After losing Jalen Brunson in free agency, many have viewed the Dallas Mavericks as one of this offseason’s biggest losers. Following a breakout campaign in 2022, the young guard is on his way to New York while the Mavs are left empty-handed.
While the team isn’t worried about replacing his production, there is still a hole to fill in the backcourt next to Luka Doncic. Following the latest blockbuster deal, Dallas might be able to swoop in and grab a former All-Star from a Western Conference rival.
With the start of the season right around the corner, the Cleveland Cavaliers pushed all in by acquiring Donovan Mitchell. One of the main pieces they sent back in trade was potential Mavs trade target, Collin Sexton. Since Utah has now moved on from both of their All-Stars, they could look to move on from more of their veteran pieces.
Mike Conley is approaching the end of his career, but the former All-Star has proven he still has something to give an NBA team. Last season, the 34-year-old averaged 13.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, and 5.3 APG.
Should the Mavs Target Mike Conley in a Trade?
Depending on what the Jazz are asking for Conley, it might be worth kicking the tires on for the Dallas Mavericks. His skill set mirrors Brunson’s to a degree, making him an ideal complement next to Luka Doncic.
Outside of Doncic, the Mavericks had few guards who can put the ball on the floor and create offense. This will put a large weight on Spencer Dinwiddie and the All-Star guard’s shoulders. Bringing in someone like Conley could be the quick fix to this problem.
Like Brunson, Conley can thrive with or without the ball in his hands. For most of his career, he’s always been a reliable shooter from beyond the arc. Last season for the Jazz, Conley shot 40.8% on close to six attempts per game.
Along with being a kick-out option and secondary playmaker, Conley is a trusted guard who could run the offense when Doncic is on the bench. Given their need for guards, a deal of this sort makes a lot of sense for Dallas.
How the Mavs can Acquire Mike Conley via Trade
Currently Conley is in the second year of a three-year, $68 million deal. His $22 million price tag is steep for a player in his mid-30s but manageable considering the length.
Another thing that makes this trade sensible for the Mavs is there are multiple ways to get it done. The contracts of Davis Bertans, Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, Josh Green, and Frank Ntilikina can be paired in different variations to meet Conley’s contract.
One potential return package that makes sense for Dallas is packaging Bertans and Powell, along with draft capital, in exchange for the veteran guard and a cost-friendly contract like Rudy Gay.
With the additions of Christian Wood and JaVale McGee in the offseason, frontcourt minutes will be hard to come by. Powell has been a consistent factor in the Mavericks’ rotation over the years, but his playing time could take a major dip in 2023.
Bringing in Conley puts an experienced player next to Doncic in the backcourt while also maintaining flexibility for a better co-star down the line. Whether it’s now or closer to the trade deadline, it’s an avenue the Mavericks should strongly consider pursuing.