After the Dallas Mavericks' 132-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night, it was extremely visible that Dallas has a ton of holes in their lineup that must be addressed ahead of the February 8 trade deadline if they want a chance at championship contention.
These are holes that have been running their course on Dallas all season, as the Mavericks lack of intensity and physicality on defense in their loss versus Phoenix was a microcosm of a much larger issue this season.
The Mavericks appear to be hard-pressed to include some of their young assets in a trade ahead of the deadline, but the Mavericks realistically will have to include one or multiple of them in a trade if they want to field the best roster possible during this two-year window that they have Kyrie Irving under contract.
Grade the Trade: Mavericks land Hornets' budding forward in blockbuster proposal
Dallas has been rumored to be interested in a plethora of different names so far this trade season, but they won't attain most of the names that they've been attached to without giving up some of their own coveted assets. Some may argue that this is a "gap year" for the Mavericks and a trial and error period for the front office to determine how Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic should best be surrounded from a roster perspective.
However, even if that's the case, Dallas has shown tendencies to make big in-season trades in recent years in hopes that it will drastically change the trajectory of their season. In this mock trade with the Charlotte Hornets, Dallas addresses two huge areas of need and vastly improves their odds of competing in the playoffs.