The Dallas Mavericks had plenty of rumored interest in acquiring Lauri Markkanen, but that is not happening. Shams Charania reported the Bulls are trading him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a three-team deal. Chicago got Derrick Jones Jr., a first-round pick from Portland, and a second-rounder from the Cavaliers as the Blazers received Larry Nance Jr.
The Mavs made moves on the margins this offseason. They added Reggie Bullock, Sterling Brown, and Moses Brown, but failed to sign their desired marquee free agent. Dallas improved their shooting and defense, despite not doing enough to jump into title contention.
The Mavericks would love to add more talent before training camp begins on Sept. 28. Lauri Markkanen was one of the few players readily available that could have made a significant impact, so will Dallas regret not acquiring the 24-year-old big man?
Dallas Mavericks miss on Lauri Markkanen: Will they regret it?
Markkanen would have given the Mavs another talented big man. He shot over 40 percent from 3-point range last season and averages 15.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game for his career. The 24-year-old should continue to improve and would have given Dallas another young building block.
The Cavaliers handed Markkanen a four-year $67 million contract, per Adrian Wojnarowski. They also gave up Larry Nance Jr. and a second-round pick to make the deal happen, meaning it would have likely cost Dallas both Maxi Kleber and a draft pick. The Mavericks need to improve their talent and depth, so swapping one skilled big man for another limits their improvement.
The fit between Markkanen and Kristaps Porzingis would have been problematic which played a role in Dallas decided against making the move. They will not regret paying the price to acquire Markkanen.
The Mavs will continue searching for the right pieces to put around Luka Doncic and landing Goran Dragic remains a strong possibility at some point this season. Dallas will be active as the trade deadline approaches too. Expect the Mavericks to upgrade their roster before the 2022 playoffs. They will be one of the most fun teams to watch this year, so fans should not miss a second of the action.