The Dallas Mavericks have already upgraded their big-man depth by adding Christian Wood and JaVale McGee into the mix, but what if they kept that upgrade momentum going by trading for DFW native and Indiana Pacers versatile center, Myles Turner? And what about Buddy Hield as well to give Luka Doncic another lethal 3-point shooter?
The Pacers are in an interesting situation, as they could easily be seen as a rebuilding team for the next few years, yet they likely have enough talent on the roster to keep them from completely bottoming out. Turner is entering the final year of his current contract with Indiana and has yet to sign an extension. If that doesn't change, the Pacers will risk losing him for nothing in free agency next summer if they don't trade him between now and next season's trade deadline.
Indiana is in a weird position with Hield as well, who was brought in via trade with Tyrese Haliburton from the Sacramento Kings last season in exchange for Domantas Sabonis. Hield would appear to be a great fit in coach Rick Carlisle's offense, but the Pacers already roster Haliburton, Chris Duarte and Benedict Mathurin, who was the No. 6 pick in this year's NBA Draft. Haliburton was the real prize for trading Sabonis, and Hield was a footnote.
Given that the Mavs now have some big men to spare in potential trades – Carlisle-friendly big men at that – here's the trade GM Nico Harrison should at least call the Pacers about.
Mavs receive: Myles Turner, Buddy Hield
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Pacers receive: Tim Hardaway Jr., Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, 2025 first-round pick
We recently wrote about why the Mavs likely won't make a splashy trade between now and next summer due to restrictions on draft assets. Dallas still owes the New York Knicks its 2023 first-round pick, and the only way the 2025 pick listed above could be traded now is if the lottery protections on the 2023 pick are lifted. The Mavs would likely have to attach at least one first-round pick in a trade with the Pacers, not only because of the talent coming back, but Hardaway Jr. has three years left on his contract, whereas Hield only has two.
Would the Mavs view this kind of return as being worthy of trading more draft capital now? How interested would the Pacers be in the proposed Mavs' package? Surely it would be more favorable than the Los Angeles Lakers' offer of Russell Westbrook ... right?
If the Mavs are patient and wait until next summer before trading anymore future draft picks, they would have the ability to accumulate enough picks and pick swaps to get their foot in the door of trade talks if another superstar becomes available on the trade market – something they haven't been able to do this summer in the Kevin Durant or Donovan Mitchell sweepstakes. But as we've learned time and time again with the Mavs in the past, betting on future hypotheticals doesn't get you very far.
When you have a roster that just made it to the Western Conference Finals, it can be tempting to throw future flexibility out the window if the right opportunity presents itself. It's just up to the Mavs to figure out what and when that right opportunity is.