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Dallas Mavericks reportedly ‘hunting’ for star to play with Doncic and Irving: 3 likely trade targets

The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly on the hunt for a trade to land a third “big-name” player to combine with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving next season.

The 2022-2023 campaign for the Dallas Mavericks was a complete disaster. They seemed at a major disadvantage from the start when they lost Jalen Brunson to the New York Knicks in free agency after he was a pivotal part of their run to the Western Conference Finals in 2022. After having a middle-of-the-road start to the season, they looked to address that hole at the NBA trade deadline.

In February, the Dallas Mavericks pulled off one of the biggest trades of the year when they acquired Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving. Many believed if incumbent star Luka Doncic and Brunson could reach the conference finals last year, the combo of Doncic and Irving should have just as good a chance.

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However, the duo could not seem to find the right balance with their teammates in the 17 games they played together. When they were on the court the team won just five games. With no real hope that they would go far even if they reached the playoffs, the team decided to raise the white flag and tank their way into the NBA lottery.

That mission was accomplished and the organization was able to avoid a swap with the Knicks — from a previous trade — and secured the 10th pick in June’s NBA Draft. However, the Mavs may not be looking to select and groom a talented young prospect. Instead, they may have another plan with the pick that ESPN NBA insider Brian Windhorst revealed during a Thursday appearance on the network’s show “First Take.”

“One of the things that is definitely out there in the league is that the Mavericks could make that No. 10 pick available,” Windhorst said. “They have some contracts that they could attach to it to trade, and I think they’re hunting for a big-name complimentary piece to put alongside Luka Doncic, to get Kyrie Irving in the fold.”

The Dallas Mavericks will likely look to add an impact big man in a potential trade for the 10th pick overall. That is why these three players are the most logical targets for the team this summer.

Deandre Ayton

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Credit: Chris Coduto-USA TODAY Sports

Following the Phoenix Suns’ elimination in the semifinals, all indications point to the team moving center Deandre Ayton. He tried to leave in NBA free agency last summer but the team matched an offer sheet from the Indiana Pacers. Things have been awkward ever since.

Dallas and Ayton have been linked in rumors since last year because the team is in need of a legitimate impact player at center. Ayton certainly fits that need since he would bring the rebounding and interior scoring necessary to balance what Doncic and Irving bring offensively on the outside.

Pascal Siakam

While OG Anunoby has been a source of trade rumors for the Toronto Raptors for months, Pascal Siakam could be on the block this summer with him and Anunoby in the final years of their deal. But the team could decide that investing long-term in the young defensive ace is the better choice, which would make the two-time All-Star expendable.

Furthermore, if the Raptors are looking to rebuild and start from scratch after a down year, the 10th pick and some expiring contracts from Dallas could certainly be appealing for a player they don’t intend to keep anyway.

Karl-Anthony Towns

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Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Karl-Anthony Towns, Rudy Gobert, and Anthony Edwards project did not go well for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. While they could give it a try again in 2023, since Towns missed most of the season with a calf injury, they could also decide to go in a different direction with the player that only has a season left on his contract.

There is no guarantee the team decides to re-sign Towns after next season. If they can get a top-10 pick from the Dallas Mavericks to find a cheaper young talent that is a better fit with Gobert and Edwards, it makes a lot of sense for the organization going forward.

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