Could the Mavericks Possibly Target Afflalo, McLemore?
The Dallas Mavericks recently watched as the New Orleans Pelicans made the big steal of the year, acquiring DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings. Should they get in on the Kings fire sale as well?
After the bombshell trade involving Demarcus Cousins Sunday evening, the Kings appear to be in full fire sale mode ahead of Thursday’s NBA trade deadline. The departure of Cousins has opened the floodgates for possible trades involving almost anybody on the Kings’ roster, most notably guards Aaron Afflalo, Ben MacLemore, and former Maverick Deron Collison.
The Mavs were unable to secure a blockbuster deal for Demarcus Cousins, but may be able to lock down a trade for one of the Kings’ main assets. While Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel still remain possibilities for the center-needy Mavs, any kind of trade will likely have to involve players other than Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes, Seth Curry and their upcoming first round pick in the NBA draft.
The Mavs “trade-able” assets include Deron Williams, Andrew Bogut, Devin Harris, and most notably, Wesley Matthews. While that package likely will not land anybody big, the Mavs may be able to bring in Arron Afflalo or Ben McLemore from Sacramento.
The Mavs would benefit from the acquisition of Afflalo, but only in the short term. The 31-year-old has seen a steady decline in his play since his time in Denver, meaning the Mavs should prioritize McLemore over anybody else.
McLemore has not lived up to his potential as a high draft pick from Kansas. His shooting ability has been wildly inconsistent since joining the Kings, and Kings coach Dave Joerger has shown frustration in his reserve guard due to both the inconvenient logjam at the guard position and his inconsistent play. The Mavs should not hesitate to pounce on the 24-year-old guard.
Now that Cousins is off the board for the Mavs to pursue, Dallas has to make a move to add an asset for the future. The Kings are in a complete rebuilding situation, and the Mavs could help them out by taking McLemore off of their books.
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The Mavs should look to trade away some of their second round draft picks if at all possible. While retaining draft assets is extremely important going forward for the Mavs, McLemore appears to be better than some of the second round picks coming out of the NBA draft.
The Dallas Mavericks are not the San Antonio Spurs. The Mavs scouting department led by general manager Donnie Nelson cannot be expected to find gems in the second round of upcoming drafts the way the other teams have. The Mavs in all likelihood will not draft the next DeAndre Jordan, Manu Ginobili, Isaiah Thomas, Draymond Green, Paul Millsap, or Gilbert Arenas in the second round of the NBA draft.
The Mavs need to make the call to Sacramento for McLemore. An offer of Devin Harris and a second round pick should be enough to pry McLemore away from Kings GM Vlade Divac. By no means would this trade take any pressure off the Mavs in terms of a massive rebuild, but it would be a necessary first step towards both building a bench for the future, and adding an asset to stash away for future trades.
The NBA trade deadline is Thursday afternoon, at 3PM eastern time. The Mavs have approximately 70 hours to make a deal between now and then to better position themselves for life after Dirk Nowitzki.
Next: 3 Ways the DeMarcus Cousins Trade Affects Dallas
Now that Demarcus Cousins has been traded elsewhere, the Mavs are not going nowhere fast, and have to begin righting the ship before they completely capsize once Dirk Nowitzki announces his retirement.