Mavericks/Stars musings: On DeAndre Jordan’s trade value, Jim Lites, Heiskanen vs. Doncic and more

Tim Cowlishaw, sports columnist for and The Dallas Morning News, author of Drunk on Sports and panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” answered questions about the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks, Stars and college sports in his reader mailbag. Here are some highlights:


Q: What has been the Mavs’ biggest problem during their recent skid?

Cowlishaw: Here is one problem the Mavs have had and will continue to have: They have no middle ground on their roster. In large part, they have some very, very young key players — Luka Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. — and a bunch of very old players. I’m not talking so much about Dirk, but Devin Harris, J.J. Barea, DeAndre Jordan is in his 11th year, Wesley Matthews is in his ninth. It’s an odd roster that relies on its youth to carry it and could use some more key players in their fourth or fifth NBA seasons.

Q: Should the Mavs trade DeAndre Jordan while his value is still high since he may just be a one-year rental?

Cowlishaw: First, I don’t know how high his value is. He does a couple of things really, really well. In today’s game, he’s not a guy who helps you at the offensive end in terms of spacing the floor. He can pick-and-roll and that’s it. I don’t know how many teams want that and what kind of premium they would place on getting all those rebounds. Beyond that, I think you can re-sign him if you want, so I wouldn’t be in a hurry to move him just to get a draft pick or marginal player.


Q: Were Jim Lites’ comments out of line, or valid?

Cowlishaw: While they were virtually unprecedented around here in terms of management calling out star players in that fashion, on a short-term basis, they certainly don’t seem to have done any damage. Seguin has been very good. Now, how do those two players feel about ownership in the long run? I don’t know. That’s what I couldn’t figure out, what were Tom Gaglardi and Lites hoping to achieve with such strong and demeaning statements? In that regard, for me, they remain out of line.

Q: Who is the better prospect in their sport: Luka Doncic or Miro Heiskanen?

Cowlishaw: It’s funny because Heiskanen has proved himself to be really good quickly just like Luka. Not many defensemen make All-Star Games as rookies. No Dallas Stars have EVER made the All-Star Game as a rookie. Heiskanen appears to be almost everything the Stars hoped for when they made him a high pick a few years ago. And, needless to say, after scoring 30 again last night against Phoenix, Doncic is lighting up the NBA, running away with ROY honors and probably All-Star Game-bound.