Grade the Trade: Mavericks move down in 2023 NBA Draft to get defensive anchor

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Clint Capela
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Clint Capela / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

The Dallas Mavericks must improve their roster around Luka Doncic this offseason. That is not up for debate if the franchise wants to lessen their fears of his potential departure. The Mavs finished 25th in defensive rating last season, and they were the worst rebounding team in the NBA, which seems like a place to start.

Dallas needs a new starting center. They signed JaVale McGee to take over that gig last offseason, but he lasted just seven games before being pulled from the rotation entirely. Dwight Powell replaced him, but he and Christian Wood are both unrestricted free agents. The Mavericks need to find a starter that is going to rebound and protect the rim.

The front office is rumored to be shopping the tenth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, but could the Mavericks use it to get a starting center. The Athletic’s Tim Cato detailed several hypothetical trades (subscription required), including this trade down to get their new defensive anchor.

Dallas Mavericks find starting center as they trade down in 2023 NBA Draft

Center has been an issue for the Mavericks since Tyson Chandler departed in 2015, and the Hawks have a glut of big men. Atlanta could be looking to trade Clint Capela to open up more minutes for Onyeka Okongwu, but would they be interested in this deal?

B/R Mavs get Capela

Capela and Hardaway Jr. are both under contract for two more seasons, and the big man is set to make more money. Dallas would be paying a bit more, losing a key shooter, and giving up their top ten pick to land the 6’10 big man. It is a chance to get a legit starting center, but is it worth it?

The Hawks would be reuniting with THJ and moving up in the draft. Would they be interested? Here is a closer look at the hypothetical trade from both sides.