Grading the trade for the Dallas Mavericks
Let's start this off by saying it doesn't look like the Mavs want to deal Jaden Hardy.
Dallas gave up two future second-round picks last year to trade into the draft to take him, and he is turning into one of their most reliable scorers and players off the bench. He is also only 21 years old and is just scratching the surface of the NBA.
But in this proposed deal Dallas deals him to Chicago so we're just rolling with it.
Although losing Hardy would be a huge gut punch as he looks like he could have a great career in the NBA, the Mavs land Alex Caruso in this deal.
Caruso is one of the best defenders in the NBA, and Dallas could give him the assignment of defending the other team's best guard. This would allow Kyrie Irving or Luka Doncic to take an easier assignment while Caruso does the dirty work.
Caruso isn't the best offensive option, as he only averaged 5.6 points per game last season, but Dallas doesn't need offense. They have two of the best scorers in the NBA in Irving and Doncic, and Caruso wouldn't be tasked with much of an offensive workload. He would just have to hit an occasional three, run in transition, and play defense.
Potential starting lineup: Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, Josh Green, Grant Williams, Richaun Holmes
The Mavs could choose to start Caruso over Green for a small ball lineup, but in this scenario, we have him as the sixth man. The Mavs' starting center spot is also up in the air.
Since the Mavs are clearly trying to get younger and view Hardy as a key piece of their future, they get a B- for this trade. They land an elite defender in Caruso, but he's already 29 years old, and you know what you're going to get out of him. This trade also allows them to shed JaVale McGee's contract, but it seems that he'll be waived rather than traded, as there has been no reported interest in him.
Hardy on the other hand could turn into a future All-Star, and the Mavs likely won't risk losing him for a veteran guard in Caruso.
If the Mavs made another move to land a win-now player, Caruso could make sense if he was the missing piece to winning a championship. But with how this offseason is going, trading Hardy doesn't seem like the best move. This trade would be better if they landed Andre Drummond in the deal as well, but this trade doesn't make a ton of sense for Dallas right now.