At the conclusion of their 2019-20 campaign, the Dallas Mavericks looked like a team on the rise. With young stud Luka Doncic already looking like a generational talent and his co-star Kristaps Porzingis looking like a worthy partner, there isn't any indication this team is headed anywhere but up.
Still, according to team president Donnie Nelson, they will stop at nothing to ensure they make the roster even better in the upcoming offseason.
And according to multiple league sources, no one is churning harder than Mavericks president and general manager Donnie Nelson, who has made it clear to peers league-wide that:
Dallas wants to acquire a third star to augment the pairing of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and if that takes adding other teams' unwanted salaries so be it.
All — repeat all — Mavericks players not named Doncic or Porzingis are available.
With a trade likely to come in the next few months for the Mavericks, let's take a look at one scenario that could see them pair their two young stars with another talented pair from San Antonio: DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.
As the Spurs contemplate a rebuild, the likelihood of a trade involving one or both of the veterans seems high, especially considering the reports that DeMar is unhappy with his current situation. Additionally, both DeMar and LaMarcus have just one year remaining on their current deals, with the former having a player-option attached that could see him become a free agent as early as this offseason.
To avoid the possibility of losing both players for nothing, they could agree to send both players to Dallas in exchange for Tim Hardaway Jr., Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, Justin Jackson, and the 18th pick. Not only would they be granted many solid young players (to which they can develop), they'll also have cap flexibility to work with in the future.
For the Mavs, the addition of DeRozan, who they can likely convince to sign a long-term extension, would add a versatile finisher and mid-range scorer to the club. With Luka taking most of the ball-handling responsibilities, DeRozan would be playing off-ball and should get a ton of shot quality opportunities.
As for Aldridge, the 35-year-old is in the twilight of his career after 14 seasons in the NBA. Even as he continues to decline, he averaged over 18 points per game last season and is known as one of basketball's most lethal mid-range shooters.
Best of all for the Mavericks is the fact that they still would still cap flexibility for the 2021 offseason. If DeRozan opts-in to his deal or they decide to let Aldridge walk, they would have the space to sign any star they want, including the two-time MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Though Dallas might not be favored over teams like the Lakers, Warriors, of Clippers, a roster consisting of Luka, KP, DeRozan, and Aldridge would certainly be among the best in the NBA.
We will see soon enough what kind of team they are able to assemble in the crucial offseason ahead.