Former Dallas Maverick Wants Team To Pursue Clippers' Star, Form 'Nasty' Big Three

Could the Mavs swing the fences for a huge trade?
May 3, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) moves the ball past Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the first quarter during game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
May 3, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; LA Clippers forward Paul George (13) moves the ball past Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) during the first quarter during game six of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are coming off an improbable run to the NBA Finals, losing in five games to the Boston Celtics. Some tweaks are needed, and while General Manager Nico Harrison has said he expects the top 7-or-8 players from last season to still be in the rotations next, fans are curious about what moves could be up Harrison's sleeve.

Some think the team's biggest need is 3-point shooting role players, while others think the Mavericks need a consistent third scorer. One of those thinking the latter is former Maverick Raymond Felton, who wants the team to swing for the fences and try to bring in Paul George from the Los Angeles Clippers.

On the debut episode of "To The Baha" with Theo Pinson, another former Maverick, Felton suggests bringing in George would be an incredible combination.

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"This summer though, [The Mavericks] gotta go get another scorer," Felton stated. "Gotta go get another playmaker. If you can steal a guy like Paul George, go get him. If you can get a Paul George here [in Dallas]... it's probably not gonna happen, but they're trying to do three All-Stars in [Philadelphia], so why not try to do three here?... If you can bring PG with [Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic], put PG at the 3 or the 4... PG would be nasty."

It would be close to impossible for the Mavericks to pull off acquiring Paul George, but there is a path. George has to decide on his player option this summer, worth $48.7 million for the 2024-25 season. He's been seeking more long-term security, as he's 34 years old and in line for his last big payday. The Clippers, to this point, have not been willing to "meet his price," per Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

The only way this works for the Mavericks is a sign-and-trade or an opt-in-and-trade from George with him controlling where he wants to go. For Dallas to match that $48 million number though, they'd likely have to give up Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, Josh Green, Dwight Powell, and two of the three of A.J. Lawson, Jaden Hardy, and Olivier-Maxence Prosper, plus draft capital and a two-or-three-year max contract to George the moment the trade is completed to get the deal done. You could substitute a player like P.J. Washington for Josh Green and Prosper, but Dallas will likely want to try and hang on to their core rotation. This trade would keep the Mavericks under the first tax apron, allowing them to hold onto their tax-payer midlevel exception worth around $5 million to add another rotation piece.

The Clippers traded a war chest of assets to acquire George in the 2019 offseason, including Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari, five first-round draft picks, and two first-round pick swap options. This move also helped them land Kawhi Leonard in free agency who had just won a championship with the Toronto Raptors and most teams would do a deal like that, but they've gotten little return on investment in that deal. The Clippers have made just one Western Conference Finals appearance since acquiring Leonard and George, while Gilgeous-Alexander has blossomed into a superstar for the Thunder, finishing second in the MVP race in the 2023-24 season while leading OKC to the top seed in the West.

There's no chance the Clippers could recover anything close to what they gave up for George, given his age, but there's not a lot to be excited about in the Mavs' offer outside of Green, Prosper, and Hardy unless they can turn some of those bigger salaries into other future draft capital. They have no reason to gut their roster, as they don't have full rights on any of their first-round picks until 2030.

Having a big three used to be the preferred method of building a team, if you look at examples like the early 2010s Miami Heat, the 2021 Brooklyn Nets, the current Clippers, and the current Phoenix Suns. It is much harder than it used to be to have three max-level players and not be penalized given the new tax aprons. The Suns had three max-contract players this season with Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, and Bradley Beal, and couldn't fill out the rest of the roster with quality role players to make it worth it. They finished as the 6th seed in the West and were swept by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the opening round of the playoffs. The NBA is too talented now to forgo having solid depth in the rotation.

Teams can start negotiating with free agents in a little over a week, though some trade action will happen during the NBA Draft on June 26 and 27.

READ MORE: Nico Harrison Reveals Plans for Mavericks Roster Before NBA Draft, Free Agency

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Austin Veazey


Austin Veazey joined NoleGameday as the Lead Basketball Writer in 2019, while contributing as a football writer, and started as editor for MavericksGameday in 2024. Veazey was a Florida State Men’s Basketball Manager from 2016-2019. Follow Austin on Twitter at @EasyVeazeyNG