DALLAS - Before the thick of the NBA offseason was underway, the Dallas Mavericks made it clear that acquiring a secondary ball handler to pair with Luka Doncic will be a priority.
Sights were initially set on Kawhi Leonard as a primary target in the event he were to show indication he was considering a departure from the LA Clippers. It quickly became clear that it was not the case and their efforts would come up short.
It became clear that Leonard had intentions of remaining with the Clippers to which the focus then shifted to signing Kyle Lowry in free agency. With the Miami Heat being a strong front-runner early to sign Lowry, the Mavericks' outlook to get it done was poor.
As reported by Marc Stein, the Mavericks did 'aggressively' attempt to acquire Goran Dragic using a trade from the Raptors. Those efforts have been rebuffed as Toronto needs to be incentivized to move the player they acquired for Kyle Lowry.
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When evaluating the landscape, it seems clear that Dallas will need to make a genuinely intriguing trade offer if the goal is to acquire Dragic. The Raptors organization does not have a history of doing buyouts and the team acquired Dragic in exchange for Kyle Lowry.
The options are bleak for a secondary ball-handler without using a trade. When considering the lack of assets the Mavericks have to offer, those options are underwhelming, too.
Dragic not only checks the box of being another pick-and-roll ball handler that can initiate offense, he would bring a leadership presence that already resonates with Luka Doncic.
The Mavericks could wait for a buyout or to complete a trade but that could prove to be a real risk when considering other teams will be intrigued by the prospect of acquiring Dragic.