Trade for former Mavericks wing could be the missing piece for Dallas to win a title

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Despite the Dallas Mavericks' starting 11-6 after a victory against Houston on Tuesday night, they still have very noticeable deficiencies that are holding them back from becoming true title contenders. Dallas has suffered immensely on defense in key situations, and while some of it can be attributed to certain players missing games, the Mavericks very clearly lack some size on the wing.

Dallas brought in Grant Williams and Derrick Jones Jr. to alleviate some of their defensive issues on the wing this past offseason, but both players lack in specific defensive criteria that prevent Dallas from becoming a top defense. Jones Jr. is a very active disruptive at the point-of-attack, but his lack of strength and size derail him from being able to counter against more stout wings.

Williams is a big body and understands the Mavericks’ defensive scheme to an absolute tee, but he lacks the mobility to guard some of the more dynamic scoring wings in the NBA. Dallas is still missing a bigger wing with elite length and athleticism, an archetype of a player that is perhaps the most highly coveted of all in the NBA right now.

Trade for former Mavericks wing could be the missing piece for Dallas to win a title

Despite Dallas not having the backing of a rim protector such as Dereck Lively II last season, Dorian Finney-Smith spearheaded the Mavericks’ defense as their best 3-and-D wing on the roster up until he was included in the Kyrie Irving trade. Finney-Smith developed into one of Dallas’ most integral pieces after seven seasons with the team, and according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, the Portsmouth, Virginia native has “previously drawn interest” from Dallas.

The question of when Dallas registered interest in Finney-Smith is one that will likely remain unanswered, but we do know that the Brooklyn Nets are commanding a relatively hefty asking price of multiple first-round picks for the 30-year-old forward.

Whether Nico Harrison would be willing to bargain or not with the asking price laid out by Nets’ general manager Sean Marks is unknown, but given Finney-Smith is having a career season, Dallas inevitably will likely be registering interest in Finney-Smith till the trade deadline at the very least. Finney-Smith would bolster the Mavericks' starting lineup to another level defensively, and there wouldn’t be much of an adjustment at all in terms of getting him acclimated to the team and playbook.

That’s of course assuming Dallas doesn’t lose any substantial depth in a deal for Finney-Smith, and granted that they don’t even currently have multiple first rounds picks to trade at their expense, it would be hard to pull off a deal to bring back Finney-Smith with the Mavericks’ current array of assets.

Finney-Smith is averaging 10.8 points, and 5.5 rebounds, and is shooting 44.1 percent from distance through 17 games for the Nets this year. It’s great to see that Finney-Smith has adjusted to the Nets system, but his skills would arguably be best utilized once again in Dallas next to Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Finney-Smith is in the middle of his prime and could be the Mavericks’ missing piece to becoming a championship contender, but adding him would likely constitute a loss of a young player or key commodity on the Mavericks’ roster. Dallas can’t officially trade for Finney-Smith until the trade deadline (unless he’s shipped to another team first), so a move doesn’t seem to be imminent.

Regardless though, fans would assuredly welcome a reunion with Dallas and Finney-Smith as he may provide just enough defensive and rebounding prowess to thrust the Mavericks into the next echelon as a team.

For more on the Dallas Mavericks and any moves they might make, stay tuned as we'll have you covered.