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 Dallas Mavericks make this trade?

The Mavs should be looking for an elite rebounder and rim protector for their starting center. Assuming they re-sign Kyrie Irving, Dallas is starting with two superstars that are both subpar defensively. They need a defensive anchor on the backline that can bail them out.

Capela finished 23rd in the NBA in blocks per game, but how impactful was his defense? The Hawks finished 22nd in defensive rating by giving up 115.4 points per 100 possessions, and Capela had the worst defensive rating on the team at 116.4. FiveThirtyEight ranked him 26th in the league in Defensive RAPTOR, but not every metric was as favorable on his defense.

Would Clint Capela be a difference-maker in Dallas? He is a traditional center, but Capela had the 11th most possessions per game as a roll man, and his 1.38 points per possession in those situations was the highest among the league’s most-used options. Luka Doncic is one of the best pick and roll ball-handlers in the league, and Capela’s defense would get a chance to shine in Dallas.

Is it a big enough upgrade to move down five spots in the draft? The Dallas Mavericks will be selecting a player in a similar tier regardless, so it is certainly worth exploring.

Grade: B-

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Clint Capela would solve the Dallas Mavericks' center woes, but the team should be looking for more depth or impact if they are parting with the tenth overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. Capela alone does not make the franchise a contender, so they simply need a bit more.