The Dallas Mavericks lost out on all of the big free agents two off-seasons in a row. That has many wondering if the Mavericks should trade superstar Dirk Nowitzki while he is still atop his game and a valuable trade piece for young players and potential lottery picks; essentially following the rebuilding blueprint laid out by the Boston Celtics and Danny Ainge.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wrote a tell-all blog about the Mavericks starting in 2011 leading up to their championship and chronicling their failures in free agency. In it, Cuban writes that he won’t trade Dirk.
Our culture is one of the reasons I won’t trade Dirk.
When you turn your team upside down and try to figure out what the culture of the team is, you take the greatest risk a team can take. Dirk sets the tone for our team. He works as hard, if not harder than anyone. He helps our younger players understand what he expects and what they need to do to excel. On the court he is selfless. He would rather not have to score a point if we would win the game any way. He would rather pass the ball and let anyone else score than be forced to take the shot. Until its the time of the game where we need a point. Then he is ready to step up as often as we need it. But he knows, that his impact on a game is far more important than any averages or what appears in the box score. That mindset. That selflessness. His work ethic is something I want to be in place long after he has retired. But to do that we have to transition with him, not in a void.
It is also the reason I believe that you don’t just blow up a team. Go back the past 10 years and look at all the teams that traded their best player. There aren’t a lot of quick trips to the finals to point to as examples.