Grade the trade: How Dallas Mavericks could pull off a deal for Deandre Ayton

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Why would the Dallas Mavericks trade for Deandre Ayton?

The Mavs like the idea of pairing Luka Doncic with a star big man that can be his primary pick-and-roll partner. Deandre Ayton is fourth in possessions as a roll man this season, but his 1.13 points per possession rates in the 41st percentile. Doncic is the best pick-and-roll ball-handler in the league, so those numbers are likely to come up in Dallas.

Ayton anchored the Suns' defense as they reached the NBA Finals in 2021. He can guard multiple positions, protect the rim, and is an outstanding rebounder. The 24-year-old could become the best center in Mavericks history if he develops long-term chemistry with Luka.

The pair are represented by the same agent and were two of the top three picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. They know each other well, and that could help them form an on-court bond that takes both players to new heights.

Fans should not expect the Dallas Mavericks to acquire Deandre Ayton before the Feb. 9 trade deadline, but they will have more assets this summer when Ayton could be on the block. It is just a hypothetical right now, but stay tuned for more developments as they become available.

Trade grade: B-plus

Next. 1 trade target for Mavs to consider at every position. dark

What will the Mavericks do before the Feb. 9 trade deadline? Do they have a blockbuster move up their sleeve? Keep a close eye on the news until the moment the deadline passes.