The Dallas Mavericks are not in “panic mode.” Their season hasn’t started in an ideal manner – but much of this is attributed to both injuries and COVID-19 cases within the team. Once they’re healthy, there’s no question that they’re a playoff team, being lead by superstar Luka Doncic. As good as Doncic is, however, it remains to be seen if the Mavericks have enough firepower to beat the likes of the Los Angeles Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and so on. However, they may very well be just a trade away from doing so.
Dallas Mavericks: Early Season Trade Ideas
Zach LaVine Becomes the Third Mavericks’ Star
The trade: The Mavericks send Tim Hardaway Jr., Josh Green, and a future first-round pick to the Chicago Bulls for Zach LaVine.
LaVine would be an instant hit in Dallas. A backcourt of him and Doncic would be a nightmare for any team to defend. Doncic scores in bunches, but also racks up assists with ease. He can easily have more assists per game if his teammates hit shots at a better percentage and LaVine would fix this.
LaVine currently averages 27 points per game and is shooting 38 percent from deep. These numbers will surely go up alongside Doncic. LaVine is a star in the making and will reach All-Star status with the Mavericks.
The Bulls don’t receive a haul in this trade, but they do get more building blocks for the future. Hardaway Jr. is still a very capable starter, but his contract comes off the books this next offseason. Chicago will look for this in a loaded 2021 free-agent class. Green is a promising wing, also a rookie, who can grow in the right environment. He hasn’t had much of a chance in Dallas just yet. Besides, having an extra first-round pick always helps. The Bulls can keep this for the future, or use it as an asset in a future trade.
Buddy Hield Becomes the Mavericks’ Sniper
The trade: The Mavericks send Hardaway Jr., Jalen Brunson, and a future second-round pick to the Sacramento Kings for Buddy Hield.
Hield has been having an up-and-down career in Sacramento. Bogdan Bogdanovic departed, seemingly making the coast clear for Hield, but now rookie Tyrese Haliburton has emerged as a legitimate two-guard. At this point for the Kings, their best option is to trade away Hield and his hefty contract.
One can argue if Hield is worth the $24 million he gets paid every season. Putting that aside, he’s one of the league’s top shooters. The Mavericks don’t need an All-NBA caliber player next to Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis but do need another deadly shooter. Hield fits this mold and could be a dream fit.
Like Chicago, Sacramento would get Hardaway Jr.’s expiring contract in this deal. Choosing to keep him beyond this season is entirely their decision. However, Brunson is a fantastic point guard off the bench and would be a great fit behind De’Aaron Fox. They’ll get cap space for the summer and a proven bench playmaker.
Andre Drummond Completes a Fearsome Frontcourt
The trade: The Mavericks send Hardaway Jr., Dwight Powell, and a future second-round pick to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Andre Drummond.
The Drummond scenario has made its way through the Mavericks’ fan base and it seems like they’re divided about it. He’s clearly a talented player, but his fit is what’s in question. Drummond’s name will continue to appear in the trade mill due to the Cavaliers’ recent acquisition of Jarrett Allen.
Drummond is a defensive menace and one of the best rebounders in the league. Dallas has improved its defense this season, but can certainly improve in the rebounding department. Perhaps the Porzingis-Drummond fit isn’t ideal, but Porzingis has a hefty injury history. Drummond typically stays healthy, so this gives the Mavericks one big with All-Star talent and a consistent appearance on the court.
Hardway Jr. is involved once again due to both his talent and expiring contract. He can serve as a mentor to young Cleveland guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland while still producing well. Powell, on the other hand, gives Cleveland a back-up big to Allen and one they can keep after JaVale McGee hits free agency this coming offseason.