And then there were none.
Dallas traded Chris Gatling, Jim Jackson, George McCloud, Sam Cassell, and
Eric Montross to New Jersey for Shawn Bradley, Robert Pack, Khalid Reeves,
and Ed O'Bannon.  The trade leaves Dallas with no players on the roster
that were on the roster in 95-96 and only Derek Harper, Samaki Walker, 
Greg Dreiling, and Erick Strickland (with a month off) still on the team 
from the start of the 96-97 season.
Shawn Bradly will turn 25 in March, is 7-6, 248, and a center.  Bradley
has been considered a project since he entered the league.  Robert Pack is
about to turn 28, is 6-2, 190, and a point guard.  He is a running, 
shooting point guard and is having a career high averaging 9.6 assists per
game this season.  Pack has been out since February 11 with a sprained 
ankle.  Khalid Reeves is 24, 6-3, 201, and is considered a point guard but
is more of a shooting guard without the height.  He has had a couple of 
nice games filling in for Pack lately including 23 points and 5 assists 
Feb 15 and 17 points and 7 assists Feb 11.  Ed O'Bannon is 24, 6-8, 222, 
and is a small forward.  O'Bannon is considered a nice guy off the court, 
but a bust on the court.
New player stats for this season:
        Scoring Statistics
 Player         Pos  G M/Gm  FGm  FGa  PCT  3m  3a  PCT  FTm  FTA  PCT AVG
 pack,robert     PG 34 34.9  193  474 .407  22  74 .297  134  170 .788 15.9
 bradley,shawn    C 40 30.7  199  456 .436   0   5 .000   81  122 .664 12.0
 reeves,khalid   PG 50 21.0  141  358 .394  76 192 .396   56   75 .747 8.3
 o'bannon,ed     SF 45 14.1   76  207 .367  17  60 .283   20   23 .870 4.2
        Rebounding Statistics
 Player           AS AS/g  ST ST/G  TO TO/g  BK BK/g  TND  OR OR/g  TR TR/g
 pack,robert     325  9.6  59  1.7 150  4.4   3  0.1 17.2  16 0.5   88 2.6
 bradley,shawn    20  0.5  23  0.6  64  1.6 160  4.0 14.8 118 3.0  325 8.1
 reeves,khalid   170  3.4  23  0.5  82  1.6   7  0.1  7.2  22 0.4   88 1.8
 o'bannon,ed      28  0.6  24  0.5  14  0.3  10  0.2  4.1  41 0.9  112 2.5
        Scoring Statistics
 Player            Min  Pts  Tnd/48  TC  EJ  FF  PF PTS/48
 pack,robert      1185  542   23.70   0   0   0  83  21.95
 bradley,shawn    1228  479   23.15   7   0   0 122  18.72
 reeves,khalid    1048  414   16.52   1   0   0 119  18.96
 o'bannon,ed       634  189   14.08   1   0   0  78  14.31
        Rebounding Statistics
 Player            AS/48  ST/48  TO/48  BK/48  OR/48  TR/48
 pack,robert        13.2    2.4    6.1    0.1    0.6    3.6
 bradley,shawn       0.8    0.9    2.5    6.3    4.6   12.7
 reeves,khalid       7.8    1.1    3.8    0.3    1.0    4.0
 o'bannon,ed         2.1    1.8    1.1    0.8    3.1    8.5
Contract status of the new guys
Bradley: has an out after next season [I read that the opt-out only
  applies if Bradley is statistically rated as a top 3 center],4 years 
  left at $27 mill [last year under contract 00-01]
Reeves: 2 years at just over $2 mill each year
O'Bannon: 1 year at $1.5 mill
Pack: 4 years, signed 5 year $22 mill last summer [last year under
  contract 00-01]
I caught Don Nelson on two radio shows this morning.  He said there was a
lot of bad water with this team and the best thing to do was to throw it
out as it was infecting others.  He said it seemed that Mashburn and 
Jackson were being paid huge money and just didn't care and didn't want to
be here.  He said that they would have loved to have kept McCloud, but 
McCloud will be a free agent this summer and Nelson got the impression 
from McCloud's agent that McCloud would be moving on and McCloud was 
needed in this trade for cap purposes [he sounded like McCloud was the 
only player he regretted trading].  He said that Montross was a nice guy, 
but just not a very good player.  Nelson said that Cassell was going to 
ask for a lot of money this summer and that we needed a something better 
for $4 million per year.  He commented that Gatling was the only one that
we gave up at was part of the future and that Gat "was going a little 
squirrelly on us too."  For the players Dallas got, Nelson still believes
in the potential of Bradley and likes Pack's game of pushing the ball up 
the court.  He said that O'Bannon was thrown in as a cap necessity and 
that the team wanted him instead of the other possibility [Yinka Dare] 
because he is a good guy with good character.  Reeves was also a cap 
necessity and "certainly an NBA player."  Nelson also said that the 
logistics of the trade was a pain - the trade could not occur until after 
New Jersey had finished their game (NJ-Cle 4:00 CT game) because New 
Jersey would not have the NBA minimum 8 players with the trade completed 
and Dallas wanted to let their players know about the trade before they 
boarded the bus to the game.
A picture in the Dallas Morning News showed Nelson's press conference with
a chalkboard listing of the current players and their positions:
  1           2          3          4            5
  Pack        Danilovic  Finley     Green        Bradley
  Harper      Reeves     Muursepp   Thomas (I)   Dreiling
  Strickland             O'Bannon   Walker
In 12 days, Nelson has added 8 new players.
The Dallas players were told of the trade just prior boarding bus 5:30 pm
Pacific - a mere 2 hours prior to Vancouver game.
Quotes on the trade:
Don Nelson: "This is not a trade in which we expect to pay dividends
immediately, or we're going to turn this season around.  It was made
because, long-term, as our players play together and develop, they'll
gradually get better and better - and hopefully, become contenders."
Nelson: "We expect this to be a long-term program, but we feel the two
trades we have made give us a jump-start in making this team competitive."

Nelson: "What I want to have here is a team with a better attitude,
players who want to be here, who play hard and play a more exciting 
Nelson: "You didn't have to look very long to know there were major
changes that needed to be made.  What I wanted was a team that has a 
better attitude than the one I've been seeing here.  I didn't think there 
was much to be cheerful about if I'm a fan of this team."
Nelson: "The locker room shocked me.  The things that went on, the things
that were said, the negative things coming out from new and old players,
were shocking.  I observed it, I watched it, and basically got sick about
Nelson: "There were just so many negative things about this ball club.
This locker room shocked me. It's not acceptable and will not be
acceptable from this point on.  I observed it, watched it, and basically 
got sick about it."
Nelson: "This makes sense because our team was a mess.  Major things had
to be done.  We're going to clean up our locker room, change our style of
play and start having some fun. We've now got players we can rebuild with."
Nelson: "What we tried to do in piecing this team together - and starting
anew, if you will, was to get our center intact and our point guard.
Those are the cornerstones of the trade."
Nelson: "We are very excited about this deal, especially considering we
are acquiring players in Shawn Bradley and Robert Pack, who play the two
hardest positions to fill, center and point guard.  Both players are under
long-term contracts, which will give us a chance to start over with a new 
game plan."
Nelson: "We've filled the two hardest positions, center and point guard,
with guys with long-term deals.  They'll help us have an upbeat team, a
team that can run in the open court and be fun to watch.  They're the
cornerstones of the trade."
Nelson: "We would like to make this team more aggressive in the open
court.  Robert is going to bring that to the party."
Nelson: "Am I done for this particular trading deadline?  No.  I'm going
to continue to be active."
Jim Cleamons: "Obviously, Nellie thought there were things that had to be
done, and he came in and made some changes.  Hopefully, this will come to
a point in time where we can get settled for the rest of the year.  We're
going to sit down and evaluate them and see what we have."
Cleamons: "It gives us an opportunity, once again, to get strong up the
middle, and an opportunity to push the ball."
Cleamons: "Don realized some changes had to be made.  These are changes he
came up with, and we've got to move on.  Unfortunately, the timing could
be a little bit better [regarding playing Monday's and Tuesday's games].  
But the timing is what it is."
NJ coach John Calipari: "This was a hard decision based on the fact of
what we're giving up, but Dallas was really active and wanting to make 
this happen.  They made it really tough for us to say no.  The players 
are players I know very well and can help us get where we want to be."
Calipari: "This is a deal of tremendous magnitude for both teams.  Jim
Jackson has the potential to be one of the true stars of the NBA, Chris
Gatling was a member of the 1997 All-Star team and Sam Cassell has two
world championship rings."
Calipari: "Hopefully, we'll re-sign Sam Cassell.  I have all the
indications    that's what we're going to do.  Chris Gatling gives us an
All-Star.  I recruited him to the University of Pittsburgh.  I know him
and his family.  I think he's going to be excited about playing in New 
Jersey and he gives us a post presence we didn't have."
Calipari: "This plays into everything we've been trying to do.  We give up
a center, but maybe we can pay another center what we were going to pay
Shawn.  And we've acquired all this other talent along with it."
Eric Montross: "I'm disappointed, but more dumbfounded.  I mean, it's a
struggle this year - personally, and as a team - but I can't believe they
put that much time into building something and then tear it totally up in
a week."
Montross: "Nobody is safe.  Nelson is tearing things down, and it fell on
me and a couple of other guys."
George McCloud: "From the beginning of the season to now, we have traded
away our top 7 players.  I don't know if that's ever been done in this
league before, but Don has done it."
Jim Jackson: "A year and a half ago, with Jason, Jamal, and myself, we had
3 franchise players who were going to take this team to another level.
Unfortunately things didn't pan out right.  Now the Mavericks have taken a
couple of steps back, and I think we as individuals, as players, have
taken steps back, all of us.  Now, Jason is in an opportunity where he can
play like Jason can play.  Jamal is going to get back.  He doesn't have to
score 20 points.  he can score between 16 and 18 points and be very 
productive and maybe make it to an All-Star Game with that because he's on
a real good team."
Jackson on if it was time for a change: "I think so, from the standpoint
that I've been here 4 1/2 years and things have been up and down.  I love
the city of Dallas and the fans, but in my years here we haven't been able
to win, and that's what you base a lot of things on."
Jackson: "Sometimes, maybe it just won't work out.  It just won't happen.
Does that mean you have harsh feelings or bad feelings?  No.  This is a
business and you have to look at it that way."
Jackson: "If a change is needed, sometimes it's more mental than physical.
I think that is why sometimes you see players flourish in different
systems, once they leave a system where they may have been stagnant 
Jackson: "I have nothing but positive thoughts about Dallas.  We didn't
have the opportunity to turn this thing around, and I feel bad about that.
The fans of Dallas deserve to see a good product out there.  I'm sad to 
see I couldn't help make it happen."
Samaki Walker: "[The players traded] gave everybody hugs and handshakes 
[on the bus] and said they were going to New Jersey.  You couldn't really 
tell a mood.  I was too shocked to see anybody's faces, but I think they 
were just as shocked.  It happened out of the clear blue sky."
Sasha Danilovic: "Thoughs? My thoughts were there we a lot of empty seats
on the bus.  But really, I was surprised.  When Dallas traded for me, they
told me that they were going to do some other things.  But I never 
imagined it would be anything like this."
My opinion:
Oh geez.  While the Mashburn trade did not phase me, this one rocked me.
I will be wondering the rest of my basketball following life what went
wrong and what could have been.  Back in Kidd's rookie year (94-95), I was
so excited about the Mavs and looked forward to the future when the Mavs
would be contending - I figured about 98-99.  Now that is the year we are
once again looking at for rebuilding (the big free agent market).  Back
then we had a potential superstar in Kidd, a prolific scorer in Mashburn,
an extremely solid player in Jackson, a role-playing rebounder in Popeye
Jones, and even found a 6th man in McCloud.  All it seemed that we were
missing was a center.  And now ... nothing.  I can't even begin to
describe what this trade did to me as a Mavs fan.  This season, going back
to mid-June, has simply been painful.  Sure, Nelson is just finishing up
what started with the Kidd trade (and he wasn't responsible for that) but
this was a bad trade.  I expected Jackson to be traded, but to include
Gatling in the trade a not get a single name or solid building block in
return just blew my mind.  You are supposed to learn from the team's
mistakes.  And if the 3 Js showed anything it was that your building
blocks can not have so many questions about if they will be able to
fulfill their potential.  And now we have mister potential in Shawn
Bradley.  I was extremely greatful to Philly in 1993 when they selected
Bradley and cringed every time a trade rumor regarding Bradley to Dallas
appeared.  His height seems to be the only thing he has going for him.
Enough, I can't dwell on this trade any longer right now.  It just hurts
too much.

Harper's status
Forget any of the Charlotte or other team rumors, if Harper is traded it
will likely only be to Houston.  He would not mind going to Houston to
go for a ring, but would mind remaining with the Mavs - he does not want
to be traded just to make a move.
Nelson on Harper: "He'll be on the team if he wants to be on the tam.  He
and I have a great relationship.  He'll be part of any movement to another
team, and it will only happen if he wants it to happen.  If it's in the
cards that he play somewhere else this season, he and I will do it
Nelson: "I had heard [Harper] was disappointed here and he might be
willing to go to another team, and he said that was not necessarily true.
He said he never said that.  He said as far as he was concerned, he 
wanted to stay here."
Nelson: "[Harper] has a job with me whenever he wants.  It doesn't matter
if he goes somewhere else or not.  he can always come back here and work."
Dallas activated Samaki Walker so they would have the league minimum 8
players for the Vancouver game.  They will also only have 8 players for
the Clippers game tonight.
Despite my opinion above, the Vancouver was an extremely enjoyable game.
One of the best the Mavs have played this season.  I loved the effort
and the comardery.  The Mavs maintain an about 9 to 15 point lead through
most of the game.  Dallas won 100-95 (Anthony, I think, hit a 3 with about
10 seconds left) with great performances for all 8 players, especially 
Derek Harper and A.C. Green.  It was a great feeling seeing Harp drive 
for an easy layup late in the game and having a huge grin on his face as 
Vancouver called timeout.
Michael Finley: "I feel real good right now, and I think everyone in here
does.  For the first time in a long time, guys were going out there and
having fun.  It feels good."
Derek Harper on the game with 8 players: "I feel very close to those guys
that I took to war last night."
Cleamons: "Any time you can get a win in this league, you have to be happy
and you have to be proud."
Dal-Van boxscore

Patricia Bender
Not affiliated with or representing anyone besides myself.