2 Trades from an opposing GM that turned the Mavericks into a monster

Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II
Dallas Mavericks, Dereck Lively II / Tim Heitman/GettyImages
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1. Sam Presti and Thunder help facilitate Daniel Gafford to Mavericks trade

The Dallas Mavericks were a team that was expected to be buyers at the trade deadline, and their first big move came in the morning as they traded for Daniel Gafford from the Washington Wizards. The Mavs needed a backup big man behind Dereck Lively II badly, and after coming off the bench for a couple of games, Gafford later became the starter in Dallas.

What makes this unique for Dallas though is that Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder helped them facilitate this trade. The Mavs needed to send a first-round pick to Washington, and the Thunder made a separate deal with the Mavs to make this deal possible. Oklahoma City got a first-round pick swap in this trade, which could be huge, but helping the Mavs land another center hurt them once again was bold.

gafford trade

Gafford was excellent as the Mavs starter all season long, and he had a couple of big games against the Thunder in their second-round series. He opened up the series with a 16-point double-double, and he and Lively II formed an elite one-two punch.

The Thunder helping facilitate this trade is also interesting, considering their need for another big. Oklahoma City had every opportunity to trade for Gafford, and rather than get him themselves, they helped the Mavs get him.

Presti doesn't need to be any rush considering how young OKC's core is, but that would have been an easy move that would have made a big difference.

These two trades assisted by Sam Presti ultimately helped turn the Mavs into a monster, and their one-two punch at center will be massive in the Western Conference Finals.

For all the latest on Dereck Lively II, Daniel Gafford, and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the rest of the 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned.