10 Way-too-early 2024 trade deadline candidates Mavericks should monitor

Dallas Mavericks, Jarrett Allen
Dallas Mavericks, Jarrett Allen / Aaron Josefczyk-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 10

The Dallas Mavericks made significant improvements around their two stars this offseason. They got younger and more athletic, while significantly upgrading their defense, but Dallas may not be done.

The Mavs entered the offseason needing a center upgrade (subscription required). They were the worst rebounding team in the NBA last season and struggled to protect the rim. Dallas drafted Dereck Lively II in the lottery, traded for Richaun Holmes, and re-signed Dwight Powell, but none of those moves addressed their issues. Lively II needs time to develop, and Holmes wasn’t in the Kings rotation last season.

A center upgrade is atop the Mavs priority list entering the season, and general manager Nico Harrison will be active and aggressive. The trade deadline is less than five months away, but who might be available?

Way-too-early 2024 trade deadline candidates Dallas Mavericks should monitor

10. Jonas Valanciunas

The Pelicans want a center upgrade but have not found the right deal. Valanciunas is on an expiring contract, so New Orleans has a decision to make before the deadline. If JV is not part of their long-term future, the Pels should explore his value on the trade market.

Valanciunas is far from the perfect fit in Dallas. He is an elite rebounder that can space the floor. JV is a career 35.7 percent 3-point shooter over 541 attempts, but he struggles to protect the rim and cannot defend in space. The Mavs would have to build their defense around him and figure out how to cover for his deficiencies.

Valanciunas is a massive upgrade over Dwight Powell, and the Dallas Mavericks' interest could rise if their center woes continue. What if Dereck Lively II isn't ready for the rotation or Holmes doesn’t bounce back? Dallas may be looking for any available option.

In the ideal scenario, the Pelicans find a center upgrade and are willing to move on for a small return. Dallas does not have a ton of trade assets, so they hope a big man becomes available in their price range.