Paperwork issue sidelines new Mavs

Updated: February 16, 2010, 10:24 AM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- The three players acquired by the Dallas Mavericks in the All-Star Weekend's blockbuster trade weren't allowed to practice Monday.

Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson were forced to be observers because the paperwork had yet to be finished for the seven-player deal that sent Josh Howard, Drew Gooden, Quinton Ross and James Singleton to the Washington Wizards.

"The hope is that we can get this thing done officially by the morning and they can participate in shootaround," coach Rick Carlisle said. "We're going to need them to play [Tuesday] night."

The Mavericks (32-20) still lead their division and open a stretch of four games in five days on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder, which has a West-best six-game winning streak.

"We're just thrown in the fire right now," Butler said. "You would love to have some time and establish some type chemistry. But at this point with the veteran guys and obviously the floor general in Jason Kidd, hopefully we'll be able to just get it together on the fly."

The stretch against probable playoff teams continues Wednesday night at home against Phoenix. After a day off, another back-to-back set comes at Orlando and home against Miami.

"It's a situation that's not ideal, but we're going to make it work," Carlisle said. "These guys will adjust."

Tim MacMahon covers the Mavericks for ESPN Dallas. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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