Grade the trade: Mavericks land massive center upgrade in 3-team proposal

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jonas Valanciunas
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Jonas Valanciunas / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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Laying out the Dallas Mavericks trade proposal for Jonas Valanciunas

The Mavs are waiting for the market to settle, and for two teams to iron out a deal. The Pelicans present a unique opportunity for Dallas. If they trade for a center upgrade, New Orleans will be looking to dump Jonas Valanciunas. Most teams won’t want a five in return, which opens the door for the Mavericks.

FanSided’s Ian Levy offered this proposal in a recent article, but it cannot go down until Jan. 15 because Herbert Jones just signed a contract extension.

JV trade

The Pelicans get an All-Star center and another young asset they can try to develop. Jarrett Allen improves their rim protection and defense as they look to build around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram. New Orleans keeps their draft capital out of this trade to set them up to make another future splash.

The Cavaliers decide their current core is not a championship contender and must break up their two bigs. It allows them to move Evan Mobley to the five and gives them a needed boost on the wing. Herbert Jones is a lockdown defender, and Tim Hardaway Jr. improves their floor spacing. Cleveland gives up the best player in the deal, but they gain lineup flexibility.

This feels like a no-brainer move for the Dallas Mavericks, but is it?