DALLAS -- If it's getting close to the NBA trading deadline, that means -- as owner Mark Cuban affectionately calls it -- "The Bank of Cuban'' is wide open for business.
Prior to Monday's 113-98 win over Minnesota, Cuban said the Mavs will be looking at a chance to improve via a trade, even if it meant taking back salary. After today's practice at American Airlines Center, coach Rick Carlisle made it clear that that's a non-story.
"That's how we've done business here for four-and-half years,'' Carlisle said. "I don't see any major change.
"Mark's always aggressive to make deals that are good deals to help the franchise, so it's not surprising. I know it's news because every time he says someting it's news, but that's good.''
Carlisle said, like any other owner, Cuban is in the business of making his team better and more profitable. So taking phone calls from other NBA executives are just par for the course for the Mavs.
"It's nothing new to me,'' Carlisle said. "I know that we're aggressive, I know that we're on the phone a lot and I know we're going to make deals that are the right deals to rebuild this thing the way we want to rebuild it, not just to do something for the sake of doing it.
"That's how it needs to be approached.''
Cuban said he and Donnie Nelson, the Mavs' president of basketball operations, will do their due diligence by working the phones in search of help that can get his team back among the NBA's elite.
“Every day I’m going through rosters trying to come up with ideas for Donnie,’’ Cuban said. “We want everybody to know that the Bank of Cuban is open and if it’s the right deal, we don’t mind taking back money.
“But we’re not going to just do a trade just to do a trade. It’s got to be really worthwhile.’’
The trading deadline is Feb. 21, which Carlisle so eloquently said: "Five weeks is light years. Two days from now is like eons.''
Carlisle said whatever rumors pop up in the ensuing 37 days won't affect the 15 players he already has on his roster.
"Having had two straight years of a locker room full of free agents, I think people underestimate the resiliency of players,'' Carlisle said. "I think our guys are going to play, I don't think they're going to be affected by any potential rumors or any present rumors.''
And Carlisle knows those players already know what working the phones to improve his team is simply a matter of Mark Cuban being Mark Cuban.
"Every executive in the league knows that we're on the phone all the time,'' Carlisle said. "To me, that's the real truth about it.
"If there's something worthwhile to do, I'm sure we'll do it. And if there isn't, we won't. I think that that's pretty clear, too.''
-- Dwain Price
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