Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki  — facing Boston this afternoon — is in his 12th NBA season and with Dallas currently the 7th seed in the West, there’s a tendency (alluded to by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jim Hubbard anyway) to hint Nowitzki oughta be swapped as part of a rebuild, ala Kevin McHale presenting the Celtics with Kevin Garnett. Dallas assistant Dwane Casey, however, insists “they are two totally different situations.”

“I thought Glen [Taylor, the T-wolves™ owner] and those guys did the best they could in a small market and what they had to work with,” Casey said. “Mark [Cuban] has done a great job in Dallas with his budget and putting all these good players around Dirk.”

Cuban has no problem with the concept of connecting Nowitzki™s future to a situation involving a Celtics franchise player, but Cuban said Garnett is not the player.

Two years ago, the Celtics were in the process of winning 24 games and Paul Pierce was nearing 30 years old. It seemed to be an ideal time to trade Pierce for young players, draft picks and begin rebuilding, and Cuban was one of many who was interested in helping that process.

“Everybody and their brother called up when Boston was struggling about trying to get Paul Pierce,” Cuban said. “Everybody. We offered to try and take his contract and they said, ‘You know what? He™s part of our fabric, our culture.™

“You look at how things turned out for Boston.”

“What if the Lakers had traded Kobe?” Cuban said. “Then when the Pau Gasol opportunity came along, they would not have been in position to take advantage of it.”