3. Mavericks get JV from Pelicans
The Pelicans made Jonas Valanciunas available as he enters the final year of his contract. New Orleans wants to improve their rim protection, but what if they traded JV for a wing and three second-round draft picks in hopes of making a bigger splash? New Orleans is a sleeper team in a blockbuster trade, and they could be one step closer with a bit more draft capital.
The Pelicans ultimately say no here unless they have the bigger move lined up. This could become a reality before February’s trade deadline if New Orleans again struggles to stay healthy. Valanciunas will be on an expiring deal, and they could be looking to get anything for him. A role-player and three seconds might be the best offer available.
The Pelicans would benefit from THJ’s shooting after being 29th in 3-pointers attempted last season. Finding minutes on the wing could be difficult, but New Orleans needs a floor spacer around Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram.
The Dallas Mavericks should get aggressive in looking for ways to trade Hardaway Jr. for a center as multiple teams are rumored to have big men on the block. Could they link up with a rival to get a beneficial deal done?