Mavericks caught huge break by not trading for former NBA Champion

Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers
Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers / Amanda Loman/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks were busy at this year's trade deadline, which was only right because of their eighth-place standing in the Western Conference at the time. They were linked to some big names and ended up acquiring P.J. Washington and Daniel Gafford.

Even though the team had to give up plenty of assets to complete the deals, it turned out to be worth every penny. The frontcourt pairing has proven to be what the doctor ordered, as their arrival and emergence have helped make the defense, rebounding, and physicality among the Mavs' strengths heading into the 2024 playoffs.

Given that Dallas rose in the standings to finish as the No. 5 seed in the West, the franchise is one of the clear-cut winners of the 2024 trade deadline.

Mavericks caught huge break by not trading for Andrew Wiggins

Imagine, though, if the Mavs were successful in landing Golden State Warriors forward Andrew Wiggins, whom they had reportedly shown interest in earlier in the season.

The potential addition of the former All-Star was once an intriguing proposition. After all, Wiggins played a key role in the Warriors' championship run in the 2021-22 season. 

Some folks even thought he was Golden State's second-best player in the 2022 NBA Finals, as he averaged 18.3 points per game and led the Warriors in rebounds with 8.8 boards per contest in the series. Moreover, his defense helped in holding the Boston Celtics' star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to 39.8 percent shooting from the field.

Wiggins' two-way skills could probably be useful for Dallas in its first-round matchup versus the LA Clippers. However, the swingman had a largely disappointing 2023-24 campaign, with his production much below the standard he set for himself in the past.

Moreover, Wiggins had to take a leave of absence during the middle of the regular season for the second consecutive year to take care of some personal matters. He likely had some valid reason for withdrawing from the Warriors, but it may have affected the team's chemistry, something the Mavs couldn't have afforded as they pursued a higher seeding in the West.

The Canadian forward had an opportunity to redeem himself in the Play-In Tournament. However, he was a non-factor in Golden State's loss to the Sacramento Kings, scoring just 12 points and registering the worst plus-minus of the match with minus-25. As such, he and the Warriors bowed out of playoff contention earlier than they likely expected.

As for Dallas, it clearly dodged a Wiggins-sized bullet. It seems the front office has a knack for averting such a disaster, as it also caught a massive break by not trading for another overpaid former No. 1 pick, Deandre Ayton, last offseason.

Read more about the Dallas Mavericks and their playoff journey this season by staying tuned with us.