Mavs Could Add ‘Co-Star’ for Luka Doncic in Trade for Bulls Star

Luka Doncic

Getty Could Zach LaVine team up with Luka Doncic down in Dallas?

Zach LaVine in a Dallas Mavericks uniform?

According to multiple NBA insiders, it could happen if the Mavs get desperate enough to make a play for the Chicago Bulls star despite his hefty contract. In July of 2022, LaVine inked a five-year, $215.16 million extension with Chicago, with the money fully guaranteed.

Dallas currently sits at sixth place in the West with a 27-25 overall record, and the team desperately needs a scoring threat to go alongside superstar Luka Doncic, who just tallied the fifth 50+ point game of his career against the Detroit Pistons on January 30.

On his January 30 podcast The Lowe Post, Zach Lowe and Tim MacMahon of ESPN discussed the options for the Mavericks heading into the trade deadline, and both agreed that LaVine could be the best option for the Mavs right now.

Could a Dorian Finney-Smith – Zach LaVine Trade Be on the Table?

“Every year at the trade deadline, there is a name who either gets traded or there are more serious talks, and it comes out later that there were more serious talks and people say: ‘Woah! That was on the table?’ Or: ‘I can’t believe that happened, that came out of nowhere.’ And there are a few candidates for that this year based purely on common sense,” Lowe said, adding:

“I’m not reporting, but one of them is Zach LaVine. I think the Zach LaVine situation is more likely a summer thing because it’s just a huge contract. … But that’s a name that if Dorian Finney-Smith is in trade talks and what they want is a guy, I couldn’t think of many other people who that could be now, and maybe even in the summer.”

Finney-Smith is averaging 32.1 minutes of game this season for the Mavs, and is scoring 8.8 points while also hauling in 4.5 boards and dishing out 1.4 assists. He’s a solid player, but he would be coupled with additional draft capital and/or players if this trade were to ever happen.

And according to MacMahon, Dallas could find itself getting desperate enough to add a player like LaVine.

There Are ‘Zach LaVine Fans’ in the Mavs Organization, MacMahon Says

MacMahon, and insider for ESPN, added this wrinkle about the situation: “I do know that there are people who have some juice within the Mavericks organization who are Zach LaVine fans, but that wouldn’t be one that they’re doing backflips about, because there would be concern about the durability. There would be concern about the defense — especially if you’re giving up Dorian Finney-Smith in that deal and perhaps Josh Green, so you’re giving up two of your four guys who actually can guard for somebody who doesn’t. That would be concerning because of the durability, the defense, the dollars. It’s a big, big contract.”

The Mavs want to win now, though, and they might feel as though adding a scorer in the mold of LaVine could take them to the next level after losing in the Conference Finals last year.

“At a certain point, though, the Mavericks might not be able to trade for the perfect costar,” MacMahon said. “You just have to get a costar. It’s a tough position, but Zach LaVine is definitely — at a certain point, you have to pounce on what might be available. And we’ll see who else might be available. If he’s the best on the marketplace, the Mavericks might eventually have to make their play there.”

LaVine is averaging 23.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 35.7 minutes per game, but the Bulls have been reluctant to deal him — and that’s likely won’t change. Still, if Dallas gets serious about LaVine, which is possible, this might be something to watch as Lowe mentioned, in the summer.