The Dallas Mavericks have gotten two much-needed wins ahead of Thursday's trade deadline, as Kyrie Irving put on an electrifying performance in his return to Brooklyn last night to help Dallas notch a 119-107 victory.
However, despite some promising recent victories as well as some players returning from injury, the Mavericks still desperately need more defensive and rebounding prowess in the frontcourt. Dallas has been rumored to be targeting a few lengthy fours with two-way capability ahead of the deadline, but the Mavericks have also scanned the trade market for a backup center as well.
Dereck Lively II is Dallas' center for years to come, but Dallas will need some assurances behind him come playoff time when you take into consideration Lively II's lack of strength and inability to stretch the floor on offense compared to the league's most elite big men.
Rumors: Dallas Mavericks have 'shown interest' in trade for Magic center
There haven't been many reports of Dallas being linked to a backup big man since they were rumored to be in play for Isaiah Stewart, but Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer recently listed Orlando Magic center Wendell Carter Jr. as another prospective trade target for Dallas.
Carter Jr. is averaging 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per game whilst shooting 40.8 percent on 3-point attempts this season. Carter Jr. would be exactly what the Mavericks need behind Lively II at the backup big position, as he provides a stout interior presence who plays good positional defense and can stretch the floor on offense.
Carter Jr. is only 24-years-old and has the skillset to be a perpetual starting caliber center if he continues to develop, so he may be reluctant to assume a backup position in Dallas at this point in his career. Orlando isn't even looking to move Carter Jr. before the deadline as reported by Fischer, so it seems that the likelihood of Carter Jr. getting traded to Dallas is extremely fringe anyways.
Carter Jr. would be an excellent fit in Dallas, but it seems like there are too many variables in play for Dallas to make a move for him ahead of the deadline. For more on the Dallas Mavericks ahead of the trade deadline, stay tuned.