and almost certainly
will not happen this summer should be of no comfort to owner Mark Cuban
and Mavericks fans.

I don’t know anyone of reasonable mind who thinks simply getting rid of Nowitzki or "blowing up" the Mavericks after another frustrating first-round defeat makes sense. I’m inclined to agree, but not to the extent that it simply ends the discussion.

Nowitzki remains a more polarizing figure than he should be. He’s without question the greatest Maverick of all time, one of the 10 best players in the league today and the kind of player who is capable of being the best player on a championship team.

Without question.

But his critics and doubters are not entirely wrong in the things they say about him. They argue against his ability to lead the Mavs to a title and, until it happens, it’s just our word against theirs. It could have happened in 2006 but it didn’t, so it’s strictly a matter for conjecture.

Nowitzki wasn’t the reason the Mavericks’ season ended so suddenly in San Antonio 10 days ago. Then again, before we had the "Where’s Roddy?" controversy develop at the end of Game 6, the biggest question of the game’s first half was "Dirk, What the %$#&*?"

For no reason beyond frustration or lazy play, Nowitzki committed his third and fourth personal fouls – both reaching against George Hill – in the second quarter.

Before Beaubois’ untimely benching, Nowitzki’s soft play with the season on the line had the potential to be the biggest story. Then Nowitzki scored 25 points after halftime and quieted the critics once more.

Coach Rick Carlisle is correct when he says "it’s not going to be pretty" whenever the time comes that Dallas takes the floor without Nowitzki.

That’s true, but two things need to be considered on that front. One is whether or not "pretty" in the form of 50-win seasons that tend to end in the first round is all that’s left for the Nowitzki era.

Most likely, with an occasional plunge into the second round (when Manu Ginobili is hurt), that’s going to be about it. Even with a solid summer of practice from Beaubois and with Caron Butler becoming a consistent offensive force, it’s hard to see the Mavericks holding off strong teams with much younger cores such as Oklahoma City and Portland.

That’s not to mention the still-active Utah Jazz, which somehow own the Knicks’ pick in next month’s draft lottery.

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