Dallas Mavericks Lose Three of Five
The Dallas Mavericks have shown up in trade speculation rumors recently. Since Luka Doncic returned from his ankle injury, Hardaway Jr. and Porzingis both have gone down with short term injuries. The Mavericks are extremely deep but it is noticeable when two of the starters are missing. Hardaway Jr. has become a very productive third option for the Mavericks in terms of scoring. He stretches the floor really well and plays average defense. Hardaway Jr. has shot 39% from 3-point range and averaged 14 points per game.
The production of Kristaps Porzingis is self-explanatory. At 7’3, he is an excellent rim defender. He blocks over two shots per game and alters many more. Additionally, he spaces the floor as well as a 6’3 sharpshooter. Even more importantly, he brings the opposing team’s shot blockers away from the rim. This allows the Maverick’s playmakers to get to the rim with ease.
With all that being said, among the last five games, The Mavericks are only 2-3. The Lakers dominated the Mavericks from start to finish, holding the Mavericks to just 95 points. The team then lost two close games to the Thunder and Hornets. The Mavericks defeated the Nets and Bulls. Most recently, the Mavericks beat the Bulls as Luka finished with his second in a row near forty point triple-double.
Is a Trade Necessary?
As the trade deadline approaches, many teams are looking to sell off unsatisfied players and unwanted contracts. At the same moment, teams that are borderline contenders are looking to trade for a talent that may push them over the top. Teams that may look to add a last-second talent are the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, and Dallas Mavericks.
Two big men have recently become available in the trade market. Kevin Love and Andre Drummond are both players who are being dealt across the league. Should the Mavericks pursue either? There are reports that Drummond could end up in Dallas. To add Drummond to an already good Dallas team, the Mavericks would likely have to give up Dwight Powell, Courtney Lee, two second-round picks, and a third player.
That deal would balance cap space and provide a couple of young talents for Detroit to work with. The question is not if the trade could work, but if it should? Drummond is a historically good rebounder and an excellent defender. Drummond alongside Porzingis on the defensive end would be dangerous.
However, his offensive skill set does not match Rick Carlisle’s style. With that being said, if the Mavericks can focus his play as an upgraded version of Powell, then the trade should happen. Powell is known for his “rim running” ability off a screen. Drummond can become a free agent this summer and the Mavericks would have a good pitch to him if he had already found success on the team. It seems like a no-brainer to go after an all-star caliber player but it is always worrisome to disrupt chemistry in the middle of the season.
No Need to Panic
If Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban are able to secure a good deal to obtain Drummond, then great. If not, that is also okay. It is probably more likely that the Dallas Mavericks trade a few players that are not playing much for another rotational player. Courtney Lee, Justin Jackson, and Jalen Brunson could be paired into a deal that allowed Dallas to obtain another starting-caliber wing. Brunson is an excellent young talent but Doncic is currently averaging nearly thirty-four minutes a game. Brunson could easily be traded to another team where he would play twenty-eight minutes a night.
Dallas also holds the Warriors’ second-round pick this year, which is essentially a late first-rounder. This pick, alongside one of the noted players above, could be packaged for a physical forward to bring off the bench when defense is needed.
The Dallas Mavericks are currently just two games back from second place in the western conference. Even better, they are eight games ahead of the last playoff spot. The Mavericks have some tough matchups over the coming weeks. However, there is a stretch of games from early February through the middle of March where they are favored to win 22/24 games. That is crazy to think when the team only won thirty-three games all last season. Even amidst a minor lull, the Mavericks are in a solid position to win 52 plus games.
The Dallas Mavericks will face the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday evening at 7:30.
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