Mavs Eyeing Pair of ‘Smart’ Moves to Poach Stars From Bucks & Suns: Report

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

Getty Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

It’s been a quiet few weeks for the Dallas Mavericks, ever since they decided to avoid the postseason all together. The team’s focus has shifted to ensuring that they’re ready to compete next season.

According to “The Athletic’s” Tim Cato, the front office is eyeing a pair of “smart” moves to target Khris Middleton of the Milwaukee Bucks, and/or Deandre Ayton of the Phoenix Suns.

“League sources, when asked for reasons that the Mavericks’ planned restructuring this summer could work, point to the league-wide expectation that there may be significant player movement from a number of contending hopefuls,” he wrote in an article published on May 1. “If every roster is experiencing turmoil, it seems likelier that the Mavericks could make smart transactions to acquire what they’re missing in a manner that a late lottery selection or the team’s limited cap space wouldn’t allow. Some names that have been floated as possibilities include the Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton and the Milwaukee Bucks’ Khris Middleton. But whether either party has mutual interest, or whether Dallas has the resources to acquire them, won’t be answered until this summer.”

Middleton, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the rest of the Bucks are sitting on the same couch as the Mavericks, watching the playoffs at home. Milwaukee was eliminated by the Miami Heat in just five games in the opening round, putting a disappointing end to a promising season.

The core in Milwaukee seems to be pretty solid, but there’s always room for a shake-up when things go off the rails like they did in the Heat series.

Though the team as a whole fell short, Middleton was reliable. The 31-year-old averaged 23.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 6.2 assists per game, while shooting 46.5% from the field and 40.6% from deep in five games against Miami.

Mavs’ Target Deandre Ayton’s Future with Suns ‘Curious’

As for Ayton, he and the Suns are still competing. However, his relationship with the organization has been pretty cloudy since last summer.

Ayton, who was a restricted free agent, had signed a four-year, $133 million offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers. The Suns wound up matching, thus keeping the big man in the desert for at least a little longer.

Most recently, Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported that the former No. 1 overall pick’s future in Phoenix “remains curious.”

“Deandre Ayton’s long-term future remains curious after a prolonged restricted free agency last offseason in which Phoenix explored signing-and-trading Ayton in order to land Durant,” Fischer wrote back in February. “There is little belief among people familiar with the situation that Suns management truly values Ayton at the $33 million average annual value over the four full seasons on his offer sheet from Indiana.”

Even if you don’t want to believe the inside reports, Ayton’s low effort levels are telling.

A viral clip circulated around Twitter, of the big man just looking on as Kevin Durant battled for rebounds in Game 1 of Phoenix’s Western Conference Semifinal series against the Denver Nuggets.

Mavs General Manager Hopes to Bring In Defense and Rebounding

Bringing in Ayton would fit the mold that Mavericks general manager Nico Harrison told the media that he and the front office are looking to fill this summer.

During his exit interview last month, Harrison explained that he hopes to add “defense and rebounding” alongside Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

“I think for us going into the offseason, the two biggest things that we need to work on is defense and rebounding,” Harrison said via the Dallas Mavericks official YouTube channel. “That’s going to be addressed.”

General Manager Nico Harrison – Media AvailabilityJoin Club Maverick! Check out the Mavs 2022-23 season tickets: DALLAS MAVERICKS on Social Media: ► Follow us Twitter: ► Like us Facebook: ► Follow us Instagram: For more updates check us out on mavs.com2023-04-12T03:59:55Z
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