The Dallas Mavericks are ready to start the game plan for the NBA Draft. As we all know, Mark Cuban is never afraid of a trade so should Dallas be looking to move up in the draft?
With the draft lottery set, it’s time for teams to start creating their draft boards. Unfortunately, the ping pong balls didn’t bounce the way Mavs fans wanted and the team wound up with the ninth pick. However, the Mavs have become notorious for making trades on draft night, most notably in the 1998 draft when the Mavs made a swap for some European kid with a jump shot. Since that one worked out pretty well, we’ll look at a possible trade situation that could benefit the Mavericks and add to a blossoming core.
There is one team in particular that sticks out as a possible trade destination. Here is a brief look.
Trust the Process
The Philadelphia 76ers have toiled in basketball purgatory for years and forced their fans to endure a brutal stretch of losing. All of this torture was by design, as Sam Hinkie, the architect behind the greatest tank job in NBA history, told fans to “trust the process” in the hopes of one day becoming a contender.
His controversial and divisive experiment seemed to be a failure up until the 2016-17 season which saw the rise of Joel Embiid, an oft-injured, but game-changing center. This past season saw the Sixers actually trying to win basketball games, and with the arrival of Ben Simmons, Philly should take a leap next year.
The tanking part of “The Process” seems to be over, and considering how Philadelphia’s roster is built, the Mavericks may be able to make a trade with them. Thanks to a swap with the Sacramento Kings, the Sixers have the 3rd pick in the upcoming draft. However, many of the top prospects don’t seem to fit well with the team.
Lonzo Ball would require the basketball in his hands to run the offense and Philly is dead-set on having Ben Simmons as the main ball-handler. Josh Jackson won’t be able to spread the floor, and Jayson Tatum would likely have to compete with Dario Saric and Robert Convington for minutes.
The Mavericks desperately need a point guard, and fortunately this draft class is loaded with them. The Mavs could be in position to draft Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntikilina, but neither of those are surefire superstars, and it’s possible they won’t be on the board at all by the time the Mavs pick. De’Aaron Fox on the other hand is someone who should have Mavs fans salivating.
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Fox was considered a top-ten pick before March Madness, but his draft stock skyrocketed when he carved up Lonzo Ball and UCLA to the tune of 39 points. That performance, coupled with his outstanding competitiveness, has him going in the top-five on most boards. With “The Process” virtually complete and no must-have prospects at #3, it might be good idea for the Mavericks to propose a trade.
Here’s a trade scenario to consider: the Mavericks ask the Sixers to draft De’Aaron Fox with the 3rd pick. In exchange, the Mavs will draft Lauri Markkanen at number 9 and include Yogi Ferrell in the deal. This works out for both teams as Philly needs outside shooting which Markkanen provides.
They also don’t have to worry about any awkward fits with the other top prospects, as Markkanen will most likely come off the bench in favor of Joel Embiid. Ferrell will give them a reliable scoring weapon off the bench and can run the offense whenever the main ball-handlers take a seat.
For the Mavericks, the team gets their point guard of the future. Fox’s speed, athleticism, scoring ability, passing, and defense will give Dallas a strong piece for the young core. While losing Yogi will be a blow, having Fox will help the Mavs usher in a new era once Dirk retires.