DALLAS - The Dallas Mavericks engineered two huge moves in order to get to "the lip of the cup,'' as some in the organization are fond of terming their status as near-contenders.
This week marks another opportunity to engineer another move.
"We've got really nice momentum, as Luka takes the next step and as KP gets healthy, collectively, as is, our team is positioned pretty well to take the next step,'' Mavs GM Donnie Nelson tells DallasBasketball.com.
And it's true. The Mavs as presently constructed are a playoff team, with a chance to rise into the top four slots in the West, powered by first-team All-NBA star Luka Doncic and the healing Kristaps Porzingis, who is likely to miss a few weeks to start the season due to a minor knee surgery that ultimately shouldn't prevent him from returning to stardom.
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So Dallas could in theory do nothing this week - as the NBA opens up the trade window, the NBA Draft (tonight), and on Friday, free agency.
But "do nothing'' seems like a waste of a series of opportunities for a team "at the lip of the cup.''
The Mavs are acutely aware of the availability and cost of trading for established standouts like Victor Oladipo, Zach LaVine, and Danilo Gallinari. They are also aware of ways to pursue a player like Serge Ibaka and a player like Danny Green.
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In theory, the Mavs could use the No. 18 overall pick as part of a way to trade for, say, the Pacers' Oladipo ... and work with the OKC Thunder on a buyout that brings Danny Green to Dallas.
So, Donnie, which is it? Draft? Trade? Free agency?
"You (can) add a nice player at 18 and 31 (Dallas also owns pick No. 31) who is able to grow with this young group,'' Nelson tells DBcom. "(But) all that goes out the (window) if we can get that over-the-top piece.
"Today, next summer, whenever,'' he says, "we'll certainly look hard at it.''