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Mark Cuban explains he won’t trade Dirk Nowitzki

Sep 6, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki

The Dallas Mavericks have won 1,427 games, including the playoffs, in franchise history.

Dirk Nowitzki has played in most of them.

Dallas owner Mark Cuban on the Artie Lange show, as transcribed by The Dallas Morning News:

On why he won’t trade Dirk

Mark Cuban: Dirk defines our culture. When your best player, no matter how old, is the first one in the gym and the last to leave, and works the hardest and encourages guys the way Dirk does … that has a value that goes far beyond what you see on the court.

I certainly get that Cuban doesn’t want to trade Nowitzki. I’m sure Cuban likes Nowitzki on a personal level.

But unless this is a negotiating tactic, this isn’t Machiavellian at all.

Nowitzki probably has more value than most of us see when simply watching games. I think organization culture matters, and the 2011 championship is pretty strong evidence Nowitzki makes a positive impact.

But is it impossible no other team recognizes Nowitzki’s work ethic and enthusiasm? Perhaps, another team sees those traits, would also value them in a trade and compensate Dallas accordingly.

The Mavericks’ moves this summer – signing players like Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert – make most sense when viewed from the lens of winning as much as possible with Nowitzki. Dallas seems to be willing to sacrifice long-term flexibility to make the most out of Nowitzki’s run, no matter how long that is.

Perhaps, Cuban’s management of the Mavericks isn’t intended to be Machiavellian. It’s enjoyable to watch a player like Nowitzki spend his entire career with the same team, and maybe that enjoyment justifies a complete unwillingness to trade him.

  1. danielgmz - Sep 6, 2013 at 3:24 PM

    I love Dirk, and I hope he stays the rest of his playing days in Dallas. It’s rare to find guys with this kind of loyalty for an organization, and for the organization to have such appreciation for the guy.

  2. marcuspokus - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    We should appreciate this type of loyalty from a franchise to a player, because ten years from now it will be seldom seen. The Celtics just traded a player that would’ve retired wearing their colors had it been the 80’s or 90’s. Franchises won’t tie themselves to players anymore. Players won’t be retiring with the team that drafted them after playing 15 years with the same jersey anymore. Once they get old they will get traded for value as pieces to the franchise’s reboot.

  3. mariokrt642003 - Sep 6, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    Someone forgot to mention that besides been a great player, its reported that he has a no-trade contract clause..

    • cuttinhorses2000 - Sep 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      someone else forgot to mention that a “no-trade clause” can be waived.I don’t think that Dirk wants to go any where. Unfortunately, I don’t think Cuban can get him enough help in the near future. Everyone rags J. Jones about his draft picks, and rightfully SO! But where are the Mavericks picks over the last 10 years. REALLY, not one to hang your hat on!?!

  4. eugenesaxe1 - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Also, nobody will give proper compensation. He may not be what he once was, but he’s still better than most on the court. The behind-the-scenes stuff is hard to quantify, but it would put him out of trade range.

  5. antistratfordian - Sep 6, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Hmm. This is precisely the sort of thing that GMs/owners say that makes them look bad later.

  6. bellerophon30 - Sep 6, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    If Cuban is on the level, and I hope that he is, then this is cool. Owners are almost never loyal to players like this, wanting them to be lifers with a team and acknowledging that sometimes relationships are more important than pure results sometimes. Duncan has this deal of course, and……ummm……well…….yeah, can’t think of any others in the NBA right now.

    No, not Kobe, at least not all along, they’ve dangled him a couple of times. He’s there now though, as long as he takes a pay cut…….okay yeah, he’s not there then.

    • daddyghi - Sep 7, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      yeah, not Kobe.. He did asked to be traded at some point, until they got pau gasol and won a ring…

  7. wowwowbad - Sep 8, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    I love Dirk, he’s still a star now but he simply cannot win it by himself. The FO failed to lure any significant FA and did do any trade so far to make Mavs a contender. If they really want add another ring in Dirk’s collection they may need to somewhat rebuild, trade guys like VC, SM, Ellis in order to get high picks, great talents.

  8. imakcds - Sep 8, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    I was unaware the mavs signed Monta and Calderon.
    I actually like that guard pairing better than Houston’s.

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