Grade the Trade idea: Mavericks land new starting center in James Harden blockbuster

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game One
Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics - Game One / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages
5 of 5
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving
Philadelphia 76ers v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

Grading the trade for the Dallas Mavericks

Even after drafting Dereck Lively II and re-signing Dwight Powell, the Dallas Mavericks still need a new starting center. They've lacked in this area for years, and this trade allows them to add a new one in Ivica Zubac.

Zubac is notorious for getting exposed by Luka Doncic in the playoffs, but let's be fair. Not many people can guard Doncic in open space. He averaged 10.8 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game last season. Zubac would be the perfect player to start for the Mavs until Lively II fully develops, and he is a great rebounder and low-post scorer.

Zubac may not fit the Mavs' defensive scheme as he struggles to defend in space sometimes, but he isn't a bad rim protector and gives Dallas frontcourt depth.

Along with Zubac, the Mavericks add Marcus Morris Sr. in the trade. Dallas acquired Markieff Morris in the trade for Kyrie Irving, but he never panned out. Hopefully, his twin brother Marcus can do better.

Morris Sr. averaged 11.2 points, four rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game last season while shooting 36.4 percent from three. He would provide more wing depth on this team and is a fierce competitor. Morris Sr. is also a solid all-around defender when engaged. He tends to get in his opponent's head and isn't afraid to get physical with the opposing team's superstars.

Everyone saw the antics he pulled against the Mavericks and Doncic in the 2020 NBA Playoffs. These things were frustrating for Mavs' fans, but Morris Sr. would turn the tables if he was on the Mavs. No one would touch Doncic if he was on the floor with him.

The Mavericks are actively trying to trade Tim Hardaway Jr. and JaVale McGee, and this trade allows them to move them both. Seth Curry and Jaden Hardy would take Hardaway Jr.'s minutes, and McGee's awful contract would be off the books.

Potential starting lineup: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Josh Green, Maxi Kleber, Ivica Zubac

The Mavericks would possibly start Reggie Bullock or the wing they get with the MLE, but for the sake of this trade, this is the starting lineup. Dallas gets an A+ for this trade as they got value out of Christian Wood and dealt two contracts they wanted to get rid of in Hardaway Jr. and McGee. They also gained two solid role players in Morris Sr. and Zubac.

Mavs grade. A+. Acquire a new starting center in Ivica Zubac. Dump two contracts. Dallas Mavericks

We'll have you covered with all the latest news and rumors surrounding the Mavs in free agency, so stay tuned.