The Dallas Mavericks are a disappointing 22-34 heading into the season's second half and are reportedly looking to shake things up.
Mike Fisher of 105.3 The Fan in Dallas reported Monday the Mavericks and Boston Celtics are expected to discuss a potential trade involving Dallas big man Andrew Bogut "dependent on what bigger move Boston can make."
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said his team "is willing to take on contracts in advance of Thursday's trade deadline if draft compensation is attached."
Bogut has played just 26 contests this season and is averaging an unspectacular three points per game. However, he had four points and eight rebounds in a Wednesday loss to the Detroit Pistons in his first action since Jan. 29.
Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News noted, "Getting back on the court and playing solidly during his 17-plus minutes sends the message that any team that might have interest in Bogut and the last year of his contract before the trading deadline won't necessarily be getting damaged goods."
With the fact Bogut isn't damaged goods potentially accelerating a trade involving the Celtics, this approach makes sense on both fronts.
Dallas could get some draft compensation that Cuban mentioned given the window to realistically compete this season appears over. It can begin a rebuilding process around draft picks and players like Harrison Barnes and even Seth Curry, especially if it can land a pick from Boston, who owns a 2017 first-round pick swap with the Brooklyn Nets, as well as their 2018 first-round pick.
From the Celtics' perspective, Bogut would give them a much-needed physical presence in their frontcourt rotation.
He is still averaging 8.3 rebounds in just 22.4 minutes per game this season at age 32 and has posted 8.9 rebounds a night in his entire career. Rebounding is a weak spot for the Eastern Conference's current No. 2 seed, as Boston is 27th in the league in total rebounds per game (41.2) and 26th in defensive rebounds per game (32.1).
In addition to the help on the boards, Bogut would provide the Celtics with a playoff-tested veteran who was a member of the Golden State Warriors when they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 NBA Finals.
That was the last team to beat Cleveland in a postseason series, which is exactly what the 37-20 Celtics would likely have to do to reach the Finals this season.