The Dallas Mavericks are exploring the trade market for upgrades around Luka Doncic. They need another playmaker and would love to upgrade at the five. Doncic is one of the best players in the world right now, and the front office must put more talent around him if they want to contend for a championship, but they must be smart about building their roster.
The rumors are flying fast and furious this time of year, and the Mavericks were linked as a dark horse candidate to acquire Jakob Poeltl by plugged-in San Antonio expert LJ Ellis of SpursTalk. He notes the two teams have not had trade discussions, but a scout believes he would be a fantastic fit next to Luka and a needed talent upgrade for Dallas.
All of that is true, but acquiring Poeltl would be a massive mistake by the Dallas Mavericks front office that could start a chain reaction that ultimately pushes Doncic out of town. Here is a look at what appears to be the Spurs' firm asking price for the 7’1 big man before diving into how he fits in Dallas and why the Mavs cannot trade for him.
Spurs asking price for Jakob Poeltl is attainable by Mavericks but crushes future moves
San Antonio wants two first-round picks for the rights to acquire Poeltl. The Spurs are beginning a rebuild, so they have zero reasons to be picky about taking a bad contract back in return. Poeltl is making $9.4 million this season but is headed for unrestricted free agency this summer. Marc Stein reported (subscription required) that Poeltl wants $20 million per season in his new deal.
The Mavs owe their 2023 first-round pick to the New York Knicks from the original Kristaps Porzingis trade. If they swap two future firsts for Poeltl, Dallas will be virtually locked in with their current roster. They would have one first-rounder to move, but the Mavericks are not acquiring a second star with just that.
For it to be worth giving up two first-round picks, the Dallas Mavericks would have to jump into title contention by acquiring Jakob Poeltl. Does he push them over the top?