Grade the Trade: Mavericks land dream center target in shocking proposal

Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd
Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks have been searching for a center upgrade for years. It was a glaring weakness in their run to the conference finals in 2022, but it goes back further than that. Dallas signed JaVale McGee last summer to replace Dwight Powell in the starting five, but the plan backfired. The Mavs are hoping to dump McGee before training camp, but have they addressed their biggest need of the offseason?

Dallas had an outstanding summer, but their center issues may continue. The Mavs were the worst rebounding team in the NBA last season, and they could not protect the rim. They drafted Dereck Lively II with the 12th overall pick, but he is unlikely to be ready for massive minutes as a teenager. Dallas traded for Richaun Holmes, but he did not crack the Kings' rotation last season. That likely leaves Powell as the favorite to start.

The Mavericks are still searching for an upgrade, and there are a handful of centers rumored to be on the trade block. Clint Capela’s availability was brought up on the Hoop Collective podcast, and Tim MacMahon reiterated the Mavs' interest.

Can the Dallas Mavericks trade for Clint Capela?

Capela has two years remaining on his contract at $42.9 million in total. He is a strong rebounder, rim protector, and roll man that would fit fantastically next to Luka Doncic in Dallas. The 29-year-old would control the paint, protect the rim, and anchor their defense while getting easy buckets at the rim on offense.

The Hawks are looking to create more playing time for Onyeka Okongwu and want to stay under the luxury tax line moving forward. Capela is a strong pick-and-roll partner for Trae Young, so Atlanta does not want to give him away, but they could make a trade with the Dallas Mavericks that gives them future flexibility. Does that make sense as the Hawks look to stay in contention in 2024?