The NBA trade deadline is less than a month away, meaning the Dallas Mavericks could be active on the market. While they’re in a situation to be buyers and make a splash in the playoffs, it’ll take parting ways with assets to make that happen.
One name to keep an eye on is forward Dorian Finney-Smith. A solid piece for the Mavericks, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report has reported Finney-Smith is a player rival teams are monitoring as someone who could become available.
For the Mavericks, trading Finney-Smith would make some sense, as he will be a free agent this summer. If they plan on giving Jalen Brunson the large payday he deserves, there may not be enough money to go around for Finney-Smith.
Cutting ties now could avoid losing him for nothing.
Fischer also mentions that former Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle was known as Finney-Smith’s biggest advocate in Dallas, making a trade to Indiana seemingly possible as he’s now at the helm of the Pacers’ coaching staff.
Finney-Smith has been an unsung hero in Dallas, being a key contributor despite not getting the attention he deserves.
If Finney-Smith were to be traded, what makes him attractive to other teams?
Not only is Finney-Smith healthy more than almost anybody on the Dallas roster, but he also plays well when he’s on the floor. The two-way forward has played in 40 games this season, with the Mavs going 22-18 when he plays.
A sniper from deep, he’s also been the Mavericks’ best 3-point shooter. On the season, he’s knocked down 38.0% of his 5.1 attempts per game.
This has resulted in Finney-Smith producing 10.5 points on 8.5 shot attempts per contest.
Finney-Smith is also a solid rebounder, pulling down the fourth-most boards on the team at 4.7 per game.
Defensively, he uses his 7-foot wingspan to make an impact. Whether it’s in the paint against bigger players or on the perimeter, he’s proven to be one of the better defenders on the roster.
For any contender that needs a quality role player, Finney-Smith might be one of the most underrated options around the league.
On an expiring contract, Finney-Smith is making just $4 million this season before hitting free agency this summer. Among players that aren’t on their rookie scale deals, his contract is one of the best in the NBA.
Most players in this league that make under $5 million are not able to provide the value that Finney-Smith does. Additionally, he’s only 28 years old and is able to play big minutes. He’s second on the Mavs with 32.2 minutes per contest this season.
It’s unclear if Dallas would truly deal a guy like Finney-Smith, but if they want to extract value before he becomes a free agent, now is the time to do so. Between his high level of production and cheap contract, the Mavericks could get a solid return for the veteran forward.
With that in mind, if they’re going to make a splash in the playoffs, the Mavs will want to ensure they get a player in return that can help them win games now.