On Monday, the Dallas Mavericks took on yet another Western Conference opponent, the Utah Jazz. Compared to their first meeting, this would be a completely flipped script, and the Jazz would end up blowing out the Mavs 127-90.
Despite the blowout loss, the Mavericks would see Kyrie Irving on the floor for the first time since his scary injury. In 32 minutes, Irving only managed to score 14 points, but this production is expected to rise as Irving gets back into shape.
Since Irving's 12-game absence, it has been clear that the Mavericks need to add a third star into their starting lineup if they wish to make that championship push in late May. Even if the Mavericks don't wish to add a big name at the deadline, they need to upgrade defensively.
Dallas Mavericks young guard named as 'top trade target' for Jazz
Given that Irving missed 12 games, the team had to rely on guards like Dante Exum and Jaden Hardy. Both have been streaky since Irving's absence, but both proved to be good rotational guards.
Since playing Utah, one Mavs name could jump onto the Jazz's interest board. Mavericks guard Jaden Hardy was recently listed on Zach Buckley's "Top Three Trade Targets" for the Jazz.
There haven't been any reports or rumors on whether the Jazz are interested in the young guard, but this wouldn't be the first time Dallas fans heard Hardy's name in trade rumors. Since the offseason, Hardy's name has been thrown around in potential trade packages for bigger names.
If Dallas were to capitalize on Utah's interest, they could walk away with a name like Jordan Clarkson or Kelly Olynyk depending on the package they threw together. If the Mavs wanted to go a step further and expand the trade past those names, they could make a push for star center Lauri Markkanen.
Although landing Markkanen would be extremely challenging, he would be a game changer on this roster.
Hardy would not only fit Utah's projected timeline, but he would also become a vital piece in their offense.
The Dallas Mavericks have lost three out of their last four games and now face off against the Portland Trail Blazers tonight. This could be a good opportunity for the Mavericks to get back in the win column. For more updates on Mavericks basketball, stay plugged in.