As the Dallas Mavericks continue to hover around .500, it becomes even more clear that a roster shakeup needs to happen. Currently sitting at 14-14, the Mavs have slipped further and further down the Western Conference standings over the past few weeks.
Most hypothetical trades for Dallas include shipping out Kristaps Porzingis for a new co-star alongside Luka Doncic. However, Bleacher Report recently proposed a trade for the Mavericks in which they’d land two former NBA All-Star guards without trading away Porzingis.
Dallas Mavericks Receive: PG Ben Simmons, G Kemba Walker
New York Knicks Receive: PF Charles Bassey
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: PG Jalen Brunson, SG Tim Hardaway Jr., F Dorian Finney-Smith, 2025 first-round pick (lottery-protected, via Dallas Mavericks)
While this is a blockbuster trade, three-team deals are not uncommon in the NBA.
Would this trade make sense for the Mavericks? What about the other two teams involved?
This hypothetical trade would certainly give the Mavs a very different look. They’d have a jumbo guard backcourt of Doncic and Simmons that would be a mismatch for opposing defenses. Additionally, this duo would get a ton of rebounds and distribute many assists.
This type of deal would also allow the Mavericks to avoid paying Brunson. As good as he is, the guard is up for a large payday this summer if Dallas doesn’t want him to walk in free agency. Simmons is only a month older than Brunson, meaning the Mavs would still have a team that could sustain success into the future.
Walker is the real gamble here, but for a team like the Mavericks, it’s time to swing for the fences. He could be a facilitator and spark plug scorer off the bench, filling in Brunson’s current role.
Adding two former All-Stars while also retaining Porzingis would be a huge win for the Mavs. They’d have a ton of size and flexibility in their starting lineup. On both ends of the floor, a young trio of Doncic, Simmons and Porzingis could be spectacular.
Knicks & Sixers Reasoning
For the Knicks, this deal makes a ton of sense. It would essentially be a deal to dump Walker’s salary to make another move at the deadline. While he was a big signing for them over the summer, he’s fallen out of the rotation.
In this hypothetical deal, New York saves $7.8 million this season and wipes off Walker’s $9.1 million salary next season.
It’s really the Sixers who likely wouldn’t move forward with this deal. They’ve made it very clear that they’re willing to wait for the right player in a Simmons trade. Philadelphia wants a top-25 caliber player in return for their young star.
In this hypothetical trade from Bleacher Report, Philadelphia doesn’t get a star in return for Simmons. However, the Sixers do get two explosive scorers in Hardaway Jr. and Brunson. They’d also get a dynamic two-way wing in Finney-Smith and first-round pick.
Does that really help them though?
The 76ers already have Tyrese Maxey, who’s a young guard similar to Brunson. Additionally, they’ve got quite a few other solid scoring guards, which could lessen the need for a guy like Hardaway Jr. in this scenario.
Either way, getting quality assets for Simmons could be the first move towards a secondary trade for Philadelphia. Perhaps gathering these types of assets from the Mavs to go along with their own would ultimately give the Sixers flexibility in getting help around Joel Embiid at the trade deadline.
Either way, the Sixers likely wouldn’t do this deal, although it benefits the other two teams.