NBA Teams That Would Move on Dirk Nowitzki If Mavericks Shopped Him
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Whenever a team is losing, it's star player is bound to grow frustrated not only with the team on the court, but potentially with the personnel department upstairs.
"Maybe Cuban has something up his sleeve. Maybe you have to take a chance on a bad contract to get him in here and make something happen. I mean, I don't know. That's something we'll have to see this summer," Nowitzki said. "We're going to play out this season. I'm going to get better and better, hopefully from game to game, so I can actually close out some of these games. And then we'll see what happens."
Cuban insists he will not trade Nowitzki, who echoes that same desire to stay in Dallas. But if the Mavericks were to shop Dirk, would they be inclined to make a move?
"Either you break the whole thing up and trade me, or you get a bunch of one-year deals and try to be a player next summer. That's the decision we made, so now we've got to fight through it."
The future of the Dallas Mavericks is cloudy. But for the sake of an argument, let's assume the Mavericks shop Nowitzki, then we'll look at five teams who may be interested in making a move.
5. LA Lakers
Would a Dirk-for-Dwight trade work for both sides?
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Dwight Howard is currently out of the lineup with a shoulder injury, but the Lakers big man plans to be back soon. But with the Lakers' early-season struggles, would the Lakers ever consider trading Howard for Dirk Nowitzki?
Reuniting Nowitzki with Steve Nash would give the Lakers a veteran one-two scoring punch. As if they needed another veteran scorer.
There are certainly positives to making a move like this, but ultimately, the Lakers need to get younger, not any older. Howard, 27, ought to be the future of the Lakers.
4. Atlanta Hawks
Josh Smith is a great player, but would the Hawks be interested in Dirk?
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Josh Smith is a name that's been floated around in potential trade talks for some time. But the Hawks have always decided not to trade the athletic forward.
If Dirk Nowitzki were ever available on the open market, the Atlanta Hawks would likely be interested. When the Hawks lost Joe Johnson this offseason, they lost a reliable outside shooter. Nowitzki is one of the best in basketball in that department.
The Mavs would have to be happy getting Smith in return for Nowitzki and possibly a draft pick. He's a shot blocker on defense and a capable scorer with the ball in his hands.
3. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have some appealing trade assets already on the roster.
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The Bucks are no stranger to making big trades. But with the exception of last year's Monta Ellis deal, Milwaukee typically comes out on the losing end of those deals.
In the unlikely event that the Mavericks ship Nowitzki to a non-contender, the Bucks would be a possible landing spot. Milwaukee drafted Nowitzki with the ninth pick in the 1998 NBA Draft and traded him to the Mavericks for Robert "Tractor" Traylor.
Milwaukee's roster is loaded in the front court thanks to the emergence of Larry Sanders, while Monta Ellis could be an attractive centerpiece to a potential trade.
2. Brooklyn Nets
Could Lopez be sent to Dallas, setting up a Dirk and Deron Williams combination in Brooklyn?
Brooklyn struck out on its attempt to acquire Dwight Howard, and the Mavericks swung and missed at landing Deron Williams.
If the Mavericks start to shop Dirk Nowitzki, maybe the Nets try to add another top-tier big man, pairing Williams with Nowitzki after all. Brooklyn has some attractive pieces that could be available via trade, including center Brook Lopez.
If Lopez were shipped to Dallas, the Mavs would have a center to build around, whereas the Nets would acquire some veteran scoring and free up some cap space for future moves.
1. Indiana Pacers
Granger could be on his way out of Indiana. Could Nowitzki go there?
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Pacers forward Danny Granger expects to be back in the lineup in February. But would the Pacers ever consider trading him if they can add a guy like Dirk Nowitzki?
Chad Ford of ESPN recently just said that he expects Granger to be in a different jersey by next season. He suggests Dallas as a potential landing spot for Granger.
Adding Nowitzki would certainly be reason for excitement in Indiana. And although the Pacers have missed having Granger in the lineup, his injury has allowed Paul George to emerge as a player.