The Dallas Mavericks currently sit with a record of 27-15, which is good enough for the 5 seed in the Western conference. They have won four in a row, all without Kristaps Porzingis.
There are still opportunities for improvement with two and a half weeks until the trade deadline (February 6th). I believe the biggest opportunity for improvement is the big man situation. Dwight Powell is a player that plays hard and has a role on a championship contending team. However, that role cannot be starting center with guys like Rudy Gobert, Nikola Jokic and Anthony Davis all big men that you could see in a playoff situation.
Another opportunity for improvement comes from the wing/ball handling situation. It would be nice for the Mavs to be able to have another guy that feels comfortable handling the ball in big moments. This concern comes from the end of the January 8th game against the Denver Nuggets. On the final possession, the Nuggets immediately sent a second defender at Luka and forced him to give up the ball and nobody else on the floor wanted anything to do with the basketball in that moment and it resulted with Dallas not getting a shot up and losing 107-106.
Five potential trade targets for the Mavs:
Serge Ibaka – Toronto Raptors
It has been reported that the defending champion Toronto Raptors may look to trading pieces and Serge Ibaka could be moved. If true, he would be the perfect fit next to Porzingis. Ibaka has the ability to guard 4’s when playing along side Kristaps, rebound and shoot the 3 at a high enough level (36%) where opposing teams have to defend him. There is an element of toughness that this Mavs team lacks and he would be able to fill the void, as well. Ibaka is in the final year of his contract so he does not effect you cap going forward. The Ibaka-Maxi Kleber defensive front line would also be incredible, if the Mavs are forced to go without Kristaps for any length of time.
Robert Covington – Minnesota Timberwolves
Robert Covington is a guy that has been mentioned in trade rumors for most of the season. Covington currently shoots 35% from three and defends multiple positions at an elite level. When you look around the league, the best teams have multiple above average perimeter defenders.
Bogdan Bogdanovic – Sacramento Kings
Bogdan Bogdanovic is another name that has been floated around in trade rumors for the majority of the season. He is a restricted free agent after this season and in 31 games this season, he is averaging 14.4 points per game and shoots 38% from 3 in 27 minutes per game in a limited role. Bogdan has reportedly voiced his frustration with his situation in Sac, being that he believes he should be a starter. He is also good friends with Luka, which would be a plus.
Marcus Morris – New York Knicks
Marcus Morris is a name that I would love for the Mavs to acquire. He can shoot, defend and has a sneaky ability of creating his own shot. Morris averaging 19 points per game and shooting 46 percent from 3 for the New York Knicks. Morris reportedly wants out of New York and brings a much needed element of toughness.
Andre Drummond – Detroit Pistons
Andre Drummond is no doubt one of the best big men in the game. He averages 17 points and 16 rebounds a game and is capable of holding his own defensively against 5s. Drummond is a better overall player than Ibaka, but I am not as high on Drummond as Ibaka for this Mavs team because I believe that Drummond and Porzingis would be a mess defensively.
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