The Dallas Mavericks have underperformed expectations after 28 games, despite Luka Doncic playing the best basketball of his career. The 23-year-old superstar is leading the league in scoring and in the running for MVP, but the team’s 14-14 record is holding him back.
The Mavs roster is screaming for upgrades. They are reliant on 3-point shooting more than ever this season, and their rebound and rim protection woes from last season are back. When the Mavs make shots, they can defeat any team in the league, but a head-scratching loss could be on the horizon if they are not falling.
Maxi Kleber’s hamstring tear creates another need for Dallas, but what will the front office do before the Feb. 9 trade deadline? Here are three predictions.
Early Dallas Mavericks 2023 trade deadline prediction: 3. Buy low on a ball-handler
The Mavs did this at last year’s trade deadline when they swapped Kristaps Porzingis and a second-round pick for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Dallas had just two ball handlers on their roster, and they needed a third option to keep their offense rolling when Luka Doncic needed to rest. Does that sound familiar?
It was Luka and Jalen Brunson last season before Dinwiddie entered the chat. Brunson signed with the Knicks in free agency and left Doncic and Dinwiddie to hold it down. Dallas needs another playmaker, and they will again be looking to buy low on someone.
Remember, Dinwiddie struggled in Washington and was coming off a torn ACL. He just never quite fit in with the Wizards, which created a prime buying opportunity for Dallas. The Mavs find a similar opportunity before the 2023 trade deadline, and the player improves dramatically in Dallas for the second straight year.