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by GEORGE RIBA / WFAA-TV

DALLAS — The Mavericks welcomed their three new additions to their team today, but they were not able to practice. The league offices still haven’t finalized the paperwork for Deshawn Stevenson, Brendan Haywood and Caron Butler which meant all three could only watch practice.

After practice, they had a chance to meet their new owner Mark Cuban. Haywood called Cuban “Mr. Cuban” to which Cuban replied, “I was looking for my dad.” He told him from now on to call him Mark.

All three players now have the task of helping Dallas turn things around in their final 30 games of the season.

“We want to contend for a title, that’s the main goal,” says Butler. “I definitely feel like we’ve got what it takes in this locker room to win it.”

Butler played mostly small forward in Washington but the Mavericks plan to use him at guard while Haywood provides depth at Center.

“It’s a great opportunity for all of us because we go from a situation that didn’t look so good to a great situation where a team is competing for a title,” says Haywood.

“We’re trying to seize the moment with our window and adding three significant pieces, we felt was a big positive,” says Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle.

It’s the second time in three seasons that the Mavericks have pulled off deal near the trading deadline. The last was the trade that brought Jason Kidd back to Dallas. This trade comes at a time when the team is not playing very good basketball. In short, the Mavericks need a boost.

“Yes, much needed extra pep,” says Mavericks guard Jason Terry. “Guys are re-energized. We had a much needed practice today, just seeing their faces; they’re excited to be here.”

So the big question now is whether this trade will improve the Mavericks and allow them to go deeper into the playoffs. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant thinks it will. “It pains me to say that you guys made two great pickups,” Bryant says. “I don’t like it any stretch of the imagination, but it’s a great move by you guys.”

“We feel like this gives us a real chance to do some damage in the west. It’s like a nuclear arms race out here,” says Mavericks president Donnie Nelson.

Dallas will play five games in the next seven days. It’s a stretch where the new players will have a lot to learn and learn it quickly.

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