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Insider

Will deal put Mavs over the top?

DALLAS -- Let's cut right to the chase: I like this deal better for both teams if it's not the last one they make in the final few days before the trade deadline.

From the Dallas side, the big question at the moment is this: Does the acquisition of Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood put the Mavericks over the top in the West?

If it doesn't, it seems a fairly limited impact for a $30 million expense -- the Mavs were just as capable of losing in the second round without Butler and Haywood. If it does, on the other hand, it's the kind of creative deal-making that has enabled the Mavs to extend their window as contenders despite their key players getting rather long in the tooth.