Rumors: Dallas Mavericks eyeing surprising center to be co-star to Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks are searching for a co-star to complement Luka Doncic. They know they need another All-Star if they want to contend for a championship and keep their 23-year-old superstar in Dallas long-term. Their front office is exploring every avenue and kicking the tires on every situation ahead of the Feb. 9 trade deadline.

The Mavericks are more likely to trade for a co-star in the offseason. Teams have more flexibility to make moves in the summer, and Dallas will likely have a full cupboard of first-round picks to trade, assuming the first-round pick that they owe the New York Knicks from the original Kristaps Porzingis trade conveys.

ESPN’s Tim MacMahon floated an interesting rumor on the Lowe Post podcast about the Mavericks acquiring Deandre Ayton down the road to pair with Luka. The Suns selected Ayton with the number one pick in 2018 over Doncic, and the talented center is not exactly happy in Phoenix. Here is a closer look at what MacMahon had to say, and when the Mavericks could acquire the 24-year-old center.

Rumors: Dallas Mavericks eyeing Deandre Ayton to be long-term co-star to Luka Doncic

Ayton helped the Suns reach the NBA Finals in 2021, and he is a proven rebounder and defensive anchor that could thrive playing next to Luka Doncic in Dallas. His days in Phoenix may be numbered, and here is what MacMahon had to say about the Mavs' interest in the 6’11 big man.

"Deandre Ayton is certainly interesting, and he can veto any trade this year because he signed that extension. I don’t know that there’s a very long list that he would veto. I think that it is reasonable to assume, based on the way things played out this summer and some of the comments that he made, that he might not see Phoenix as his long-term home. Certainly, he wanted to go to Indiana. Whether that happens now or not, I don’t know. It is interesting. He is a name I’ve heard around the Mavericks, and I think that would have to be a later than right now type of situation."

MacMahon notes the team’s need for a co-star, and the front office believes in his fit next to Luka before mentioning the two players being represented by the same agent in Billy Duffy. Fans can hear everything MacMahon had to say about the Mavericks and Ayton on the Lowe Post podcast below.

Ayton is expected to be available in the offseason after the way his extension talks worked out. It could be the 6’11 big man asking out or just the Suns deciding to move on, but they must quickly decide how to build out their roster around Devin Booker. Chris Paul is starting to decline, and Phoenix needs a plan of what is next for their franchise.

Ayton is an incredible talent, but he is not the first player that jumps to mind when thinking about who fits as the Mavericks' second star. The 24-year-old former number-one overall pick could be a strong pick-and-roll partner for Luka Doncic that can lead the team’s defense, but they would need more ball-handling and playmaking around that duo to maximize their title odds.

The Dallas Mavericks want to acquire a second star to play next to Luka Doncic, and Deandre Ayton could be one of the best players available this summer. Can the Mavs front office land him in Dallas? Is Ayton enough to push the Mavericks into title contention? Stay tuned to see who Dallas finds as their second star, and how they build their roster around LD.

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