The Dallas Mavericks are off to a bland start, but a 22-18 record is still good for the fifth seed in the Western Conference. While Luka Doncic being in and out of the lineup has played a role in their yawning first half, the Mavericks are a safe bet to be buyers at the NBA trade deadline.
This is a team with championship aspirations, a deep roster and the upside for better performance. With forces like the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz ahead of them, Dallas can’t take its conference standing for granted.
Here are three players the Mavericks should target before the NBA trade deadline.
Dallas Mavericks get a versatile frontcourt player in Thaddeus Young
Frontcourt play isn’t holding back the Mavericks, but it’s an area of their roster that could use another weapon. Young would be a savvy pickup.
First of all, Young wants out of his situation with the San Antonio Spurs due to a reduced role and the team preferring to play its youth. In other words, he’s poised to get traded. Young is a versatile player. He can score in a variety of ways including putting the ball on the floor, posting up and, in the past, stretching the floor. All the while, he’s a proven defender. That two-way play fits in well with the Mavericks.
- Thaddeus Young stats (2021-22): 6.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game while shooting 57.0/00.0/44.4
Young gives head coach Jason Kidd a lengthy forward who can score in the halfcourt and enhance a team that has made strides defensively. Young comes in the game for Dorian Finney-Smith, who has a similar skill set to the former, and has the offensive flexibility to complement and not get in the way of Kristaps Porzingis on that end of the floor..
Dallas can send big man Dwight Powell and young guard Josh Green to San Antonio for Young.
Dallas Mavericks bolster rotation with Justin Holiday trade
As previously alluded to, the Mavericks have been a sturdy defensive team this season. Although NBA contenders should look to fill voids, acquiring a player who strengthens a strength is worthwhile, too, especially if they can still improve a weakness. Enter Justin Holiday.
The 32-year-old wing is a walking model of consistency. He’s a steady defender who can be a slashing scorer, shoot from the perimeter at a respectable level and has found success as both a starter and reserve. In all likelihood, Holiday would come off the Mavericks’ bench.
- Justin Holiday stats (2021-22): 10.2 points per game while shooting 39.0/35.4/83.9
Dallas has shuffled different five-man units, which is a result of both health and safety protocols and the team playing .500 basketball for the bulk of the regular season. Whether it be in the starting five or off the bench, Holiday can be another player who benefits from the attention that Doncic and Porzingis attract while adding to the team’s defensive arsenal.
The Indiana Pacers are prime candidates to sell. While Holiday has been seldom mentioned in trades, chances are the Pacers would consider a fair offer for the wing if they trade away a handful of starters (e.g. Myles Turner and Caris LeVert). Dallas can send Indiana big man Moses Brown, guard Frank Ntilikina and a future second-rounder for Holiday. Both players would be instant rotation players for a presumably rebuilding Pacers team.
Dallas Mavericks make a move for Dennis Schroder
It makes sense for the Mavericks to add a point guard who can score and perhaps take some of the ball-handling duties away from Doncic. A move for Schroder would be a bold transaction that makes this rotation even deeper and their offense all the more dangerous.
Dallas has become a defensive-savvy team under Kidd, which has resulted in them becoming an underwhelming offensive operation. Schroder aids them in that regard. He gives them a ball-handler who can score in the halfcourt, facilitate for others and maybe even play just 24 minutes per contest, serving as a backup to Jalen Brunson, who has continually improved.
- Dennis Schroder stats (2021-22): 15.9 points and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 43.2/32.6/85.6
Another option is Schroder being on the floor at the end of games alongside Brunson, adding another player who can create his own shot to the mix. This trade is about Dallas eliminating any loose ends in acquiring a player who is essentially a veteran version of Brunson. They lose little going from one to the other in the middle of games.
While a free agent at the end of the season, the Mavericks will have to make a reasonable trade offer to the Boston Celtics for Schroder. An offer of Sterling Brown, Trey Burke and a future first-rounder figures to do the trick.