Mavericks' Updated Trade Targets with 2021 NBA Deadline Approaching

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 4, 2021

Mavericks' Updated Trade Targets with 2021 NBA Deadline Approaching

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    The Dallas Mavericks entered February teetering on the brink of disaster, as a six-game losing streak dipped their record to a dismal 8-13.

    But they have been finding their way out of that funk ever since. They have now nudged their way back above .500 and would have a ticket to the play-in tournament if the curtains fell on the 2020-21 NBA campaign.

    There are, of course, higher expectations in Dallas, which makes sense when Luka Doncic is playing at an MVP level and Kristaps Porzingis, when healthy, is looking like an impact co-star. With the right amount of activity between now and the March 25 trade deadline, the Mavericks can chase some of their loftier goals.

    The following three players in particular look like obvious trade targets.

Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    There would be few (if any) better ways to punctuate the Mavs' seemingly perennial third-star search than by winning the Bradley Beal sweepstakes, assuming those are actually held at some point (Do the right thing, Wizards!).

    It would be incredible—for them, for him, for Doncic and for fans of offensive eruptions. Beal would go from having almost a complete lack of offensive support to suiting up alongside Doncic, a 22-year-old capable of producing an efficient 30-point triple-double on any given night. Doncic, meanwhile, would go from doing most of the heavy lifting in this offense to now having the NBA's leading scorer at his side.

    Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle would have a field day cooking up different sets to maximize the impact of Beal, Doncic and Porzingis (assuming the latter wouldn't be lost in the exchange). Beal and Doncic can both run the offense, and they could space the floor for the other off the ball. There would be some fascinating options in the two-man game between them, too, letting one All-Star guard screen for the other.

    It's hard to say what exactly the Mavericks could send to Washington to get Beal, but that's for Dallas' decision-makers to figure out. We're just identifying trade targets, and Beal is the best of the bunch.

Andre Drummond, Cleveland Cavaliers

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    Tony Dejak/Associated Press

    Andre Drummond isn't quite the impact player his per-game stats make him out to be (17.5 points and 13.5 rebounds), but he could help the Mavericks in multiple ways.

    For starters, Dallas has ample room for growth on defense (25th in efficiency) and on the glass (26th in rebound percentage). Drummond's big body would give the Mavs more muscle on the interior, and his ability to inhale rebounds would be a welcome change from Willie Cauley-Stein's tendency to forget to box out.

    Moreover, Drummond shouldn't cost much at all. Dallas would have to make the money work to take on his $28.8 million salary of course, but that massive commitment should keep his trade price in check. Offer a couple of second-round picks, and that might be enough for the Cleveland Cavaliers to bite.

    Finally, the good thing about Drummond's deal is that it's up after this season. What that means for the Mavericks is bringing him on board might be a way to increase their financial flexibility. If Dallas could use the deal to wiggle out of the money still owed to Dwight Powell, it could become a bigger player in 2021 free agency.

Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Only eight teams connect on a lower percentage of their three-point attempts than the Mavericks' 35.4. That number feels criminally low considering the quality of shots Doncic creates and the damage he could do in a properly spaced offense.

    A gunner like Buddy Hield could be what unlocks this offense and launches it from 10th in efficiency to the elite ranks.

    Hield, the fastest player in NBA history to 1,000 career three-pointers, could serve as a souped-up version of Tim Hardaway Jr. The Mavs' current designated flamethrower can get boiling hot, but the degrees of searing heat are different with Hield. Hardaway has averaged 2.8 threes per 36 minutes on 35.6 percent shooting for his career. For Hield, those numbers skyrocket to 3.6 and 40.5, respectively.

    The Sacramento Kings, buried at 13th in the Western Conference, look nowhere close to contention, so they might be less than thrilled about the idea of paying the 28-year-old $62.5 million over the next three seasons. If the Mavs are comfortable footing that bill, they would get quite the offensive jolt from bringing him on board.


    All stats courtesy of and Basketball Reference unless otherwise noted.