After a slow start to the season, the Dallas Mavericks have really kicked things into high gear. They are 8-2 in their last ten games before the All-Star break, and are hitting their stride at the right time. In a difficult Western Conference, the Mavericks have to be looking at ways to improve their team at the trade deadline.
If they’re in the 7-10 range in the conference, they’ll need to outlast a play-in tournament. Even if they are able to avoid that, the roster could use some upgrades to effectively tangle with the powerhouses in their conference.
Who are some Mavericks trade targets in order to help their chances of advancing in the postseason?
The Mavericks are already set up nicely from an offensive standpoint. Luka Doncic is one of the best playmakers in the NBA, and Kristaps Porzingis’ range and shooting touch make him a very difficult matchup. They also have players who can get hot in a hurry, like Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Josh Richardson.
What the roster could really use is an upgrade in the “three and D” department. Dorian Finney-Smith is a serviceable player, but is not going to scare anyone come playoff time on the defensive end. P.J. Tucker however, has a reputation of playing some of the most physical defense in the league, and will do whatever it takes to get under the skin of the opposition.
On a team full of players with offensive tendencies, Tucker’s skill set would be perfect in Dallas.
While the Thunder are only three games out of the 10th spot in the West, it seems unlikely that they think they will be able to muster a push to get into the play-in tournament.
Their roster is full of young players who are developing nicely, but this season will not likely end in a playoff berth for the franchise.
To that end, the Mavericks should call their neighbors to the north about the availability of point guard George Hill. He’s an ideal Mavericks trade target.
He’s currently still recovering from a thumb injury, but is unlikely to see the floor with the Thunder once recovered if they are out of the playoff mix. Hill has a ton of playoff experience with the Cavaliers, Bucks, Spurs and others, and would be a valuable addition in the locker room. He was shooting over 38% from downtown before he got hurt, which is a clip Dallas would happily take.
It would probably take a prolonged losing streak before the deadline for the Hawks to be sellers. They came into the season with the mindset of trying to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, but have had a disappointing start to the season. Atlanta recently fired head coach Lloyd Pierce in order to light a fire under the team in the second half.
He’s not quite the headline addition the other two players would be, but Tony Snell and his expiring contract would be a nice get for Dallas.
He would be another 6’6” swingman to throw at opposing teams’ forwards, which the team can never have enough of. Snell is also shooting a blistering 56% from three point land this season. While that’s likely unsustainable, it seems like he’s got the range this year, which is another positive for Dallas.