Mavericks trade fell through before NBA Draft due to Hawks asking price

The Dallas Mavericks had trade talks with the Atlanta Hawks leading up to the NBA Draft, but they fell through because of what Atlanta was asking for.
Dallas Mavericks, 2023 NBA Draft, NBA Trade Rumors
Dallas Mavericks, 2023 NBA Draft, NBA Trade Rumors / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Heading into the night of the 2023 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks had the 10th pick, but all of the reports leading into the event indicated they planned on trading it for win-now talent.

At the draft, they ended up trading back two spots from 10 to 12, dumping Davis Bertans’ contract to the Oklahoma City Thunder and drafting Duke center Dereck Lively II with their selection.

In addition, the Mavericks traded into the late first round, too, adding Richaun Holmes into the TPE they created by trading Bertans and drafting defensive-minded forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper.

The moves they made ended up working out super well for the Mavericks, but they had their eyes on some other potential trades which would have taken the place of the deals they made.

Dallas Mavericks trade fell through ahead of NBA Draft because Atlanta Hawks wanted Josh Green

According to long-time NBA insider Marc Stein and his newsletter, “The Stein Line,” (subscription required) the Mavericks had a long dialogue with the Atlanta Hawks about a potential trade for center Clint Capela.

The deal would have seen the two teams swap first-round picks - the Mavericks’ 10th pick and the Hawks’ 15th pick - with Capela heading to Dallas in the deal.

Dallas and Atlanta were talking about this potential trade in the days leading up to the draft, but talks fell through less than a day before the event due to the asking price of the Hawks.

Stein noted that the Hawks were only willing to send Capela to the Mavericks if Dallas sent Josh Green in the deal, which would have been a big-time loss for a Mavericks squad trying to improve their defensive presence.

Green enjoyed a breakout season this past year, appearing in 60 games and playing a career-high 25.7 minutes per contest. He averaged 9.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game on 53.7% shooting from the field and 40.2% shooting from behind the three-point line.

In the end, the Mavericks made a smarter move, as they got to keep Green on the roster, who will undoubtedly be a crucial piece of the puzzle for them next season, likely as a member of the starting lineup alongside Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Capela would have been a great fit in Dallas, as his defensive presence and rebounding could have led the way in the Mavericks’ reshaping of their center position.

Instead, Lively is set to make a big-time impact, and Holmes will immediately give them a boost at the five, too. It’s a great start to Dallas’ summer-long quest to improve their center rotation.

What would Dallas rather have? Capela and whoever they would have taken at pick 15 or Lively, Green, and Holmes? The latter package is definitely a bit more enticing, and that was the route the Mavericks ended up taking.