The idea of the Mavericks making a trade has led to much confrontation among MFFL’s. While some say we need a big body (including the front office according to Woj), others say we need a defensive wing. Then you have those that say that we don’t need to make a move at all. They either bring up the ghost of Rondo past, or the fear of ruining team chemistry.
All points have some merit to them but I can see the other side of each argument as well. With regard to the wing, I think between DFS guarding those players and Maxi and KP playing cleanup, we are fine there. When it comes to chemistry, yes I understand fearing another Rondo situation but I don’t think the Mavs want that either. If they pull the trigger on a trade all consequences will have been considered and who the player is will matter. The Rondo situation was unique because he was the starting point guard, aka the guy who will have the ball the most, and he and Carlisle didn’t get along. We’re talking about dealing for role players here.
The Big Body addition
The point I think is the most valid (because it was my offseason priority) is the idea of adding a big body. While I love Boban, we could use a more mobile big body to throw at opponents. Spare me your talk of a modern NBA, the goal here is to have roster versatility. The more versatile you are, the better your chances are of making a deep run. Without the versatility you are in a situation of hoping for or rooting against certain matchups in the playoffs. Versatility is a big part of why the Raptors were able to win a title last year.
Naturally, the next question is who would we target followed by who would we trade. Before we get into that I have to go over who I believe is integral to what we do.
The only players who are completely off limits would be Luka and KP. I’m not even going to spend more time on this.
The key role players
Now is where I’ll get controversial. Besides Luka and KP there are a few players I believe are important to what we do as a team. Players I think we have to try to hold onto in any deal that we make.
Dorian Finney-Smith – As mentioned above, he’s really the only versatile wing defender we have. His 3 point percentage has increased every year he’s been here and he’s up to 35% this season (league average is 35.5%). He can’t be included in a deal unless we are getting back another versatile 3 and D guy.
Maxi Kleber – Maxi is another glue guy. He guards athletic bigs, wings, and can’t be taken advantage of on a switch. He has also increased his 3 point percentage every season and is up to 38.4% from 3 this season. There aren’t many like him in the league and he definitely can’t be traded in a package deal for a guy like JJ Reddick (no I am not over that yet.)
Seth Curry – Seth might be a surprise inclusion on this list but I do think he belongs here. We need guys who can get buckets and Seth definitely does this. He’s shooting 41.4% from 3 on the year and looks more comfortable than I’ve ever seen him on the court lately. He’s finally embracing his role and I think that 6th man spot is perfect for him. He’s an underrated playmaker and high IQ guy who always seems to make big things happen late in the game.
Tim Hardaway, Jr. – This is somewhat two-fold. Tim is a spark plug guy. He can go off at any time and we need more than one scoring wing on the roster. He’s up to 37.5% from 3 this season so he has definitely bounced back from his slow start. His contract is another reason he probably isn’t going anywhere but that’s another story. (None of this means I’m not going to get my jokes off when he starts launching bad shots.)
Top tradeable role players
Jalen Brunson – This time with Luka out has allowed us to showcase Jalen. He’s widely regarded as a guy who should have been a first round pick last year and thus carries that value on the trade market. I said in my scouting report that he could be a Kyle Lowry type guy in this league and I do believe that. But you have to give something to get something and he’s the best we have to offer.
Dwight Powell – For all of the jokes I make about Dwight Powell I understand his value. Every team can use an athletic big man but most contending teams don’t start a guy like Powell who doesn’t rebound or block shots worth anything. His minutes are the ones being replaced in this situation.
Isaiah Roby – Young guy on a rookie contract. Only an asset because of those two things.
Justin Jackson – Another young guy but one who seems to have taken a step forward this year. At least his shooting has and some team may think they can get him to take that next step.
Courtney Lee – Courtney Lee only exists here because he has a 12 million dollar expiring contract. He’s salary filler if we need it.
Who do we target?
When the Woj said that the Mavs talked about adding a big body next to KP they mentioned Montrezl Harrell and Andre Drummond as examples. There is zero reason to think the Clippers will be trading Harrell but Drummond could easily be a target.
Here’s how a trade with the Pistons could look:
Mavs get: Andre Drummond
Pistons get: Jalen Brunson, Dwight Powell*, and Courtney Lee (future picks, potentially)
The initial rumor mentioned Hardaway and Powell but that doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Pistons with Kennard coming on this year. With Brunson there instead, the Pistons would look for him to be their point guard of the future. Powell is the big going the other way and Lee is there to make the money work.
Mavs would add Drummond to clean the glass and bang with some of the bigger bigs in the league that we may meet along the way. He’s more athletic than people likely realize and he’d look much different in our system than he does with the Pistons. Adding a guy like him will have me thinking championship and if we lose the guys listed above we are no worse for wear.
The asterisk beside Powell is because he can’t be traded until January 5th.
Next on the list would have been Steven Adams but I can’t come up with a deal we could offer that makes sense for OKC.
One that I do see a path to, however, is Ed Davis. He’s back from a leg injury for Utah but they currently have 3 bigs that all rebound and defend the paint. They could spare one.
Here’s what a Jazz deal might look like:
Mavs get: Ed Davis, 1st round pick (2022)
Jazz get: Jalen Brunson and Justin Jackson.
Brunson adds more depth at the point (and an upgrade to Mudiay) while Jackson becomes another shooter off the bench. They could also look at Brunson as an heir to Conley as he’s already in his 30’s. Davis is a glass cleaner and he may look slight of build but he is all muscle and will hold down the paint. He’d also be super willing to have uneven minutes as a starter and would be more of a Zubac type guy there.
The Hornets are an interesting trade partner to me. They have 3 bigs that could fit the bill depending on how you view them. Cody Zeller, Bismack Biyombo, and Willy Hernangomez would be the three. The question would be what you would trade for each of them.
The most likely deal?
Mavs get: Cody Zeller, 2nd round pick (they have the Cavs, Nets, and Celtics 2nd round picks)
Hornets get: Dwight Powell and Justin Jackson or Isaiah Roby.
Cody is another one of those bigs that is valuable because of his elite rim running so this trade should appease those people. The difference here is that Cody also rebounds the ball and is willing to take a beating in the paint.
For the Hornets, they get more athletic and add a young shooter on the wing that they might be able to groom. If they prefer Roby to Jackson it would simply be as a young asset.
Biyombo might be had for Lee and Jackson. He’s been averaging about a double-double lately as he’s been starting for the injured PJ Washington. Willy might be able to be had for Jackson straight up. These two are less secure moves that may or may not move the needle for Dallas and thus may not be worth the trouble in my opinion.
Trades for the three players above are the ones that make the most sense to me and would definitely add something to the team.
Losing Jalen is going to be the biggest issue people have with the first two trades but less Jalen means more Delon and Seth and that is fine with me. Losing Jackson means more Broekhoff and you already know how I feel about that. The timeline has moved up so give me the veterans that are in their prime now.
You can yell at me on twitter @BibsCorner as always 🙂