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Dallas Mavericks: Lauri Markkanen and Kristaps Porzingis would be a defensive nightmare for the Mavs

Darreck Kirby
Dallas Mavericks Lauri Markkanen Kristaps Porzingis
Dallas Mavericks Lauri Markkanen Kristaps Porzingis / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks rumors continue to swirl. Front and center is a sign-and-trade with the Chicago Bulls involving Lauri Markkanen. The price? Reportedly Maxi Kleber, whom the Bulls are interested in.

Markkanen is a promising young player who holds career averages of 15.6 points and 7.1 boards per game. Best of all, the 24-year-old restricted free agent expressed interest in playing in Dallas alongside Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

So while the 2020-2021 season may have seen a little bit of a dip in his production, it’s not out of the question to believe he could be a viable weapon for the new-look Mavericks if the two teams can swing a deal.

More. How a Lauri Markkanen deal could happen. dark

Why the Dallas Mavericks acquiring Lauri Markkanen makes sense

Markkanen shot over 40 percent from three last season, which in and of itself makes him an intriguing addition for the Mavs as they look to surround star Luka Doncic with as much floor spacing as
possible. That Markkanen also shot 48.0 percent from the field and posted an effective field goal percentage of over 59 percent put the icing on the cake.

The loss of Maxi Kleber in such a trade would sting. Not only is he a fan favorite, but Kleber has grown so much over his four-year NBA career. That said, he is going on 30-years-old and, despite shooting over 41 percent from three last season, the forward vanished over the final three games of the first-round playoff loss to the LA Clippers.
In the past, he’s been a versatile defender, capable of guarding Kawhi Leonard for long stretches as Dallas fell in successive years to LA in six games and then seven.

In short, Kleber isn’t likely to ascend much higher if at all beyond the player he is today, and that makes his value significant when potentially acquiring a promising player like Markkanen.