After hitting near-rock bottom in 2018, finishing with just 24 wins, the Dallas Mavericks landed the fifth overall pick, which delivered Trae Young, who was quickly sent to the Atlanta Hawks for Luka Doncic instead. The Mavs missed the playoffs in Doncic’s first season but quickly rebounded, reaching the postseason each of the next three years, including a trip to the Western Conference Finals.
But then the 2023 season came along, and for whatever reason, the Mavs could never soar above .500, even after trying to get an immediate jolt by trading for Kyrie Irving just ahead of the trade deadline. Now, the Mavericks, having missed the playoffs for the first time since Doncic’s rookie season, must find a way to return to prominence.
The Mavericks are entering a crucial offseason, where they have to decide whether to make an enormous offer to retain Irving, who’s set for free agency, and have to continue building the best roster they can around their 24-year-old superstar. Below, you’ll find the latest Mavericks rumors from the NBA draft, free agency, and trades.
Mavericks expected to move on from Christian Wood
Last offseason, we saw the Mavericks add to the frontcourt by sending out the 26th pick, Boban Marjanovic, and lesser parts for Christian Wood. But now the 6-foot-10 scorer is headed for free agency, and according to Marc Stein, there are no plans to retain the 27-year-old. With the Mavericks having a high payroll and zero money to spend on outside free agents, it seems they’re content with letting Wood leave without getting anything in return.
Tenth overall pick discussed in trades
As the Mavericks embark on another offseason trying to improve the roster around Doncic, one rumor that won’t go away involves trading the tenth pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. According to Yahoo’s Jake Fischer, the Mavs are “widely known to be evaluating trade possibilities” with their top pick.
One of those scenarios reportedly includes another blockbuster with the Atlanta Hawks. Fischer notes a deal involving Davis Bertans and the tenth pick has been discussed with the Hawks in exchange for John Collins and pick No. 15. If Wood is set to leave in free agency, adding Collins would be a simple replacement without moving too far down in the draft order.
In addition to potentially parting with their first-round pick, the Mavericks are also said to be looking to add to their coaching staff with a familiar name basketball fans are already well aware of.
Mavs not willing to work with Kyrie Irving on sign-and-trade
Kyrie Irving is set for free agency, making the eight-time All-Star the best player expected to be available this summer. Naturally, teams will be swarming around the 31-year-old point guard as they try to become the next-best contender.
But the Mavericks hope to avoid Irving hitting the open market by signing their trade acquisition to a long-term agreement this summer. This is key, as the Mavs can offer Irving more than any other team in free agency.
While there is a way for Irving to secure the same contract he could get from Dallas, it would have to be via a sign-and-trade. Except, the Mavericks aren’t willing to accommodate Irving by helping him find a new team while still raking in top dollar. It’s an interesting approach, being that the front office is then running the risk of losing their All-NBA talent for nothing at all, but we’ll see how things play out.
Dallas Mavericks rumors: Irving staying in town?
The Mavericks may not have a lot of cap space to work with, but since Irving is one of their ‘own’ free agents, giving Dallas Irving’s Bird rights, they can afford to go overboard. Even though his brief 20-game tenure with the Mavericks didn’t go according to plan, it doesn’t appear as if a divorce is imminent this summer.
Instead, as Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report passes along, Irving and the Mavericks reportedly had a “handshake” agreement in place when the trade was executed. This deal supposedly includes a max contract for the 31-year-old point guard. Irving is eligible for a five-year, $272 million contract, but whether that’s the actual number he signs for if the eight-time All-Star sticks around for a full season in Dallas remains to be seen.
Dallas Mavericks’ draft pick for sale?
Teams do actually sell draft picks, but that’s not the case when you’re playing with the tenth overall pick like the Mavericks are. Yet, teams picking that high usually don’t have championship expectations, like Dallas does with Doncic aboard. Standing pat and picking a player who may not even be equipped to help the team right away in 2023, if at all later down the road may not make much sense for this franchise.
Instead, as The Athletic’s John Hollinger notes, the Mavs will likely try and trade their pick, in combination with a player such as JaVale McGee or Davis Bertans for a player who can contribute right away.
Recently, ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst added that the team is interested in trading for a “big name” to form a big three alongside Doncic and Irving in 2023-2024.
Other Mavs rumors: Deandre Ayton, Khris Middleton?
We’ve officially reached the Mavericks’ offseason. We know roster changes are coming, and The Athletic is suggesting two star players are already on the radar in Dallas. With both Phoenix and Milwaukee also experiencing disappointing endings to their seasons, players like Deandre Ayton and Khris Middleton could potentially be on the move.
Middleton may be hitting free agency, as he has a $40 million player option available this offseason, but Ayton would have to arrive in Dallas via trade. Yet, there’s reason to believe the Suns may be seeking to make changes too and could be enticed by what the Mavericks have to offer.