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
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Would Hawks be interested in trading up in the 2023 NBA Draft?

As The Athletic’s Tim Cato and Chris Kirshner both note in the article, this move makes sense for both sides. The Hawks attempted just 30.5 3-pointers per game last season, which was the third-fewest in the NBA, and they were 21st in 3-point percentage. Atlanta needs shooting, and they have Capela’s replacement ready and waiting.

Onyeka Okongwu was the sixth overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, and he averaged 9.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks in just 23.1 minutes per game last season backing up Capela. The 22-year-old appears ready to take on a larger role, and he could be a better fit for the Hawks.

This deal looks like a no-brainer for Atlanta. Open more minutes for Okongwu, clear a bit of cap space in hopes of ducking the luxury tax, add a much-needed floor spacer, and move up five spots in the draft. The Mavericks may push back on the draft pick aspect of this, and attempt to make the swap of Tim Hardaway Jr. for Clint Capela straight up.

Getting the pick swap is gravy for the Atlanta Hawks and likely needed to get them to agree to the deal, but should Dallas do it? That depends on what they think of Clint Capela.