The Dallas Mavericks Are Primed for a Blockbuster Trade
With some valuable assets in their arsenal, could the Dallas Mavericks be primed again for another blockbuster trade?
It was just a couple of years ago that the Dallas Mavericks decided to pull the trigger on a blockbuster move that they thought would propel them to the top tier of the Western Conference. They took the chance on giving up young talent and picks to bring in a former all-star and NBA champion.
It was a horrible reminder that not all trades work out…obviously.
The Rajon Rondo experiment failed miserably in Dallas and the franchise happily watched him walk in free agency after a first round playoff exit once again. To make matters worst, Jae Crowder went on to become a quality starter while Dallas missed out on their first round pick this past summer.
So with Dallas on the outside looking into the top teams of the West, could they be primed for a big trade this season again?
Being stuck in mediocrity really sucks sometimes in the professional sports world. You haven’t been good enough to be in the title discussions, but you haven’t been bad enough to land some of the next young stars.
Now Dallas finds themselves in the same boat as they look to be fighting for one of the lower playoff seeds in the Western Conference once again.
Then there is Dirk Nowitzki and the fact that there is probably only two years left of his career. With all of the sacrifice and loyalty that one of the greatest players of all-time has shown to Dallas, getting back to the Finals for Dirk would be something the franchise would love to do.
So with Dirk, the continuous mediocrity, and an owner that is willing to swing for the fences, the motive is always there.
Young Assets & Picks
Similar to Jae Crowder a few years ago, Dallas has a couple of young assets that some other teams would have value in.
Arguably the biggest asset would be second year forward, and former first round pick, Justin Anderson. Anderson finished the season strong last year as he gave Dallas a jolt of athleticism, a steady outside shot, and a defensive body on the wing.
The franchise and fanbase loves Simba, so trading away the youngster would be highly unpopular, and rightfully so. But if another team is shipping out a top 20 player, Anderson could be expendable.
Dwight Powell is another young asset Dallas has as the young forward just signed a four year extension with the Mavericks. The 25-year old looks to have prominent role off the bench in Dallas this coming season.
Seth Curry would be available to trade in December and holds a favorable cap figure. Depending how Curry plays at the beginning of the season, he could be a valuable piece in a big deal.
With Dallas trading away their 2016 first round draft pick in the Rondo deal, they can’t trade away their 2017 first round pick due to the Stepien Rule that does not allow teams to trade away consecutive first round picks.
But Dallas could include their 2018 first round pick and/or other second rounders.
For almost any bigger trade to make sense or be finalized, expiring deals need to be a part of the deal.
If a team is going to unload an all-star, there are numerous things they usually want back. Younger assets and picks are usually the case, but sometimes it’s future cap relief. Whether it’s the long term contract of the all-star or a player they are packaging in the deal, teams unloading the best player usually want some sort of cap relief in the deal.
In Dallas, the Mavericks have two solid veteran starters that could be used in such a deal. Deron Williams signed a one-year deal worth around $10 million this past summer and Andrew Bogut has one year left on his deal for around $11 million. It’s also worth noting that like Curry, any player signed this summer can’t be traded until mid-December.
With both veteran starters earning over $10 million this season, this would allow Dallas to match the majority of incoming salaries while still attaching some smaller salaries such as Anderson or Curry.
For instance, if a big name center became available, Dallas could match the cap numbers, give them a starter replacement in Bogut, provide cap relief next summer in Bogut’s contract, and attach other assets to the deal.
At this point, it’s almost impossible to attempt to speculate on the names that could be on the market this winter that would warrant this type of deal. Combine that with the fact that other teams such as the Boston Celtics or Los Angeles Lakers would be able to offer a much better package and you see the odds of Dallas pulling off another blockbuster to be very slim.
But what names would warrant such a package from Dallas? How many players would warrant a package of maybe a Williams, Anderson, Curry, and future first? Or a Bogut, Anderson, Powell and future first?
If Sacramento came calling with DeMarcus Cousins, would he be worth it? What if Indiana implodes and for some reason decides to shop Paul George? What if Utah is weary about maxing out Rudy Gobert? Would Brook Lopez be worth it? How much would Dallas give up for Goran Dragic if Miami wanted to clear space for next summer?
What if the Clips really did entertain trading Blake Griffin? How much would Dallas give up for one of the guards in Phoenix? What if things went south in Toronto and they were unsure about maxing out Kyle Lowry next summer?
I am obviously throwing out hypothetical situations that could maybe tempt Dallas this winter. Most, if not all, of these names won’t be traded, but we have witnessed some crazy things happen over the years.
Although I believe Dallas is primed for a blockbuster trade with a motive, assets, and expiring contracts, the question still remains…should they make a big trade again?
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This obviously boils down to the particular player and package that would go out, but debating on if Dallas should make another Rondo-type move is something that the fanbase and franchise will probably think about this winter.
As far as my personal opinion, if a top 20 player in the league becomes available, I say swing for the fences as long as Dirk Nowitzki is around.