Mavs

Trade Assets Dallas Can Use to Upgrade Their Roster

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The Dallas Mavericks are sitting well above .500 and are securely in position to be playoff bound. Recently, they were linked in trade rumors to be in the running for Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons. The NBA trade deadline is February 6th, and while the Mavs don’t necessarily need to make a trade, do they have assets that they could use to upgrade their roster?

 

When the Mavericks traded for Kristaps Porzingis, included in the deal were two players who were seen as throw-in’s at the time– Tim Hardaway Jr. and Courtney Lee. The Mavericks would absorb their salary as a means to acquiring Porzingis. Now that the team finds themselves in a position to possibly be buyers, are these two players appealing? What else is on the list of Mavericks trade assets?

EVALUATING THE MAVERICKS’ TRADE ASSETS

Hardaway Jr. has the largest contract of all the assets. He’s also seen his value increase as a starter alongside Luka Doncic. However, consistency has been an issue throughout his career, even as a Maverick. The details of his contract aren’t necessarily pretty at the moment either. He is owed $37 million through next season.

For a team to take on this contract, the Mavericks most likely would need to sweeten the deal. Or at the least, take back a longer contract. That scenario doesn’t necessarily fit in the timeline of keeping the future financially bright. Next season is a different story, as Hardaway Jr.’s deal will be expiring, so for now, all signs point to him remaining with the team.

Lee is a different story. His contract, which is slightly under $13 million, is expiring and could be used to acquire a player who no longer fits in with his team’s future. The only real problem is finding a player making a similar salary that would fit in with the Mavericks’ needs. This isn’t an impossible scenario and many longed believe he would be the catalyst in acquiring Andre Iguodala from the Memphis Grizzlies.

Marc Stein has laid those thoughts to rest, however.

Those two are the players that have long been linked to possible deadline deals, but that doesn’t mean that’s all the Mavericks have to offer. The only untouchables on this roster are Doncic and Porzingis– every other contract not mentioned above is fairly favorable in terms of being able to be moved.

OTHER PLAYERS OF VALUE

Jalen Brunson is a promising young point guard who is, at times, buried on a deep roster behind a potential All-NBA guard, Luka Doncic. He’s on a rookie contract and could possibly thrive in a position where he is given more minutes to develop. Finding good point guards are hard in the NBA, and Brunson’s potential could be enough to sway competing offers.

Justin Jackson is a former top-15 pick that didn’t necessarily pan out for the Sacramento Kings, and of now, isn’t wowing crowds in Dallas. His contract is cheap and like with Brunson, the potential is there. Similarly to Brunson, Jackson is used more as a sweetener to sway the trade tide back to Dallas if they found themselves in a bidding war with another team. Most likely, he’s not going to sway the tide by much though.

As far as young players who teams might covet, the list stops there. That doesn’t necessarily mean the assets stop though. As mentioned above, every player on the team has a contract that could be absorbed easily, at least to some degree by another team. The Mavericks have one of the league’s top bench units, so deciding who is essential and who could be upgraded all depends on the in house value each player has.

ALL OTHER ASSETS

Outside of players, the Mavericks also have a few assets left. Namely, the 2nd-round pick from the Golden State Warriors. At the time, the pick was nothing more than a sweetener, but with the downward spiral of the Warriors’ season, the pick has increased in value immensely.

They also own the Utah Jazz’s 2nd-round pick as well. This pick currently projects to be a late-rounder, thus not necessarily offering too much value. Also on the asset list are two trade exceptions. The trade exception essentially works to bring in a player with a matching salary without sending one out. It provides cap relief to the team sending the player to Dallas.

So there you have it. Will the Mavericks make a trade? Who knows. Can they make a trade? Sure, but for the team to make a big splash, it will take some fancy maneuvering. The most realistic scenario for the team is probably a smaller deal acquiring a physical presence in the paint, or a defensive-minded wing player. The list of Mavs’ trade assets isn’t great, but they do have options.

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