With Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, the Dallas Mavericks are a team very much on the rise in the Western Conference.
And, according to one report by an NBA executive, they're eyeballing a player that could cement their status as a true title contender: All-Star center Rudy Gobert.
Several rival executives have pitched the Mavs as a trade destination for Rudy Gobert, who is eligible for a supermax. I get the thinking — a rim-running center to stabilize Dallas’ shaky defense — but I can’t get there. Devoting $65 million combined to Gobert and Porzingis when the latter needs to play a good chunk at center is not optimal.
And let’s say the Mavs snare Gobert and then need some means of acquiring Antetokounmpo via sign-and-trade. Do the rebuilding Bucks want Gobert? They would almost certainly prefer Porzingis, but that leaves Dallas figuring out how to fit Antetokounmpo and Gobert on offense — or finding a third team for him. (There’s also the small matter of whether Dallas has much Utah would want.)
The Dallas Mavericks broke records with their offensive performance last season, no doubt as a result of the Luka/Kristaps duo -- who combined to average over 40 points last season.
Gobert, who turned 28 in June, would drastically improve Dallas' performance on defense. The 7-1 big man is a 2x Defensive Player of the Year who is averaging roughly 2.2 blocks per game for his career.
With the Mavs, and behind the esteemed leadership of Rick Carlisle, he should thrive on the interior, blocking shots, grabbing rebounds, and providing that rim presence almost every title-contending team needs.
Gobert has been key to Utah's performance these past few years, and he could be key in helping Dallas get over the hump.