We can’t mention the Dallas Mavericks without bringing up Luka Doncic. After winning Rookie of the Year, he’s made a huge leap in his sophomore season. Doncic is a legitimate MVP candidate and is the second most likely player to win the award at +400, per the Draftkings Sportsbook. Prior to the season, Dallas was thought of as a team that could compete for a playoff spot, but would likely miss out. Now, this team is almost guaranteed a spot in the postseason.
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Update, Jan. 24: The Mavericks are sending the Utah Jazz’s 2020 second-round pick to the Golden State Warriors for Willie Cauley-Stein, according to reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Cauley-Stein has started in 37 games for the Warriors this year, averaging 7.9 points and 6.2 rebounds. He could partner with Dallas’ Porzingis to form a lanky frontcourt.
Update, Jan. 20: Porzingis has missed 10 consecutive games for the Mavericks because of right knee soreness and is aiming to return on January 21st against the Los Angeles Clippers. Dallas won six games during that stretch and is riding a four-game winning streak, during which it eclipsed 120 points three times straight. ranks fifth in the Western Conference standings at 27-15. Just how valuable is Porzingis? Can the Mavericks be real contenders with him alone as Doncic’s co-star? Time is winding down, so Dallas needs to make a decision soon.
— Ameer Tyree
Update: Is Andre Drummond trade a pipe dream?
There have been plenty of trade rumors and reports flying around surrounding Andre Drummond and the Dallas Mavericks. Many believe that owner Mark Cuban will make a significant move before the deadline in hopes of adding another high profile star to Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Creating a Big 3 of sorts would help Dallas compete with the top teams in the West now, rather than later.
Drummond would cost a pretty penny, so the Mavs would have to at least shed Tim Hardaway Jr’s salary and then some. Throw in Maxi Kleber and a couple draft picks and I think the Mavs would have a decent package for the Pistons. But does Drummond put them over the top? Sure, he can defend the paint and rebound, but he can’t stretch the floor much. The Mavs would still have plenty of shooters in Doncic, Porzingis and Seth Curry, but would it be enough? I think the Mavs are better served making a minor depth move and thinking about creating a Big 3 in the offseason.
— Ben Zweiman
Update: Should the Mavericks trade for Kevin Love?
Love is essentially everything that Drummond is not as a big, outside of both being tremendous rebounders. Love is in the first year of his four-year extension he signed with Cleveland, which is worth $120 million. So essentially Dallas would have to commit to Love for three and a half years of that monster extension.
In theory, the Mavs do have the ability to add the Cavalier to their roster, while maintaining Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. Shipping Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dwight Powell would make the deal work from a cap perspective. THJ is making over $20 million this season, and due even more next year, so Cleveland would be taking back a bad contract in exchange. But Powell’s due a reasonable $10 million this season, and is a young piece the Cavs could build with under team control for three more seasons.
Even with Dallas accepting a huge financial responsibility in Love, it’s still going to have to part with some draft capital, which could be a little difficult after giving up picks to acquire Luka and KP. But if Dallas can add another first-rounder into the mix, Cleveland would have to listed to that deal. The shooting ability and size of the Luka-Love-KP trio would have the potential to vault the Mavs into the discussion in the west.
— Julian Edlow
It’s no secret that Andre Drummond is the trade block. The Detroit Pistons are fading from the playoff race and and it looks like Blake Griffin could miss the rest of the season due to knee surgery. With Drummond set to become a free agent in the offseason, a lot of teams have been linked to the All-Star center. Personally, I don’t love his fit with the Mavs. He could be devastating in the pick and roll with Doncic, but outside of that, I think Drummond could kill the Mavericks’ floor spacing. Ideally, Doncic should be surrounded by shooters, opening up the floor for him to drive to the basket. Factor in that the Mavericks might have to part with a quality big like Dwight Powell on a team friendly contract to pull off the trade and I don’t think it’ a move they should make.
Honestly, almost every team could use extra shooting. Playing alongside Doncic, this is especially true. In space, he’s incredible and the more shooters he plays with, the more room he has to operate. Dallas has been unable to settle on a starting lineup and most of the changes have come at shooting guard. Delon Wright, J.J. Barea, Jalen Brunson and even Courtney Lee have had shots in the starting lineup. Finding a capable shooter who can fill the role permanently would add a lot of stability to the Mavericks. If he’s available, J.J. Redick would be a perfect addition.