Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks haven't had the best start to the season. They are current 8-11 and are in the 13th seed of the Western Conference. Luka Doncic is playing at an All-NBA level but despite his play, the Mavericks are still struggling. Something needs to change in order for the Mavericks to make the postseason.
The Mavericks could elect to make a trade in order to help Luka Doncic make the playoffs. They have a generational talent, and they need to make the best of his years with the franchise. Luka Doncic needs to compete against the best of the best. There are a few players around the league that could help the Mavericks improve their record, and they could be acquired via trade. Here are some of the best trade options for the Dallas Mavericks.
Season Stats: 9.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 2.0 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.0 BPG
Dallas Mavericks Receive: Kevin Love
Cleveland Cavaliers Receive: Josh Richardson, James Johnson
Kevin Love is a solid power forward who can space the floor at a high level. Love is an experienced veteran with a championship under his belt. During his time with LeBron James, Love has learned how to play as the third option, and thrive with other dominant scorers like Kyrie Irving on the roster. He would be a tailor-fit option to help this Mavericks team, as he could bring leadership and stability to the team. Kevin Love would also benefit from Luka Doncic's playmaking just by spacing the floor. Love's statistics for the season aren't great but should increase once he fully recovers and plays more games throughout the course of the season.
Josh Richardson could be a solid wing player for the Cavaliers who brings elite defense and okay spacing, while James Johnson is an expiring contract. Kevin Love is currently getting paid over 30 million dollars during the 2020-21 season and will continue getting paid a similar amount for the next two years. The Cavaliers could elect to trade Love for some assets, as he doesn't fit the timeline of their young core, and has an immense contract for the amount of production that he usually brings. Trading for James Johnson would help them clear the books, while Josh Richardson could be a player that fits in a supporting role for their roster.
4. Blake Griffin
Season Stats: 13.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.1 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.1 BPG
Dallas Mavericks Receive: Blake Griffin
Detroit Pistons Receive: Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Dwight Powell
Blake Griffin is far removed from his days as an elite dunker on the Los Angeles Clippers. Multiple injuries have contributed to his declining athleticism, but regardless of that, Griffin can still be an effective player for a contender. Blake Griffin currently shoots 34.4% from the 3PT line on 6.6 attempts per game, which is solid efficiency on high volume. Griffin is also an underrated passer. At this stage of his career, he could be an elite player in a limited role for a playoffs team and provide inside defense and spacing. Blake Griffin has gone on multiple playoff runs and knows what it takes to get there.
The Detroit Pistons would get a solid haul of assets for Blake Griffin. James Johnson helps them save some money by being an expiring contract, while Josh Richardson could be a great defensive presence next to Jerami Grant. Richardson could always be traded next season when he would be an expiring contract. Dwight Powell is locked in for the next few years and is a solid backup big man. The Pistons need to rebuild, so trading Blake Griffin seems like a no-brainer.
3. Eric Bledsoe
Season Stats: 13.9 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.6 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.3 BPG
Dallas Mavericks Receive: Eric Bledsoe
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: Josh Richardson, Maxi Kleber, 2024 Mavericks first-round pick
Eric Bledsoe is a dynamic guard who is elite defensively. Bledsoe is at his best when driving towards the rim, but this year, he's been shooting a solid 41.4% from 3PT range on 5.4 attempts per game. On the Dallas Mavericks, Eric Bledsoe could be a solid option at either guard position, as he can lock up the opposing team's best defensive player. On the offensive end, he is known for seeking his own shot and could energize the Dallas Mavericks' offense. With his newfound 3PT prowess, he could play off of Luka Doncic by spotting up for perimeter shots, while also being the secondary ballhandler when Luka Doncic sits.
The New Orleans Pelicans would get Josh Richardson who would provide some size at the wing position. Maxi Kleber is a solid big man who can be a floor spacer, shooting 47.1% from 3PT range. Kleber could give the Pelicans a different look, and possibly enable some small-ball lineups with shooters around Zion Williamson. The key for the Pelicans here is freeing up minutes for Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kira Lewis, and that happens with a Bledsoe trade. The Pelicans would also get the 2024 first-round pick, but it will likely be low value due to the Mavericks likely being good with Luka Doncic at the helm.
2. Aaron Gordon
Season Stats: 13.8 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 4.3 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.9 BPG
Dallas Mavericks Receive: Aaron Gordon
Orlando Magic Receive: Josh Richardson, Jalen Brunson, 2024 Mavericks first-round pick, a future second-round pick
Aaron Gordon is having a solid season for the Orlando Magic, but the team itself is stuck in the 11th seed with an 8-11 record. Aaron Gordon is a lockdown defender who can space the floor: he is athletic enough to switch on the perimeter, but can also guard inside. Gordon could be a solid defensive piece for the Dallas Mavericks, and his floor spacing could be crucial around their two stars. Trading Aaron Gordon could let the Orlando Magic do a soft rebuild this season. They could get a higher draft pick for the 2021 NBA Draft and then come back full strength next season with Jonathan Isaac and Markelle Fultz back from injury.
The Orlando Magic would get an elite perimeter defender in Josh Richardson, fitting with their identity as a defensive-minded team. Jalen Brunson would be a solid point guard that could give them solid minutes this year while Markelle Fultz is out, then settle into a backup role. The two future picks aren't going to be high-value picks, but a first-round pick is always good for any team.
1. DeMar DeRozan
Season Stats: 20.7 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 7.0 APG, 0.9 SPG, 0.5 BPG
Dallas Mavericks Receive: DeMar DeRozan
San Antonio Spurs Receive: Josh Richardson, Jalen Brunson, Dwight Powell, 2024 Mavericks first-round pick, a future second-round pick
DeMar DeRozan has had an All-Star caliber season for the San Antonio Spurs this season. However, he is on an expiring contract, and the Spurs could elect to trade DeRozan to not lose him in free agency for nothing. That is where a team like the Dallas Mavericks could enter the conversation with a trade package. DeRozan has experience in the playoffs and could serve as a solid second scoring option behind Luka Doncic. With his newfound willingness to shoot the 3PT shot, DeRozan has turned into an even more lethal offensive weapon. DeRozan could also take some pressure off of Luka Doncic to create for his teammates, as DeRozan is an excellent playmaker. Essentially, DeRozan is a good fit for the Dallas Mavericks roster.
The San Antonio Spurs would receive some solid players in return for their star. Gregg Popovich has a history of making elite defenders into capable offensive players: on the Spurs, Richardson could become elite under Popovich's tutelage. Dwight Powell would mostly be in the deal for salary matching, and Jalen Brunson could provide a spark off of the bench for the Spurs. The two picks would actually be great for San Antonio, as they have a track record of picking capable players with late first-round picks. This would be an amazing package for DeRozan that could pay off massively in the future.