DALLAS — Mark Cuban said no matter the situation, the Mavericks remain “opportunistic” when it comes to upgrading the roster. Losing starting small forward Caron Butler doesn’t alter those plans, the owner said.
“We do same thing regardless,” Cuban said before tonight’s game against Portland. “Our approach never changes.”
The Mavs could go the trade route, apply for a disabled player exception or, as Cuban said earlier today, ask the current players to step up.
Cuban said an immediate boost would be getting Dirk Nowitzki and Roddy Beaubois back in the lineup. Nowitzki, out with a minor sprain, should be returning soon. Cuban all but admitted that Beaubois is at least a month from coming back. The second-year guard broke his foot during the offseason and hasn’t been cleared to practice yet.
The Mavericks don’t want to rush Beaubois, who suffered a setback in October. Cuban, though, also said the setback wasn’t serious.
“Not at all,” he said. “Other teams probably had him playing already.”
As for those players on the active roster, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said everyone has to step up. Jason Terry, Shawn Marion, J.J. Barea and DeShawn Stevenson are the most obvious choices to make up for the 15 points per game Butler provided.
“We’re a team of good individual players, but we’re a team first and so you’ve got to take up the slack as a group,” Carlisle said. “Right now the challenge for us is to get better defensively. That’s going to help trigger a lot of good things for us, and understand that that’s going to be the biggest part of being successful with where we’re at, at this moment.”
The Mavs came into the season believing they had perhaps the deepest roster in franchise history.
“We’ll find out, right? We’ve all been here before, so we’ll find out,” Cuban said. “You’ve got to play with the guys you have on the active roster. It happens to everybody.”