NBA legend calls out Mavericks, suggests move to become contenders

Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks v Los Angeles Lakers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks have struggled to stay afloat during January. The team started the month hot with a three-game winning streak as they took down the two-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves.

However, since that impressive victory, Dallas has gone 2-4. The Mavs are riding a two-game losing streak and have suffered crucial defeats to the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics.

Injuries have been a concern, as many players have been out for a significant time. All-Star Luka Doncic missed three games this month with a sprained ankle. Rookie Dereck Lively II also fell to the injury bug as he missed a couple of games with an ankle injury.

NBA legend calls out Mavericks, suggests move to become contenders

Dante Exum, too, fell to injuries, as the up-and-coming guard has been out since the beginning of the month with a right plantar sprain.

One solution to the Mavs' woes could be making a trade. NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson tweeted how Dallas compares to the rest of the Western Conference. He believes the team is a trade away from being contenders.

Magic might be on to something; it's already been reported that the Mavs want to upgrade their power forward position.

The reasons for the Mavs wanting to upgrade likely include rebounding and defense. Dallas currently ranks in the bottom 10 in overall rebounding and defensive rebounding. The team averages 41.8 rebounds per game, the seventh worst in the league. On the defensive side, Dallas pulls in 31.5 defensive boards.

The problem is the Mavs lack the aggression and toughness to crash the glass. Doncic leads the team with 7.7 defensive rebounds. After that, no one else averages more than five defensive rebounds.

Another issue is the defense. The Mavs currently rank 20th in the league in terms of defensive rating. All of the main defensive categories such as steals, blocks, and opponent points inside the paint, Dallas ranks in the bottom 20. The team also allows the opposition to average 14.6 second-chance points.

Part of the problem could also be the Mavericks are too small. Lively II is the tallest player on the roster at 7-foot-1. No one else on the roster comes close to his height, as both Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber are listed as 6-foot-10.

Other root causes might be that certain players have yet to live up to their expectations. The Mavs traded for Grant Williams during the offseason, however he has struggled as of late.

This has caused the Mavs to shift gears and focus on upgrading their power forward position.
Over the past weeks, the Dallas Mavericks have shown interest in players such as P.J. Washington, Andrew Wiggins, and Daniel Gafford.

Dallas has also shown interest in other players like Kyle Kuzma and Jerami Grant.

So, it's possible Magic's idea could become a reality.

It is no question the Mavs need help upfront. With the NBA trade deadline two weeks away, it will be up to Nice Harrison to save the day.

For all the latest on the Dallas Mavericks' trade rumors this season, stay tuned.