The Dallas Mavericks currently hold a 22-18 record and rank fifth in the Western Conference standings with just under a month until the NBA trade deadline. Could the team look to bolster their backcourt depth by making a trade with the Boston Celtics?
Ahead of the trade deadline, ESPN created a guide on what to watch and potential deals for all 30 teams around the NBA. Among them was a suggestion for the Mavericks to strike yet another deal with the Celtics, but this time for Dennis Schroder.
The trade package itself would involve the Mavericks using the $10.9 million trade exception the team created by moving Josh Richardson to the Celtics in the offseason. Meanwhile, Dallas would send a pair of second round picks as the only compensation.
Dennis Schroder into the Mavericks' $10.8 million trade exception. The Celtics would get back the Mavericks' second-round picks in 2022 and 2024. This trade would put the Celtics under the luxury tax. — ESPN
Schroder was signed by the Celtics late in free agency after most teams who sought a point guard had already made their moves. The intent of his one-year, $5.9 million contract was to make an impact for a hopeful contender in a 'prove it' arrangement.
The expectation has been that Schroder could get moved at the trade deadline for a while given how it'll be challenging for the Celtics to retain him. It's been a volatile season for Schroder where he's had real boom-or-bust outings, but overall, he is averaging 15.9 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 4.6 assists on the season.
If the Mavericks are intent on continuing to deploy a starting backcourt of Jalen Brunson and Luka Doncic, making a move for a backup point guard to help lead the bench unit could make sense.
The only potential concern for the Mavericks in this particular scenario would be that Schroder is likely a rental, given that he's a free agent at the end of the season. Paying two point guards in Brunson and Schroder when Luka Doncic will begin a supermax deal seems unwise, depending on price.
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A decision for the Mavericks would need to come down to how much they value the 2021-22 season and their perception of their chances to pull off a deep playoff run. If Dallas feels as though they can advance far, then taking a chance on Schroder could make sense.
One other concern might be whether or not Dirk Nowitzki, who was officially hired as a ‘special advisor’ for the Mavs in the offseason, would give his blessing for a move like this. During his playing days, Nowitzki wasn’t always the fondest of Schroder, but perhaps he’s softened his stance there over the years.
Keep in mind, at his peak, Schroder put together a strong 2019-20 campaign with the OKC Thunder and was a finalist for the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year award. He averaged 18.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists in 61 outings with impressive efficiency.
On the other hand, the 'peak' is the 'peak' for a reason—because it doesn't happen too often. Schroder has plenty of seasons where his offensive efficiency is frankly mediocre, and that could pose a problem if he's playing plug-and-play lineups with Luka Doncic.
In his career, Schroder has played 19 games against the Mavericks and has averaged 17.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. In terms of scoring efficiency, he's gone 46.5 percent from the floor and 34.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Another factor to take into consideration is whether the Mavericks still are confident in their chances of landing Goran Dragic. While he's been away from the Toronto Raptors for a while and has only played five games this season, there was a lot of smoke linking the Mavs to him before the season.
The Mavericks recently were linked to Myles Turner as a potential trade suitor by The Athletic's Shams Charania. It seems as though there will be plenty to monitor in terms of potential deals for Dallas as the trade deadline continues to approach.