Despite a season-ending loss to the Warriors on Friday, there are a lot of reasons to be hopeful about the future for the Mavericks.
They have a star in Luka Doncic, a great head coach in Jason Kidd, and a solid cast of supporting players that showed up big in these playoffs.
But changes are coming to Dallas, and the latest word on the street is that the team could be looking East to bring in another star. Marc Stein dropped the latest update in a recent article:
The word choice there does not appear to be accidental. Sources with knowledge of the Mavericks' thinking say that the team, for all of Doncic's individual brilliance, remains intent on finding at least one more All-Star-caliber player to complement him, fearful that it would be too difficult to win another championship without one...
Trading for that sort of player is the Mavericks' only expected route to do so this offseason, with no cap flexibility in the near future and a determination to re-sign guard Jalen Brunson that will cement Dallas' status as a luxury-tax team for the first time since the title run.
Sources nonetheless maintain that one option already being weighed by team brass is the prospect of joining the sign-and-trade bidding for the Chicago Bulls' Zach LaVine, amid a growing belief around the league that LaVine, as he heads into free agency, has more interest in leaving Chicago than initially presumed. Atlanta, Portland and San Antonio — all of whom possess either the cap space or the trade pieces to more readily chase him — have already been mentioned as likely LaVine suitors.
LaVine's loyalty to Chicago has been doubted in recent weeks, and there is a real possibility he leaves for another team in free agency. If you're Zach, what better situation is there than teaming up with Luka Doncic in one of the country's most exciting up-and-coming cities?
LaVine, a 2x All-Star, finished this season with averages of 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists on 47.6% shooting.
Together, he and Doncic could make a lot of noise in the West for years to come. But first, the Mavs will have to compete with other interested parties in what is sure to be a competitive market.