The Dallas Mavericks need to upgrade their roster around Luka Doncic if they want to be title contenders. Rumors suggest the 23-year-old superstar asked the front office to make changes before the Feb. 9, but Doncic and owner Mark Cuban both denied those reports. Either way, Dallas must improve their roster if they want to make another deep playoff run.
The Mavs have been linked to several players, and their roster has three clear needs that the front office should be looking to address. They owe their 2023 first-round pick to the Knicks from the original Kristaps Porzingis trade, and Dallas must decide if they are willing to deal another first-rounder before the deadline. Doing so eliminates the Mavericks from trading for a second star, but it could improve their roster right now.
Trade season brings plenty of hypothetical deals to go along with the rumors. Here are grades for two recent ones that popped up and the framework of a third.
Grading Dallas Mavericks hypothetical trade: 3. Get Clarkson
ESPN’s Bobby Marks wrote his trade deadline predictions (subscription required) for every team, and he outlined two different trades for Dallas as moves that he would like to see. One was trading with the team they knocked out in the first round of the playoffs last season.
This would give the Mavericks another playmaker and a reserve big man. Clarkson is averaging over 21 points per game and having arguably the best season of his career. The Jazz are eager to rebuild after trading away Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the offseason, so they would love to add a protected first-round pick.
This is a plausible trade, but one that does not move the needle enough for Dallas to give up a first-round pick. Clarkson is a sixth man that gets buckets. He proved he can do that in the playoffs, but he does not offer enough playmaking or defense to make the Mavs a title contender. Dallas can only trade a first-round pick before the deadline if it results in a blockbuster move that pushes them closer to title contention.
This is not a trade the Dallas Mavericks should seriously consider unless they believe Jordan Clarkson becomes a foundational piece next to Luka Doncic. He is a strong scorer but does not offer enough else to make this deal worthwhile for the Mavs.