Dallas Mavericks' new trade acquisitions provide boost that team desperately needed

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks
Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks are among the hottest teams coming out of the All-Star break. The team is riding a six-game winning streak as they went 7-3 in their last 10 games. Some big wins included beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 146-111 and the San Antonio Spurs 116-93.

One main difference is the acquisitions of Daniel Gafford and P.J. Washington. The Mavs traded for Gafford on the day of the trade deadline, sending Richaun Holmes and draft compensation to the Washington Wizards. Later that day, the team acquired Washington in exchange for Seth Curry, Grant Williams, and their 2027 first-rounder.

Dallas Mavericks' new trade acquisitions provide boost that team desperately needed

The trades were both viewed as team needs. Dallas wanted to find another center to help alleviate the load from rookie Dereck Lively II. Gafford has started two games for the Mavericks since the trade and scored a double-double in both games.

Washington was someone the team had been keeping tabs on. Dallas wanted to upgrade their power forward position as Grant Williams had begun to decline. The Mav had been in a shooting slump and seemed to be a bit of a distraction. Washington has been a dominant presence down low on both ends. He has done an excellent job being a rebounding body inside and playing solid defense on the wing and in the paint when needed.

So, how much of an impact have both players really had?

For starters, the Mavs' defense has taken a major leap. Over the past six games, Dallas' defense has produced one of the top defensive ratings in the league.

This is an upgrade from the team's overall rating. In contrast to the rest of the league, Dallas ranks 19th overall, with a 116.2 defensive rating. Part of the problem was their struggles in the paint. The Mavs, however, fixed part of their issue with the new acquisitions.

For example, Gafford has been a beast on both sides of the court. He has averaged 15 points per game, 12 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks in three games with the team. He had his best game against the Wizards, as he had 16 points, 17 rebounds, and five blocks. He has been excellent on the defensive side, averaging 7.7 defensive rebounds.

As for Washington, he has been great at using his speed and body to block down low. Against the Spurs last week, he did an excellent job guarding Victor Wembanyama. He limited the rookie's shot selection in the second half and did a great job of clogging passing lanes.

It is also hard to argue when Washington's defensive rating has taken a giant leap with Dallas. Its pretty clear he has been a great defensive replacement for Grant Williams.

It'll be interesting to see how much more the team's defense can improve. The Mavs' defense will be put to test this week when they play host to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks and their improved defense, stay tuned as well have you covered.