Mavericks Pleaded Not to Acquire Star Big Man Despite Declining Trade Price

John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Getty John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks and Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Dallas Mavericks were in a great spot, but now, they’re in danger of falling out of the playoff picture. They’ve lost seven of their last nine games, and despite sitting in fifth place in the West with a 25-23 record, they are just 1.5 games above the 11th-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder.

Luka Doncic has been carrying a heavy load, and with the trade deadline inching closer on February 9, the Mavericks have some decisions to make, especially with guys like John Collins and Myles Turner potentially available. However, according to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Mavericks should hold off on making those types of deals.

“Any star or fringe star who’s up for grabs will command better returns than the Mavs can offer. And even if they can win the bidding for, like, John Collins or Myles Turner, they shouldn’t actually want to.

“This team needs a glitzier infusion of talent and is, therefore, better served to wait until the offseason, when it can peddle up to three first-rounders and four swaps in star-trade packages,” Favale wrote.

In the case of Collins, his value is even declining, according to Sam Amick of The Athletic.

“After all these years of John Collins trade rumors, executives who have spoken to the Hawks about acquiring the veteran forward recently have indicated that the asking price has — understandably — declined significantly this time around,” Amick wrote. “As I detailed in my recent conversation with Collins, the combination of his large contract and his declined production is hardly helpful in terms of his modern-day value. In some scenarios, the Hawks are merely asking for a quality player in return (and not a first-round pick), according to league sources.”

Starting after the 2023 NBA Draft, the Mavericks will no longer owe draft compensation to the New York Knicks for the Kristaps Porzingis trade. That means they will be able to trade all of their picks away in a deal similar to the one the Cleveland Cavaliers made for Donovan Mitchell or simply move them in separate deals to improve the team this summer.

Making any trades involving first-round picks at the upcoming deadline would limit their ability to make a blockbuster move this offseason. And at this point, Dallas might be better off waiting for that sort of deal.

Luka Doncic Asked Mavericks for Help

Up to this point in his career, Doncic has been fairly quiet regarding any involvement in the Mavericks’ roster construction. However, recent reports have indicated that might be changing. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Doncic recently made a strong indication that he would like Dallas to make roster moves at this year’s deadline in an attempt to improve the roster around him.

“Sources said Doncic, who hasn’t shown a desire to be involved in personnel matters in the past, has strongly indicated he wants the Mavs to upgrade before the Feb. 9 trade deadline,” MacMahon wrote.

After that, however, MacMahon noted that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told him these reports were wrong.

“Mark Cuban denies that Luka Doncic has indicated he wants the roster to be upgraded before the trade deadline. 

“Cuban: ‘Tim MacMahon got it dead wrong. Luka has never suggested, asked, demanded or discussed changes to the roster,’” MacMahon tweeted.

Spencer Dinwiddie Sounds Off on Luka Doncic Narratives

In addition to Cuban’s thoughts on the matter, Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie also made his opinion known. He stated that those types of narratives will always exist because of how great Doncic is.

“You guys work in the media, and you know that storylines are king, right?” So, we have a 23-year-old savant — it’s very easy to say [‘Luka needs help’]. Luka’s amazing, he’s been the prodigy from the beginning. So it’s always gonna be like that because his star power is so much further beyond ours. And in a lot of ways he makes the game easier for us. Because of that, you’re just gonna have to deal with some media backlash sometimes off the court,” Dinwiddie explained to the Dallas Morning News recently.

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