The Dallas Mavericks have a real "rebounding problem,'' something head coach Rick Carlisle admitted to after he watched the defending champion Lakers out-rebound his team by a 53-27 margin in a 138-115 blowout loss. That rebound disparity also led to the Lakers having a historic 35-0 advantage in second-chance points.
If Carlisle can’t fix this issue by adjusting his team’s rebounding strategy, and if the players can’t fix the issue by raising their collective effort level, then maybe the Mavs front office will start surveying the NBA landscape for potential trade targets capable of helping that weakness.
And if the Mavs do start looking for a player to fill the specific need of rebounding, we say Cleveland’s Andre Drummond should be at the top of that list.
Back in January of this year, the Mavs were connected to Drummond in NBA trade rumors. Those rumors were shot down by the Mavs, with one ‘high-ranking Mavs official’ telling the Dallas Morning News than Drummond just didn’t make sense for them.
Fast-forward nearly one full year later, and Drummond suddenly seems to make a lot more sense for this Mavs team than he did in previous rumors, especially since he’s now on an expiring contract.
For his career, Drummond averages 14 points and 14 rebounds per game, and he’s already started off this season by putting up those exact numbers, plus four assists, in the Cavs’ season-opening win over the Hornets. Drummond may not be the best defender, and he may not be the most versatile offensive player due to his lack of shooting, but there’s one thing you’re guaranteed to get from him in high volume on a nightly basis — rebounding.
Although the 27-year-old has his limitations in that he is a more "traditional'' center, there’s something to be said about the talent he’s played with so far in his career as well.
Just like was the case with Tim Hardaway Jr. coming to Dallas from New York, third-year superstar Luka Doncic would be, by far, the best point guard Drummond has ever played with.
The fit with Kristaps Porzingis, who played his best basketball last season when playing at center, is questionable for sure, but ask yourselves this question: After what you’ve seen through the preseason and the first two games of this Mavs regular season, would you rather rely on Dwight Powell or Andre Drummond as one of your most featured bigs?
Some of us at DallasBasketball.com have admittedly been resistant to the idea of the Mavs adding Drummond in the past, but after what we witnessed from the Mavs on Christmas Day, it may be time to adjust those stances, especially if Drummond’s trade value is as low as it was last season when the Pistons shipped him to the Cavs for some pocket change and a bag of chips.
The big question, though, is if the Mavs themselves have changed their mind on Drummond. There are other trade targets out there that could help this Mavs roster, but again, if improving the specific need of rebounding is the goal, they won’t find another target as attainable to them as Drummond would be.