Rumors: Mavericks' trade interest in defensive-minded center has 'faded'

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New York Knicks v Atlanta Hawks / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

This summer, one of the Dallas Mavericks' biggest needs was finding a new rim protector.

Their defense from the season before was abysmal, and they didn't have anyone who could protect the rim.

But that all changed on draft night.

Rumors: Mavericks' trade interest in defensive-minded center has 'faded'

The Mavs selected Dereck Lively II with the No. 12 overall pick, and he has been everything that they've needed from a big man. Lively II is averaging 8.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 72.9 percent from the field.

He has been one of the best rookies in the NBA, and his chemistry with Luka Doncic is off the charts.

But before Dallas struck gold in the draft, they had their eyes on a different shot-blocking center. The Mavs were constantly in trade rumors for Clint Capela this offseason, but due to Lively II's excellent play to start the season, their interest in Capela has "faded" (per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype).

Capela is averaging 10.6 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 57.2 percent from the field. Capela is a similar player to Lively II in that they both are solid rim protectors and lob catchers out of the pick and roll, but the possibility of Dallas trading for Capela now seems lower.

This doesn't mean that Capela still can't become a Maverick this season, as Scotto reported that "some rival executives believe Capela could be used as a trade chip again before the February trade deadline."

Dallas may not have the same urgency to acquire a new center as they did this summer, but Capela isn't out of the picture by any means. The NBA trade deadline always has crazy moves go down, and Dallas could form a top center duo in the NBA at the deadline with Lively II and Capela if they'd like.

For all the latest news and rumors about the Dallas Mavericks this season, stay tuned.