Dallas Mavericks Trade Options: An Al Horford Blockbuster

Dec 9, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) dunks the ball in front of Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) dunks the ball in front of Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

With recent news of Atlanta testing the market for some key players, could the Dallas Mavericks pull off a trade to bring Al Horford to Dallas?

Over the last couple of years the Dallas Mavericks have proven to be aggressive on both the free agent market and trade market as the team is in constant win-now mode during the last few years of Dirk Nowitzki‘s career. From free agent disasters to big time trades that haven’t worked out, Dallas has stayed persistently active on the market.

So with word coming out of Atlanta that they are taking calls on Al Horford, Jeff Teague, and Kyle Korver, should the Mavs come calling?

Horford is the most intriguing player on the market in Atlanta because he is arguably their best player and current all-star the past couple of years. He has been the prototypical professional both on and off the court for the Hawks. So why would Atlanta entertain trading the big fella?

Because the 29 year-old will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year and is lined up for a max contract offer.

So if the Hawks are unsure if he wants to stay in Atlanta (which I think he does) or if they want to pay him max money this offseason, they should probably look to deal the all-star before the deadline on Thursday.

Enter the Dallas Mavericks.

Now making a blockbuster trade happen for the Mavericks would be quite difficult considering their players and salaries, and to be frank, they might just want to role with what they have the rest of the season. But if the Mavs can get their hands on a high-caliber player hitting free agency this summer, it will be a risk they probably would be willing to make.

For Atlanta, if Horford was locked in for a couple of years his asking price would be much higher, but since he will be a free agent, the asking price is limited due to the receiving team taking a chance on Horford walking for nothing at the end of the year.

For Dallas to make this happen, they will most likely have to include at least one more team in the deal. The following is my blockbuster trade that would make sense for all sides…

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Screen Shot 2016-02-14 at 2.18.50 PM /


In this proposed deal, I believe Atlanta is getting back a really good haul for players in Horford and Bazemore who are hitting free agency this summer.

Getting Whiteside would bring on the same risk that you have in Horford in that he could leave for nothing in the offseason, but Whiteside is just 26 years-old compared to Horford being 29 years-old. Whiteside would be a great compliment to Millsap and would bring a presence on the defensive end.

Atlanta would also get Luol Deng in the deal who could slide into their starting small forward spot if needed. He also has an expiring deal this summer.

On the youth side, the Hawks would receive youngsters Justin Anderson and Dwight Powell in the deal who can help replenish their young talent. Both players could continue to develop as they get valuable minutes off the bench.

Even though this would be centered around not losing Horford for nothing, this deal would still enable the Hawks to contend this season at the same time.


This deal only happens if the Miami Heat finally decide to part ways with Hassan Whiteside before the deadline and before they face the situation of potentially losing him for nothing in the offseason. To go along with his contract situation, Whiteside hasn’t helped himself with his attitude problems both on and off the court.

The thing for Miami right now is to still contend for a title while not losing Whiteside for nothing. In the deal, Miami would get an immediate replacement in Zaza Pachulia who could step in right away and play alongside Chris Bosh. Pachulia wouldn’t give the Heat the same defensive presence, but he is continuing to have a career year. He also has an expiring contract.

Raymond Felton would plug right into Tyler Johnson‘s backup point guard role as Johnson is out for the foreseeable future with a shoulder injury. Felton has had a rejuvenated season for the Mavericks and would give the Heat a leadership presence off the bench.

P.J. Tucker would take over the role of Deng and could possibly be better than Deng at this point in the season. They could either start him at small forward or go ahead and hand the role over to rookie Justise Winslow. Tim Hardaway Jr. would give the Heat a young assest who could get so valuable minutes off the bench behind Wade.

The Heat would also shed the remaining years of Josh McRoberts contract in the deal.

This move would allow the Heat to contend this season while also freeing up millions of dollars to make a run at a free agent this offseason.


Phoenix is in all the rumors at this point as they are looking at selling this deadline, but they could be buying if the right price came along.

Phoenix would be unloading Tucker and Leuer for basically Josh McRoberts and Kent Bazemore.

Bazemore has had a breakout season for the Hawks this year as his play has propelled him into the starting lineup alongside of Kyle Korver. Bazemore is due for a major free agent contract upgrade this offseason and he could be the young wing player the Suns have been waiting to come upon.

In order to get the young and rising Bazemore, the Suns would have to take on the contract of Josh McRoberts. But with losing Leuer in the deal, McRoberts could step right into that role off the bench.

This deal for the Suns would be centered around getting their presumedly small forward of the future.


Last, but not least, possibly the biggest risk takers in the league…the Dallas Mavericks.

Dallas would obviously be shaking things up by trading two overachieving veterans in Felton and Pachulia, while also giving up their two youngest players in Anderson and Powell. But the deal could pay dividends in the short-term future.

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Dallas would get themselves a bonified all-star in Al Horford. A center who could play alongside Dirk Nowitzki and be dominant on both sides of the ball. Horford can defend against the best in the post while possessing an offensive game that is near the top for big men in the league.

The Mavericks would obviously do this deal with the assumption that Horford would agree to a max-extension come the summer.

Even though Horford would be the main piece in the deal for the Mavericks, getting Gerald Green and Jon Leuer would pay dividends at the same time.

Green was linked to the Mavs this past offseason and could give the Mavs a much-needed scoring punch off the bench. He would take over the Felton role off the bench in a second unit backcourt with J.J. Barea.

Leuer is a young 26 year-old power forward who would give the Mavs a young body in the front court to back up Nowitzki. He is having his best season this year coming off the bench averaging eight points and five rebounds in 20 minutes of play.

Next: Predicting What the Mavs Will Do at the Deadline

This would be a blockbuster trade that would send shockwaves around the league, but like all potential blockbusters, they hardly ever happen. Only time will tell what the Mavericks will do at the deadline, so for now, all we can do is wait.