After Early-Season Inconsistencies, the Mavs Need to Make a Trade
Despite the message being intimated from the source, the Mavs had a largely unsuccessful summer in free agency. So far in 2019, what they have put together just hasn't worked.
Starting lineup and rotation tinkering aside, the simple truth is that from what we have seen from this roster, is there is not enough offensive firepower outside of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis to take the steps forward that this franchise wants to take.
So, with minimal assets at their disposal, where do the Mavericks go from here to solidify and bolster their ranks?
The good news for the Mavericks is that there are realistic options in the trade market to pursue, that could make an instant impact.
With that in mind, let's take a look at a few options the Mavs could consider going forward.
Goran Dragic - Miami Heat
Between Jalen Brunson and Delon Wright, guard play off of the bench has been a major issue for Dallas this season. Wright has been fine defensively, but neither guy has provided much if any, scoring punch when Luka Doncic goes off of the floor. J.J. Barea is also a non-factor here at his age, and coming off of his Achilles injury.
Goran Dragic, who the Mavs nearly acquired this summer before the deal embarrassingly fell through, could fix those issues. He's already proven early on this season to be willing to come off the bench, and he has excelled in that role, averaging 16.1 points and 5.1 assists, while hitting 42.4-percent from three.
Aside from the obvious Doncic connection, which would only make the transition for both players easier, Dragic provides the veteran shot-creating presence off of the bench that the Mavs lack. He is also an expiring contract, can play on or off the ball, and could help carry the team offensively when Doncic is on the bench.
The main obstacle here would be convincing the Heat to part ways with Sixth Man of the Year candidate because he has played a critical role in his team's 8-3 start.
Bogdan Bogdanovic - Sacramento Kings
The Mavericks are in serious need of an outside shooter, and Bogan Bogdanovic might be the most attainable name on the market at that position as of today. Again, setting aside the connections to Luka Doncic, Bogdanovic seems to have one foot out of the door in Sacramento after the Kings decided to extend Buddy Hield in October, leaving the 6-foot-6 Serbian sixth-man as the odd man out.
On the floor, Bogdanovic is an excellent shooter, hitting 39.7-percent from three on 6.8 attempts per game. He is also a solid passer for his position, averaging four assists per game, and while not a great on-ball defender, he is opportunistic and instinctual, averaging 1.3 steals per game.
At 27-years-old, Bogdanovic is in the prime of his career, but would the Kings be willing to make another deal with the Mavs so soon after the Harrison Barnes deal?
Danilo Gallinari - Oklahoma City Thunder
After being traded from the Clippers as part of the Paul George deal, Danilo Gallinari might be the ideal solution for what the Mavericks need to put next to Luka Doncic in their starting lineup. Gallinari is a 6-foot-10 sharpshooting wing, who can explode for 30 points on any given night.
So far this season he is averaging 18.1 points and 4.9 rebounds while hitting 42.1-percent from three with a 54.7 effective field goal percentage. He is also a 92.5-percent free-throw shooter.
Despite what they might say publicly, the Thunder are in the midst of a rebuild and are looking to strip their roster and ship the pieces off for assets. Gallinari is an expiring deal, and could easily be moved for the right price. Could the Mavericks put together something the Thunder would be interested in? Perhaps, but it would likely have to involve something like Jalen Brunson for it to work.
DeMar DeRozan - San Antonio Spurs
Admittedly the biggest longshot of the bunch, San Antonio Spurs guard/wing DeMar DeRozan could be on his way out of San Antonio with the two parties nowhere close to an extension, according to a report from Marc Stein of the New York Times.
DeRozan is in the final year of his deal with San Antonio, with a player option for the 2020/21 season.
While not a great three-point shooter, DeRozan is still an elite scorer who averages 20.1 points per game this season and would be an excellent complement next to Luka Doncic. He can create his own shot, is adept a getting to the free-throw line, and is a solid playmaker, averaging 4.8 assists per game.
It's true that DeRozan's numbers have gone down in San Antonio, but he has never been a great fit in Gregg Popovich's offense either. He has also never played alongside a playmaker like Doncic, who could potentially help revamp his offensive output.
The main hurdle here would obviously be putting together a package that San Antonio would consider, and again, that might involve trading Jalen Brunson; only this time, within the division.
Steven Adams - Oklahoma City Thunder
Another veteran piece from the Thunder that could be on the move, Steven Adams fills a different, but equally-important need for the Mavs. After trading Russell Westbrook, it is hard to see a long term fit for Adams in Oklahoma City, and he has been named in connection with multiple trade suitors for some time now.
Dwight Powell has been a disappointment as a starter, and Maxi Kleber seems better suited for a role off of the bench than as a full-time starter. With those two in place, rebounding and interior defense have been major issues for Dallas, and it has forced Luka Doncic to spend extra energy to try and make up for the difference on the boards.
Moreover, Kristaps Porzingis, while a very good shot blocker, doesn't possess the strength to hold his own on the block, and has been pushed around way too much through the first 11 games.
Adams would fix all of those issues and more. He is an elite rim-running threat, an elite rebounder, and would immediately provide some much-needed toughness on the interior for a team that lacks any sign it.