Mavericks Rumors: Dallas Open to Absorbing Large Salaries to Acquire Star Player

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 15, 2020

Dallas Mavericks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic (77) react after a foul call didn't go their way in an NBA basketball game against the Sacramento Kings Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez)
Richard W. Rodriguez/Associated Press

The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly willing to make some concessions in order to land another star player to play alongside Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Mavs are open to taking on "large salaries" if it means acquiring a third star.

After missing the playoffs in three consecutive seasons, the Mavericks took a big step forward in 2019-20, improving their winning percentage by 17 percent. They finished 43-32 (.573) and seventh in the Western Conference, which was good enough for a postseason berth.

Although the Mavs didn't make it out of the first round of the playoffs, they took two games from the second-seeded Los Angeles Clippers. It can be argued that no team in the West aside from the Golden State Warriors is poised to make a bigger leap next season than Dallas.

The Mavericks' improvement last season was largely tied to the play of Doncic, who established himself as a legitimate MVP candidate. The 21-year-old became a superstar in his second NBA season, averaging 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds and 8.8 assists per game.

After missing the entire 2018-19 season with a knee injury, Porzingis made his Mavericks debut last season.

Porzingis had been approaching superstar status with the New York Knicks before suffering the injury, as he was named an All-Star for the first time in 2017-18. Porzingis was traded to Dallas while injured the following season, and he paid immediate dividends.

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The 25-year-old Latvian averaged 20.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game last season, and he should be even better in 2020-21 as he gets further removed from the injury.

Dallas has some solid pieces as part of the supporting cast, such as guards Delon Wright and Seth Curry, forwards Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith, and center Boban Marjanovic, but all of them are complementary players who don't boast an especially high upside.

If the Mavericks are going to reach the level of teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and Clippers in the Western Conference, then they either need to wait a couple of years until Doncic and Porzingis are in their prime or make a big move.

Adding salary in order to incentivize a team to trade them a star player would undoubtedly qualify as a big move, and doing so could get the Mavericks into the conversation as a true contender to win the West and play in the NBA Finals next season.