Mavericks Could Land Lakers Superstar in ‘Terrifying’ Proposed Trade

Anthony Davis Los Angeles Lakers

Getty LeBron James #6, Anthony Davis #3 and Russell Westbrook #0 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Dallas Mavericks are making the most of a lineup headlined by Luka Doncic with no serious star power outside the Slovenian great. While Doncic is doing an excellent job leading Dallas to a 6-3 record (the rise of Josh Green and solid contributions from Spencer Dinwiddie are also helpful).

But let’s face it: this league is driven by its stars. And having Doncic in one’s corner is nice. But even his potentially transcendent greatness isn’t alone enough to get the Mavericks to the Finals. But a recently proposed trade by Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report would net the Mavericks a veritable co-star to pair with Doncic in Los Angeles Lakers star Anthony Davis.

Here’s the trade:

Mavericks Receive: Anthony Davis

Lakers Receive: Christian Wood, Spencer Dinwiddie, Reggie Bullock, unprotected first-round picks in 2025, 2027, and 2029, first-round swap rights in 2024, 2026 and 2028

From Dallas’ perspective, Hughes noted the “terrifying” idea of parting with that much for a player in Davis who hasn’t looked the part of a franchise cornerstone since his excellent play in the Bubble two years ago.

Why Mavericks Likely Say No

For Dallas, a move for Davis would be an incredibly risky gamble. While “The Brow” looked the part of a future Lakers great, he’s trended in the wrong direction since. Over his last three seasons, Davis is averaging just 115.4 points per 100 shot attempts, well below league average. Of course, with Doncic in town and Green shooting 66% from deep, perhaps the Mavs wouldn’t need Davis’ once-excellent offense.

As Hughs put it:

“The Mavericks could close playoff games with a lineup of Dončić, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber and Davis that could wreak havoc on defense and offer enough shooting to survive. Building out the roster from there would take some work, particularly with no more draft picks to deal. Suddenly, Hardaway and Josh Green would find themselves thrust into roles they might not be equipped to handle.”

So let’s say the Mavs swallow the Christian Wood and Spencer Dinwiddie sized hole they would open up in their lineup by trading for Davis. This trade also ostensibly has the team betting that it will contend for the next six years by giving away a slew of unprotected picks and swaps.

Is that a gamble that is proven to work? Sure, the Mavs look stable now, but what happens if Doncic starts grumbling about the lack of success playing alongside Davis? What if Doncic decides the Mavs aren’t capable of building a complete winner, with the lack of future picks further hampering those efforts?

You might think it’s crazy, but the Brooklyn Nets their situation with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving was stable enough to hand over a similar package to the Houston Rockets for James Harden. Flash forward less than two years later, and Harden is on a new team, Steve Nash is out as head coach, Irving’s NBA future is in doubt, and Kevin Durant has already asked out of town.

This isn’t the first time, however, that Dallas has been linked to a Lakers star.

LeBron James Linked to Dallas Mavericks

So maybe Davis isn’t the right fit for Dallas. What about LeBron James?

In a discussion on The Bill Simmons Podcast, ESPN analyst Brian Windhorst discussed LeBron returning to the Cavaliers or finishing his career out with the Los Angeles Lakers. But Windhorst also mentioned a sleeper team that could attract LeBron’s attention: the Dallas Mavericks.

“One other team that I’ll bring up, I did mention earlier: Dallas. He does have an affinity for Luka. That’s not exactly a hot take,” Windhorst said on September 27.

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