The Dallas Mavericks‘ trade for Kyrie Irving was unquestionably the opening salvo in what could shake up to be a busy trade deadline. Though we’re less than two days away, rumors continue to abound around the league, the Irving deal’s potentially acting as one that has whetted the league’s appetite.
And according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo, the Mavericks aren’t done moving pieces quite yet.
“Dallas has looked for ways to move JaVale McGee ahead of the deadline, sources said, after signing the rim protector to a three-year, $17 million contract this summer,” Fischer wrote. “The Mavericks initially planned to start McGee for this 2022-23 campaign, but the journeyman shot-blocker has since fallen out of head coach Jason Kidd’s rotation.”
It’s unsurprising to see McGee’s name on Dallas’ chopping block. As Fischer noted, McGee arrived in Dallas this summer with all the promise a former NBA champ brings. Flash forward to February, however, and McGee is averaging 3.9 points and 2.3 rebounds in his quiet 7.9 minutes per game.
It was always going to be difficult cementing himself in a rotation that included Dwight Powell, Christian Wood, and the recently-departed Dorian Finney-Smith (when the Mavs wanted to go small).
Christian Wood Hoping to Remain in Dallas
The Mavericks appear ready and willing to make more deals before the deadline Thursday in an effort to remake the roster in Irving and Luka Doncic’s image, which could spell bad news for Mavs big man Christian Wood.
“Christian Wood is well aware that Mavs are discussing potential trades involving him. He says he’s trying to stay off social media and talk to Jason Kidd and GM Nico Harrison as much as possible.
“What is he hearing from them? ‘Uh, nothing,’ Wood said. ‘I hope I’m not traded,’” tweeted Tim MacMahon of ESPN.
Wood is set to be a free agent this summer, though he’s been extension eligible with Dallas for over a month. Moving Wood now would go a long way toward relieving the Mavericks of the pressure to re-sign both Irving and Wood this summer.
According to NBA insider Marc Stein, the Mavericks attempted to include Wood in the trade for Irving, but the Brooklyn Nets didn’t want him.
“The Nets’ refused Dallas’ attempts to ship them Christian Wood’s expiring contract or one of its less palatable long-term deals held by Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dāvis Bertāns,” Stein wrote. “Don’t be surprised, though, if Wood still gets dealt before Thursday’s 3 PM ET trade buzzer. As I first reported Saturday, Wood is attracting trade interest from the LA Clippers, who want to upgrade both their frontcourt and backcourt. Wood and Minnesota’s D’Angelo Russell, sources say, are among the Clippers’ prime trade targets heading into the last few days of NBA trade season.”
Of course, there could be one more reason why Dallas failed to find a trade partner for Wood in the Nets.
Wood Expected to Miss More Time With Injury
Wood, who has now missed two weeks with a thumb injury, was handed a tough medical update last week. NBA insider Marc Stein provided the medical report on February 2.
“Christian Wood’s thumb fracture on his non-shooting hand was initially expected to sideline him for one week,” Stein wrote. “League sources now say Dallas’ Wood, who Thursday will miss his seventh consecutive game due to the injury, is unlikely to play before next week at the earliest.”
The longer Wood stays off the floor, the longer it will take for Dallas’ new big three — if it’s even possible to call them that — to gel.
We’ve seen recent trades shake up a team’s chemistry (James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers last season) that looked great on paper, but still needed time to incubate on the court.