With less than three weeks until the trade deadline, many front offices are likely scouring the league to find ways to improve their rosters. The Dallas Mavericks are presumably doing so in hopes of establishing the team as a legitimate playoff contender.
They have several holes they might need to address, including possibly fortifying their big man depth and bolstering their perimeter defense, which has continued to be a glaring weakness for the squad since earlier this season.
Incidentally, the Mavs could find a solution for both by engaging in trade talks with the Orlando Magic, who are reportedly exploring the trade market for Wendell Carter Jr. and Markelle Fultz, per a report by Marc Stein (subscription required.)
2 Magic players are reportedly expendable, should the Mavericks make a move?
Both Carter Jr. and Fultz are former lottery picks who saw their careers experience a resurgence after moving to Orlando.
Carter Jr. is Luka Doncic's 2018 NBA Draft classmate, with the Chicago Bulls selecting him with the No. 7 pick. He was even the top vote-getter when the 2018 rookies were polled on who they thought would have the best career among their peers. Luka inexplicably didn't get any love at all in that survey.
For a time, though, some believed the Duke University product was a bust, as he couldn't find his niche in Chicago. However, a trade to the Magic midway into the 2020-21 campaign gave him the opportunity to showcase his talents.
Carter Jr. had arguably his best year in the league in the 2021-22 season when he recorded 15.0 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. He has also displayed a potential to stretch the floor, connecting on 43.6% of his 3-point attempts in this campaign.
If Dallas does land WCJ, he could serve as a backup to the franchise's untouchable rookie center, Dereck Lively II, or play alongside him in a twin-tower lineup.
As for Fultz, his injury-ravaged NBA journey has been up and down (but mostly down) since the Philadelphia 76ers used their first overall pick on him in 2017. But, as with the case of Carter Jr., playing in Orlando has benefited his career.
Last season, Fultz appeared in 60 contests, averaging 14.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game. He could provide some depth at the guard for the Mavs and give the team a tall playmaker with the potential and physique to be an above-average defender.
Both Carter Jr. and Fultz could fill a need in Dallas and may not be that expensive to deal for. They appear to have become expendable in Orlando, as other players have overtaken them in the Magic's rotation.
The Mavs may have to proceed with caution, though, because the said players have concerning injury histories. But with WCJ having a relatively affordable contract and Fultz being a free agent in the coming offseason, they might be worth exploring.
To keep up with the latest news about the Dallas Mavericks, stay tuned with us.