One of the stipulations of the Dallas Mavericks deal with the Sacramento Kings for Richaun Holmes was that Holmes could not be traded for 60 days due to a trade aggregate. In other words, Dallas could not include Holmes in trades with other Mavericks players before September 6. But now that the aggregate has expired, Dalton Trigg of Sports Illustrated believes the Mavericks should revive trade talks with Phoenix Suns former number-one overall pick Deandre Ayton.
“So … given that McGee was apparently the biggest disagreement the Mavs and Suns had in their Ayton talks, wouldn’t it be feasible to envision those conversations potentially coming up again sometime before the season begins? Would Phoenix take Hardaway and Holmes straight up with McGee out of the way, or would they now push for draft compensation as well,” Trigg writes.
The Mavericks executed two trades on NBA Draft night. One that landed them seven-footer Derek Lively and another one that helped them acquire Holmes from the Kings. But the Mavericks were even busier on draft night than they led on. Per NBA insider Marc Stein, Dallas had brief talks with the Suns centered around former number-one overall pick Deandre Ayton. But the potential deal fell flat when the Mavericks wanted to include big man JaVale McGee as part of the deal.
“The proposed deal, sources tell The Stein Line, would have sent Ayton to Dallas for Tim Hardaway Jr., Richaun Holmes, and JaVale McGee — but the Suns balked at McGee’s inclusion,” Stein wrote.
Could Deandre Ayton Excel in Dallas?
The Mavericks waived McGee in August and now are pretty scarce in the frontcourt with a crop of big men that features Dwight Powell, Markieff Morris, and Lively. Powell is probably the best out of the group, Morris is still a serviceable player but not one who necessarily moves the needle, and Lively still has not played an NBA game.
Ayton has had a disappointing last two showings in the postseason for the Suns, but that is not indicative of what he can deliver for a team that needs his services. Last season, he averaged a double-double with 18.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.
The Suns will have a completely different look heading into this season. Former head coach Monty Williams was replaced by Frank Vogel and they added another All-Star in Bradley Beal. Phoenix also traded Chris Paul to the Wizards.
Paul’s departure has left the Suns without a true point guard. As a result, it could be harder to get Ayton the ball in his preferred spots. There will also be fewer shots for the star center with the addition of another volume scorer in Beal. A change of scenery in Dallas could be just what the former top pick needs to rejuvenate his career.
Suns Need to Keep Building
Holmes is by no means a star but still is a player who can give a team good spot minutes. Last season, he shot 61.8% from the field and a scorching 62.5% from beyond the arc.
Since the February NBA trade deadline, Suns owner Mat Ishbia and general manager James Jones have done a bang-up job building a legit contender. A blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets at the deadline landed them two-time NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant, and in June, they landed Beal.
But this next stage of roster construction will be equally important for the Suns. Building around their stars with solid role players could be the difference between an NBA title or a third consecutive second-round exit.