Cuban's View As Felton Trade Window Opens
By Sunday night, the 60-day restriction will have passed. Raymond Felton - who seems right now to be an excess, a third veteran point guard on a team whose signings have turned the position into a strength - can be aggregated in an outgoing trade.
but owner Mark Cuban assures DB.com that the Mavs haven't been "squatting" on a deal and are not actively pursuing ways to rid themselves of Felton, acquired in the Tyson Chandler trade that sent Jose Calderon to the Knicks.
“We like Felton," Cuban tells us. "Nothing going on there."
DB.com would be wise, first-off, to cover its ass here. So let's do that: We don't think Cuban is bluffing. We do know, however, that these things are subject to change. If at 11 p.m. someone calls Dallas and offers a backup 2 for the Mavs' third-string point guard? We'll alert you.
But as the Mavs stand now? There are three reasons for inactivity as it relates to Felton, even as he faces a playing-time battle behind Jameer Nelson (well-equipped to start) and Devin Harris (who Dallas loves as the leader of its second wave of talent).
1) This organization has flirted with the idea of acquiring Felton before, most notably when he seemed on the verge of stardom in Charlotte. He's averaged 13.1 points and 6.5 assists in his career; there is talent in there that can be tapped.
2) There is zero sense in selling low. The nine-year vet almost fell off the map last year, and it wasn't just his dips in stats (9.7 points and 5.6 assists). He had injuries. Weight problems. Relationship problems. Gun problems.
Felton is self-aware enough to know how far he's slipped.
"When you come off a season like I had last year, there’s always a point where you’ve got to prove yourself coming back the next season," he said.
Let Felton show up to training camp a few pounds and a few weapons lighter. Then maybe other teams will remember who he was. And is.
3) Cuban steadfastly believes that a team, like a business, should be given room to grow "organically," to use his word. The roots grow. The branches grow. Properly fed, the growth is proper.
The philosophy isn't foolproof (see: Beaubois, Roddy). But it's a key factor in Dallas' success in the Cuban Era, in which time and time again players get some level of opportunity to show themselves before the plug is pulled. It's among the reasons Cuban believes his franchise has a culture of chemistry, compared to, say, Houston, where Rockets management stands accused of treating its players like cogs in a machine. ... a machine that never operates well enough to win a playoff series.
Felton said he wants "to show everybody that ... I can still can play the game at this level. I still play as an elite point guard at this level. That’s just all."
There will be other Dallas Mavericks crossroads at which Raymond Felton will have to establish that. Sunday at 11p.m., it seems, is not among them.