The Mavericks had climbed their way as high as the fourth seed during a stretch that saw their longest win streak (7 games) since their championship season. Along the way, Dirk Nowitzki’s statue was unveiled on Christmas day, and we witnessed a historical 60pt/21reb/10ast performance from Luka against the Jalen Brunson-less Knicks.
Dallas was brought back to earth after becoming plagued with injuries. Considerable time has been missed by Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Green, and of course Maxi Kleber. These are not just key rotational players, but also the Mavs’ best defensive players.
Dallas has since lost 5 of their last 7 since their win-streak.
When the Mavericks dealt Kristaps Porzingis a year ago, the emphasis was on the flexibility behind splitting up that max contract into two smaller (and in turn more movable) contracts.
Those two contracts belong to Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. You have to believe that now is the time that the Mavs pull the trigger, whether that be with one of these players or with contracts that are similar.
A big reason that the Mavericks would want to offload unfavorable contracts is to retain Christian Wood on a long-term contract extension. Wood has thrived playing alongside Doncic and has proven, in my eyes, that he is worth that extension. Regardless of my opinion, Dallas will look to either include Wood in a trade package or extend him (as to not lose him for nothing).
There has also been rumored interest in Tim Hardaway Jr. from the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Heat, of course, have been linked to Hardaway since pursuing him in the 2021 offseason.
It all comes down to what exactly Dallas would like to accomplish by the deadline. Do they want to clear up cap space? Or are they willing to absorb money that is paired with high value picks/young players?
How much can they trust in rookie Jaden Hardy’s development? His growth could result in the roster not changing much at all (but I know that is not what the fans want to see). Can he fill the shoes of Jalen Brunson?
These are all questions that Dallas must answer by the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, February 9th.
Your move, Nico.