With the NBA trade deadline just three weeks away, the Dallas Mavericks have been linked to a handful of rumors, from having interest in Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner and Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins, to other teams having interest in some of their own players as well.
According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, other teams having interest in some of the Dallas' best role players might not matter too much, as the Mavs like where they currently are at this point in the season and in the Western Conference standings.
"Jalen Brunson and Dorian Finney-Smith are who everyone (around the league) wants," said Stein in his recent report. "(But the Mavs) are playing so well that they don't want to trade them."
Although the Mavs could use some upgrades to their roster to further enhance depth and consistency as they attempt to end a decade-long playoff series win drought this season, Brunson and Finney-Smith have proven to be so valuable that it would surely take a no-brainer trade offer from an opposing team to pry them away right now.
Brunson is averaging 15.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game this season, which are all career highs for him. He's also shooting 50 percent from the field. Finney-Smith is averaging a career-high 10.4 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field and 37 percent from deep. Although his raw numbers won't 'wow' you on a nightly basis, Finney-Smith's activity on defense has been a big key to Dallas' success on that end of the floor this season.
There has been some speculation about the Mavs potentially not being able to retain both Brunson and Finney-Smith this summer if owner Mark Cuban looks to duck the luxury tax with Luka Doncic's supermax contract about to go into effect, but maybe Dallas could instead look to trade Tim Hardaway Jr. to make the necessary room.
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Hardaway Jr. is having a down year for the Mavs after signing his four-year, $72 million contract in the offseason, shooting just 39 percent from the field and 33 percent from deep. However, could it be that he just isn't as good of a fit in head coach Jason Kidd's system as he was in Rick Carlisle's system? Regardless, even with a contract that decreases yearly, it might be worth it for the Mavs to make a trade simply to get off of the long-term commitment.
Although the Mavs have long been speculated to be Goran Dragic's destination if he gets bought out by the Toronto Raptors, perhaps there could be trade to be made instead. Dragic is 35 years old, but he's on an expiring $19 million contract and would surely re-sign with the Mavs this offseason for much less than that. He is also like a big brother to Luka and would be an excellent addition to Dallas' locker room leadership.
If the Raptors, who have actually been respectfully decent this season despite losing Kyle Lowry last summer, want to something for Dragic instead of potentially losing him for nothing in a buyout situation, this might be their best option.
There have been no reports of the Mavs shopping Hardaway Jr., but there hasn't been any reports of the Mavs not wanting to trade him either. What we do know now, though, is that it will likely take a hefty price from another team wanting to acquire Brunson or Finney-Smith. Given how they've played individually and how the team has performed overall lately, we can't blame the Mavs for this stance they've taken.
Stay tuned to DallasBasketball.com for all Mavs trade rumor and report updates.