Mavs at the NBA Trade Deadline: With Powell Down, Dallas Should Bet On A Pair of Kings

Mike Fisher

DALLAS - Our admiration for the talents of Bogdan Bogdanovic of the Sacramento Kings is no secret. Nor is his relationship with fellow Euro standout Luka Doncic.

Meanwhile, the Kings are going nowhere with Bogdan, even as he's averaging a noteworthy 14.4 points per game; indeed, he's turned down a contract extension, and in terms of "positivity,” there is Sam Amick writing at The Athletic, "a source with knowledge of his thinking says he simply 'wants to win' and that he’s not ruling out the prospect of a long-term stay in Sacramento.''

That's not out-and-out displeasure with his situation in Sacramento. But it's not a ringing endorsement of it. 

And maybe not coincidentally, Dewayne Dedmon seems fully anti-Kings, with the newly-signed center suddenly not in Sacramento's plans and speaking out about it.

"I would like to be traded," Dedmon recently told the Sacramento Bee, an utterance that earned him a $50,000 fine from the NBA. "I haven't been playing, so I would like to go somewhere where my talents are appreciated."

Players aren't supposed to voice such displeasure, but such is life with the Kings, who now have a pair of players who could be on the trade block, Bogdan (in part because he'll be a restricted free agent in the summer and may try to forge an escape) and Dedmon (who the Kings may have misjudged in giving him three years and $40 million - though Mavs watchers should know that number may deceiving as we believe in his final contractual year of 2021-22 he's guaranteed only $1 million, which can change the dynamics of being "locked-in'' cap-wise).

Enter the Mavs, who were surely already eyeballing the idea of Bogdan as a way to build around buddy Luka, and now, in the wake of Dwight Powell's awful Achilles injury, wlll also surely be contemplating big-man help as the Feb. 6 NBA trade deadline approaches.

We can make the argument for working to grab Detroit center Andre Drummond and others for front-court help, And we can make the argument that Dallas has other needs beyond "another shooter.'' (A true 3-and-D guy like Robert Covington? A defensive stopper like Iggy?) But all things considered, check out the "Pair of Kings'' fit:

*The Mavs have a sudden need for an extra big.

*Luka-friendly acquisitions are, for the next decade or so, wise.

*Dallas and Sacramento traditionally have open trade-time communication.

*The Kings have two disgruntled players and are nearing build-for-next-year mode.

Does Dallas have the ammunition? If Sacramento is interested in a decent pick (the Mavs own next year's valued Warriors second-rounder) and an affordable defensive-minded backcourt partner for De'Aaron Fox (Delon Wright?), then the answer is ‘yes.’

Maybe the Kings want more. Maybe the Mavs would also like to shuffle off Courtney Lee. Maybe the 7-footer Dedmon, age 30, is overpaid, though in the last two years in Atlanta he was a 10-points/eight-rebounds guy - nothing shocking either way, but solid enough. (What if one looks at Dedmon this way: He's serviceable at best but is the ballast Dallas must take to get the prize of Bogdan?) And maybe Bogdan, 27, is viewed by Sacto as a foundational piece worth making peace with.

Sacramento has two role players in imperfect situations. And Dallas can use help in two roles. The logic is undeniable: The Mavs, trying to built their way to true contention in the NBA Playoffs, should examine betting on a pair of Kings.