Did unexpected potential trade target emerge in Mavericks’ victory over Pelicans?

New Orleans Pelicans v Dallas Mavericks
New Orleans Pelicans v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks had perhaps their most season-defining victory on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, as they defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 125-120 behind a combined 83 points from Kyrie Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr.

What made Dallas' victory even more impressive was that contrary to the first game in their two-game series versus the Pelicans, New Orleans decided to play all three of their stars in Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum, and Zion Williamson in the second contest.

The game featured many lead changes as everyone who played for Dallas had their fingerprints on the win in one way or another as the Mavericks closed the game with a string of stops and clutch offensive rebounds.

Did unexpected potential trade target emerge in Mavericks’ victory over Pelicans?

Dallas finished their season series with the Pelicans at 2-2, so this victory is huge for Dallas when you take into consideration potential tiebreaker implications ahead of the playoffs. Furthermore though, this game could've also been huge for another key reason.

Zion Williamson finished with 30 points on 12-17 shooting from the field and imposed his physical will on Mavericks defenders through his quick bursts of acceleration and ability to finish through contact. Dallas had no answer for Williamson despite winning the game, as the combination of his physicality and size is unrivaled compared to nearly every other player in the league.

The Mavericks could use some physicality in their lineup particularly at the power forward position, so was this game against New Orleans a potential dress rehearsal for Zion Williamson to come to Dallas?

Williamson said that his favorite road city in the NBA is Dallas a while back, and even though he may have ulterior motives with that statement, it's at least something to take note of going forward when we talk about the prospect of him potentially coming to Dallas one day.

Williamson was in trade rumors all offseason, but has only missed eight out of 41 games so far this season, so the Pelicans might be hesitant to trade him given the fact that they are having a solid season at 24-17.

Williamson is only 23-years-old and is still averaging 22.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game despite having a down year. Trading for Williamson won't be easy as New Orleans would command a huge asking price for the former number one overall pick, but if Williamson loves Dallas as much as he says he does, perhaps he'd be willing to come to Dallas in 2026 free agency once his current contract expires.

If Williamson is somehow available on the trade market ahead of February 8, then the Mavericks should definitely formulate interest in him, as pairing him with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving could arguably form a championship team.

The asking price might be too steep for Dallas right now, but as volatile as Williamson's time has been in New Orleans who knows when the Pelicans will decide to move on from him. For more on the Dallas Mavericks ahead of the trade deadline and what they might do, stay plugged in with us.