DALLAS -- By 4 p.m. CDT Monday the Dallas Mavericks and every other NBA team will have to turn in their 15-man roster to the NBA.
It's a difficult task for some teams, and an extremely easy one for others. Especially those teams that don't even bother to spend the extra money to carry 15 players on their roster.
As far as the Mavs go, they have to release or trade one player by Monday afternoon. And they will take their good old time before revealing that decision.
“We’ll decide tomorrow,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Sunday's practice. “I think we inch closer every day, but there’s still things we’re considering and we’re going to take our time.”
Here's a few things the Mavs may be considering:
*Guard Delonte West was suspended indefinitely last Thursday and would be the likely and easy choice for the Mavs to waive or trade, because he was suspended twice in an 11-day period and he seems to be a distraction. West was a key figure for the Mavs last season and is a valuable commodity, but they are growing very tired of his distractions.
*Guard Dominique Jones didn't even play in the final preseason game, and didn't play all that well when he did play. The Mavs have until Wednesday to exercise the team option on Jones' contract for next season. Do they want to commit $2.3 million next year to Jones, who has career averages of only 2.5 ppg and 1.3 assists?
*If the Mavs trade or waive Jones, and later on if they have to suspend West a third time, they would probably then release him, which would leave Dallas with 14 players. That also means a roster spot would be open just in case another team releases a player the Mavs covet.
*Since the Mavs are short on big men -- and since center Chris Kaman has already been hurt twice in less than three weeks -- the job of rookie center Bernard James appears safe. Especially since the Mavs are short on big men.
Either way, look for the Mavs to release or trade a guard on Monday.
-- Dwain Price
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