As the Dallas Mavericks look to build on their Western Conference Finals run this past season, they’ve made some quality offseason moves. They traded for big man Christian Wood ahead of the NBA Draft and also signed center JaVale McGee to a three-year deal.
That being said, those moves only begin to offset the loss of star guard Jalen Brunson, who chose to sign with the New York Knicks in free agency. Replacing him may not be easy, but if they remain active on the trade market, it could be more possible than some realize.
One recent trade proposal sees them add a new guard to the rotation. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Mavericks could potentially approach the Houston Rockets with a deal that would land them a new backcourt member for a relatively cheap price.
Here’s the outline of the proposed trade:
Mavericks receive: Eric Gordon
Rockets receive: Dwight Powell, Josh Green, Frank Ntlikina, Future 1st-Round Pick (Lottery Protected)
While adding Gordon to the rotation wouldn’t replace the ball-handling skills of Brunson, it would help the Mavericks replace the scoring they lost. And although it wouldn’t be a perfect fit, having Gordon off the bench would be a useful commodity.
How Gordon Would Help Mavericks
By adding Gordon to their rotation, the Mavericks would add an extra guard to their bench (assumedly). However, if they wanted to shake up the rotation, Gordon could actually slide in as a starter next to Luka Doncic, allowing Spencer Dinwiddie to come off the bench.
While Gordon may not be the ball-handler Brunson is, that doesn’t mean he can’t act as a secondary playmaker alongside Doncic. It’s been years since he’s been relied on as a ball-handler, but during his early NBA years, Gordon was averaging close to four assists per game.
But the primary reason why the Mavericks would be dealing for Gordon would be for his scoring abilities. In 57 games with the Rockets this past season, Gordon averaged 13.4 points, 2.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists on 47.5% shooting from the field and 41.2% shooting from deep on 5.3 three-point attempts per game.
However, those scoring totals were the worst of Gordon’s career since the 204-15 season. That’s in large part due to the fact that Houston is currently in the midst of a rebuild. On a team that’s contending for the playoffs, Gordon would likely earn a larger role, and, in turn, his scoring totals may increase back toward his career average of 16.4 points.
As for the Rockets, Buckley outlined a very clear reason as to why they would make this deal.
Why Rockets Make This Trade
Gordon will be entering the final guaranteed season of his current deal, as the 2023-24 year is non-guaranteed. For Houston, flipping him for some sort of value should be a goal by the trade deadline, and this package from the Mavericks could work out well for them.
“Granted, this package impresses more with quantity than quality, but Green could add defense and athleticism to this young core, and the future first could be invested in anything,” Buckley wrote. “Ntilikina and Powell would primarily be money-matchers, but the former is still young enough to at least consider keeping around and the latter could have value as a veteran rental near the trade deadline.”
So, the Rockets would get young assets and a pick, while the Mavericks would get a win-now veteran to help improve their title hopes. Sounds like a win-win trade.