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Josh Dhani by Senior Writer

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A lot has been going on during All-Star weekend. The Rookies beat the Sophomores, Krypto-Nate won his third Slam Dunk contest, Steve Nash performed well to win the Skills challenge, Durant held his title in H.O.R.S.E., and Paul Pierce stole the three-point shootout. Tomorrow the Eastern Conference All-Stars will be face the Western Conference at Cowboys Stadium.

The rumored Mavericks trade finally happened: Caron Butler who wasn't fitting in well with the Wizards' play, in other words: Flip Saunders' style. And Josh Howard who wasn't fitting in well with the Mavericks' play, in other words: Rick Carlisle's style.

The Mavericks sent Josh Howard and Drew Gooden along with reserves, Quinton Ross and James Singleton, to Washington for Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood, and DeShawn Stevenson.

The Mavericks did not trade Erick Dampier, who is a shot-blocking center who can still contribute. Now Brendan Haywood comes into the mix. Josh Howard has been struggling. The Wizards have been in talks for other players including,  Andre Iguodala, Amare Stoudemire, and most notably: Tracy McGrady.

I believe the Mavs got the better end of the trade. They should contend better in the West with the new mix of players.

"It [the trade] makes us significantly better," Mark Cuban said.

Butler should start at shooting guard with Jason Terry backing him up. Shawn Marion will be the small forward. DeShawn Stevenson will be used as a  good backup player. Haywood will start in front of Dampier at Center with Nowitzki is the Mavs all star power forward.

"Caron is an established professional and an All-Star with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor," said Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations. "Brendan will solidify our center position with athleticism, shot-blocking and defense. DeShawn has also shown that he can be a talented asset to this team."

Antwan Jamison will no longer be involved in trade talks, in my opinion. With Gilbert Arenas gone, the Wizards need Jamison. Josh Howard should start at SF with Ross backing him up. Singleton will be a backup power forward to Jamison and Gooden will be the starting center. Randy Foye and Mike Miller will continue as the Wizard guards.

"Different teams go through different situations. The Mavs went through it in the '90s, the Wizards are going through some issues right now," Cuban said. "Sometimes giving guys a fresh home I think re-energizes them, and will work the other way, too. I think Josh will find himself re-energized with the Wizards."

With All-Star break coming to an end, the Mavericks are looking to play real tough for the remainder of the 2009-10 NBA Season.

"We haven't been playing well, that's for sure. Sometimes people might think that moving someone or making a trade can help," Jason Kidd said before the trade was announced. "We have a big week coming out of the All-Star break ... 30 games left, it's a sprint now, not a marathon. I think we're going to be ready for that."

Kidd told ESPN that he was excited about the trade.

"It gives us a chance to win," Kidd said. "When you're talking about Caron, Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson, you have three quality players. The West is strong. This hopefully gives us a chance to compete against [the Lakers] and Denver."

Josh Dhani is a 13-year-old aspiring writer. You can contact him atJosh@HardcourtMayhem.net. You can also see him on Twitter @JoshDhani. You can also check him out at his blogs like FootBasket, Hardcourt Mayhem, Clemente at the Bat andAlways Miller Time. Also listen to his new up and rising NBA podcast.

Josh also recently published a book which will be sold worldwide that features writers like Trey Kerby, Graham Brunell, Nick Gelso, Michael Whittenburg, Krishna Dhani, and Jonathan Mathis.

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