Dallas Mavericks: Back on the map after game-changing trade deadline

Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Kristaps Porzingis Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Dallas Mavericks have two stars under the age of 25 after the arrival of Kristaps Porzingis making them a force in the West for years to come.

The Dallas Mavericks have assembled a roster that features two of the NBA’s most exciting young stars in less than a year.

Luka Doncic is having one of the best rookie seasons of all time, shattering NBA precedent by being one of the best guards in the NBA at just 19 years old.

Kristaps Porzingis is still regarded as one of the best ascending players in the league. As the tallest player in the NBA at a towering 7’3, Porzingis can dominate the glass, block shots, shoot from the outside and put the ball on the floor to attack the rim. The Mavs are set up for years to come.

Analyzing the Kristaps Porzingis trade. Related Story

In the current NBA, any team even remotely in contention for the ultimate prize will have two blue-chip players in their starting lineup. Dallas, after years of disappointment in free agency, now have themselves the most exciting young core in the NBA. Starting next season, the Mavericks will be a force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.

Finding the pieces

The Dallas Mavericks have also done a good job of finding ancillary pieces around their two international phenoms.

Maxi Kleber is enjoying a very solid season and playing himself into a good amount of money. Kleber has shown a rare ability to defend out on the perimeter on smaller guards, while also being the best shot blocker on the Mavericks roster.

Kleber is also a respectable shooter from the outside. His 34 percent clip from 3-point range is nothing special, but he makes timely baskets and can be a useful floor spacer for Luka Doncic. Kleber will be a restricted free agent at season’s end, and the Mavs would be wise to give Kleber a new contract immediately on July 1st.

Dorian Finney-Smith is also playing well for the Mavs and has shown vast improvements from last season.

Jalen Brunson has been the overlooked diamond in the rough from the 2018 NBA draft for Dallas. While Doncic is soaring towards easily winning the Rookie of the Year award, Brunson has quietly put together a really solid campaign off the bench. It is easy to forget that Brunson won two national championships at Villanova, and was the consensus National Collegiate Player of the Year in 2018.

Brunson could develop into a Fred VanVleet type of player for Dallas. The Mavs should be on the lookout for veteran point guards to start next to Luka Doncic in the offseason, to keep Brunson in charge of the second unit. Isaiah Thomas, Patrick Beverley, and Corey Joseph could all be serviceable, cheap free agent pickups to service the Mavericks’ offense.

Trading for additional help

The Mavs found themselves in an unusual position when making the trade for Porzingis. The Knicks were hoping to get themselves off of two awful contracts handed out to Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. Both players will be useful in the Mavs’ rotation. Hardaway Jr. could very well end up as a starter for the Mavs both this season and next, considering he did average 19 points per game in New York.

Hardaway Jr. could fill the role of Harrison Barnes as the secondary offensive outlet. THJ is a pretty good option for a late shot clock, bailout situation.

Between Trey Burke and Hardaway Jr., the Mavs are adding 30 points per game to their rotation. Courtney Lee has regressed in the last year, but he can still live up to his reputation as a defensive minded, 3-point drilling swingman.

Next. Grading the Kristaps Porzingis trade

The Dallas Mavericks will probably miss the playoffs this year, but they are significantly closer to a championship than people think. Starting next year, Rick Carlisle will have two of the NBA’s most exciting players, and a stable full of complimentary pieces. The future is blindingly bright in Dallas.