DALLAS - The Mavs insist they wish to make the Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis pairing work. But ... How unhappy is Damian Lillard in Portland? How attracted are the Charlotte Hornets to Porzingis?
The answers to those questions are at the core of the three-way NBA trade idea we’ve constructed that would bring Lillard from the Blazers to the Dallas Mavericks.
Sources tell DallasBasketball.com that Lillard is ready to push for his exit from Portland (and that he might wish to push it all the way to the New York Knicks.) But we say the Mavs new management team has to make its own push here.
And it goes exactly like this:
*Porzingis and Josh Richardson go to Charlotte for Terry Rozier, PJ Washington, one more minor contract (let’s use Jalen McDaniels), and a 2023 first-round pick.
*Rozier and Washington go to Portland, along with a Dallas first-round pick swap in 2022, as well as their ‘25, and ‘27 first round picks… and Portland salary-dumps Derrick Jones Jr. on Dallas.
*Dallas ends up with Lillard, Derrick Jones Jr., the minor salary from Charlotte (McDaniels is a client of Mavs-friendly agent Bill Duffy), and the 2023 pick.
How does this fill needs and wants?
Charlotte needs a center. … Has an extra guard … Has $20 mil in cap space - and this uses $19 mil of it, providing them with a clean 2023 pick.
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Portland - unhappy as the fan base will be in losing Dame - actually ends up with a little bit of cap room and a deal for 20-points scorer Rozier that is fairly similar to what was given by Milwaukee for Jrue Holiday. The bundle of picks allows for a roster re-boot.
And the Mavs? Lillard unites with Doncic (and with new Dallas bosses Nico Harrison and Jason Kidd, both of whom have relationships with Dame) to give Dallas the “second star” they only thought they had with Porzingis.