Trade Proposal Drains Mavs’ Depth for 3-Time All-Star to Pair with Doncic & Irving

Luka Doncic Dallas Mavericks

Getty Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks.

It’s almost surreal that we’ve seen 12 playoff games so far this season and not one featured the Dallas Mavericks. This was a team among the cream of the Western Conference crop in the autumn with an early MVP favorite in Luka Doncic.

It simply wasn’t enough. And the Mavericks enter this offseason with myriad questions: do they go all-in on the Doncic and Kyrie Irving tandem? Do they dangle their lottery pick for more assets? Do they try a soft rebuild to better remake the roster in Doncic’s image?

At a minimum, the Mavericks must find a way to improve the NBA’s 25th-rated Swiss cheese platter the team referred to as “defense.” And in a trade proposal by Dalton Trigg of Sports Illustrated, the Mavs do just that in landing a three-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year winner.

Here’s what Trigg proposed:

Mavericks receive: Rudy Gobert

Timberwolves receive: Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber, Davis Bertans, 2027 first-round pick

Gobert is far from a perfect asset, having fallen substantially since his bewildering trade from the Utah Jazz to the Twin Cities last summer. But as Trigg noted, Gobert gives the team something it hasn’t in almost a decade.

“Gobert might be severely overpaid in some people’s eyes, but there’s no doubt he’d be the best center the Mavs have put on the court since Tyson Chandler in the 2010-11 and 2014-15 seasons,” Trigg wrote. “In 70 regular-season games this year, Gobert averaged 13.4 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 65.9 percent from the field. He is also an excellent screener who would excel alongside both Doncic and Kyrie Irving in pick-and-roll situations.”

Trigg isn’t the only one to link Gobert to the Lone Star State.

Mavericks an ‘Obvious Fit’ for Rudy Gobert

Worried that acquiring a player of Gobert’s ilk is out of the question? Not so fast. Gobert averaged just 13.4 PPG (his lowest since 2015), 11.6 RPG (his lowest since 2017), and 1.4 BPG (his lowest since 2013).

Interested teams will chalk Gobert’s dropoff to an awkward fit with fellow big Karl-Anthony Towns and the ball of downhill energy Anthony Edwards. Either way, the T-Wolves won’t be able to command a godfather package in return for the Frenchman.

And the Mavs could use the deal to offload some other nasty deals (looking at you, Davis Bertans).

“The Dallas Mavericks are an obvious fit here, for example,” Sam Quinn of CBS Sports wrote recently. “Their defense cratered after the Kyrie Irving trade and two of their top big men are about to become free agents. The quickest way to fix a leaky defense is to protect the basket. The Mavericks could match Gobert’s salary with Tim Hardaway Jr. and Davis Bertans. They’ll likely have a lottery pick this season to offer, and if they don’t want to give that up, they could dangle a lightly protected pick in 2027, when Luka Doncic may be playing for another team.”

The speculated interest in Gobert also fits with the Mavs’ expected tact this offseason.

Mavs Planning to ‘Explore Trade Prospects’ with 2023 Pick

Any questions about what the Mavs plan to do with its retained 2023 first-round pick were recently answered by NBA insider Marc Stein in his Stein Line newsletter.

“Retaining this June’s pick would provide a crucial potential path to a quality player for a club low on trade chips or the salary-cap flexibility to make significant changes around [Luka] Doncic and [Kyrie] Irving,” Stein wrote. “Sources say that the Mavericks plan to explore trade prospects with the pick if they retain it to potentially seek more win-now talent.”

The Timberwolves find themselves on the outside looking in on this year’s draft. A top-ten pick could be a boon for the franchise that shipped four first-round picks this decade to land Gobert in the first place.

Comment Here
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x