The Dallas Mavericks are off to a hot start to begin the 2023-24 season. Dallas sits at fifth in the Western Conference with a 9-5 record.
Despite outperforming expectations to begin the season, the Mavs could easily be better. Dallas averages a blistering 122.8 points per game, good for second in the league. They rank top-7 in field goal and 3-point percentage.
Additionally, Dallas plays at the fourth fastest pace in the league and ranks in the top half in turnover percentage. There isn't much the Mavs can improve upon on the offensive end.
Grade the Trade: Mavericks acquire once-hyped forward in mock deal with Warriors
However, the defensive end of the floor tells a vastly different story. Dallas is one of six teams in the NBA to allow more than 120 points per game. And the other five aren't exactly the best company. The other five squads' combined record is 20-44.
As for the Mavs, they rank bottom 10 in defensive rating, points allowed, steals, blocks, and rebounds. Dallas has one end of the floor figured out, but they look clueless on the other.
In all five of the Mavs' losses, they've given up 125 points or more. And in all their victories, they've allowed 126 points or less. It's clear the Mavs need to improve on defense, whether it be organically or originally, it doesn't matter. Defensive improvement is a necessity.
Here comes Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga. While trading a 21-year-old athletic marvel who's averaging 12.3 points per game isn't seen as a typical strategy, some have speculated it might be time for the Warriors to deal Kuminga.
The Mavericks look like an ideal fit for the young Warriors forward. Over the past year, Dallas has acquired young and athletic forwards to play alongside their star guards, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. Due to a lack of defense from the duo, an infusion of athleticism into the lineup has been a high priority.
Although Kuminga isn't the most sound defender, he offers an intriguing mix of size and athleticism. And perhaps most importantly, the former 7th overall pick is still just 21 years old.
In this grade the trade, we'll dive into the parameters of a hypothetical deal between Dallas and Golden State and grade each team's returns.