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Dallas Mavericks: Why they did not trade for a star at the 2021 deadline

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks got in on the trade deadline day bonanza by acquiring J.J. Redick from the New Orleans Pelicans. It was a four-player deal that saw Nicolo Melli coming to Dallas with James Johnson, Wesley Iwundu, and their 2021 second round pick heading to New Orleans.

Why did the Mavericks decide against making a bigger splash at the trade deadline? Supporters were hoping for a massive move. They dreamed of acquiring a third star to play next to Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, but the Mavs did not have the assets to make that type of trade. They owe two first-round picks to the Knicks and lack the young high-upside talent opposing teams want in those deals.

The Dallas Mavericks front office made an upgrade on the margins, but chose continuity over swinging for the fences. Owner Mark Cuban and GM Donnie Nelson noted it was important to Dallas leading up to the trade deadline. They also believe in their team when healthy. Here is a closer look at why that should come as no surprise.

More. Grading the J.J. Redick trade

Why the Dallas Mavericks did not make a massive splash at the trade deadline

A key reason the Mavs only made one move at the trade deadline is they think this team, when healthy, is a top-four team in the Western Conference. Yes, they sit seventh in the West after 41 games, but Dallas has only had their preferred starting five healthy for 15 games this season. The Mavs have 11 wins in that stretch and an offensive rating of 123.6. That rating would destroy the NBA record the team set last season at 115.9.

It does not stop there, though. The Mavericks have a 6.7 net rating over those 15 games, which would rank third in the NBA behind only the Jazz and Bucks if they produced it over the entire season. Dallas was hit hard by COVID with five players missing extended time. They have also dealt with injuries and needed time to mesh together as a team. Dismiss the 15 game sample as small if you wish, but the Mavs are playing outstanding basketball right now.

Moving up in the Western Conference standings is never an easy task, but the door is cracked open. Portland is only 1.5 games ahead of Dallas. Yes, the Blazers added Norman Powell, but they are one slump away from being passed. The Nuggets improved their roster at the deadline by adding Aaron Gordon and JaVale McGee, but they are only two games up. Next is the Lakers who are playing without their two stars for an extended period.

The Mavs could climb back into the top four, which why they filled their need for shooting by acquiring J.J. Redick. Dallas has an elite team with a marvelous offense lead by Luka Doncic, who is one of the five best players in the league. If the Dallas Mavericks stay healthy, they have a chance to make a deep playoff run in 2021. Do not miss it.

5 ways Luka Doncic can still get better. Next

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