Grade the Trade: Mavericks pull off unexpected draft day move with Knicks

Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd, Nico Harrison
Dallas Mavericks, Jason Kidd, Nico Harrison / SOPA Images/GettyImages
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Grading the trade for the Dallas Mavericks

For the Dallas Mavericks, the team could use a guy who could play big minutes on the wing and bring defensive versatility. There were not many guys at all in the 2023-24 season who could show that versatility outside of a couple of key role players.

For guys like Josh Green, Dante Exum, and Tim Hardaway Jr., these are guys that could only play at the two or three positions, respectively.

With P.J. Washington playing as a good third option at times, it would help to have someone with size at the three, who can create his own shot, get to the rim, and hit threes when needed.

Ajinca could be someone who could pull up and shoot a sweet stroke but he's also someone who could get rebounds in a big lineup for Dallas at the three.

Harrison said Ajinca is "athletic" with someone who could put up a shot.

In terms of grading the Mavericks' trade-up, Harrison clearly saw something in bringing in someone with size with an "upside." Ajinca averaged 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, and shot 36 percent from 3-point range. He could help the perimeter shooting that Dallas lacked in the 2024 NBA Finals.

B. 3-and-D player that could help the bench eventually. A project player, but an absolute steal drafting him this late. Dallas Mavericks. Mavs grade

This pick was a move for the future, as he may not even have a spot on this year's 15-man roster, but the sky is the limit for young Ajinca.

For more on the Mavs during free agency, stay tuned.