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NBA trades: 5 targets the Mavericks should be exploring

Dallas Mavericks, Jerami Grant
Dallas Mavericks, Jerami Grant / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks, Jonas Valanciunas
Dallas Mavericks, Jonas Valanciunas / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Trade target the Dallas Mavericks should be exploring: 2. Jonas Valanciunas

The Pelicans planned to push for a playoff spot this season, but those hopes are dashed already. Zion Williamson has not played a second and still appears weeks away from returning as New Orleans has won just three of their first 18 games. Making a postseason push from that far down is nearly impossible.

Valanciunas has been the bright spot for the Pelicans as he is averaging 19.4 points and 12.9 rebounds on elite shooting efficiency. The 6’11 big man is 22 of 39 from 3-point range in the early going as he continues to improve his jumper.

The Dallas Mavericks starting five has been among the worst groups in the league, but head coach Jason Kidd prefers playing Kristaps Porzingis at the four. To make that a reality, the Mavs need to upgrade at center. Dwight Powell is a fine backup, but he should be starting on a playoff team.

Valanciunas would be able to space the floor and excel as a roll man working with Doncic and Jalen Brunson. He is the force in the paint and strong rebounder the team needs when taking on one of the league’s best centers in the postseason. Valanciunas’ value is likely at an all-time high, but the Mavs should gauge the Pelicans' interest in trading him away.