The Mavericks actually did OK at 12-15 while Nowitzki was out, but he was sluggish the first few games during a rough part of the schedule. Dallas lost nine of 10 and fell to 13-23 before beating Sacramento on Thursday in a game that also snapped an NBA record-tying 10-game overtime losing streak.
Nowitzki had a hand in a few of the defeats, missing key free throws late in losses to New Orleans and Miami.
"The odds of Dirk missing the free throws ... I would have taken that bet anytime, anywhere," Cuban said. "It just takes time. No one hurts more about it than Dirk. And there's nobody who's a bigger warrior and that's why I won't ever trade him."
That doesn't mean the Mavericks won't be active before the Feb. 21 trading deadline. Cuban said there was a "100 percent chance we're going to try to look to do something." He says the Mavericks could benefit from other teams trying to avoid harsher luxury tax rules that kick in next year.