The Mavericks are seeking a secondary play-maker to complement Luka Doncic, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who says Pacers guard Victor Oladipo, Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie and Bulls guard Zach LaVine are among Dallas’ potential trade targets.
The Mavs don’t project to have any cap room until 2021, but rather than sitting back and waiting a year to try to make a splash, the team is expected to be active in trade talks this month as it pursues another impact player. As a report last month indicated, the franchise doesn’t want to waste any time upgrading its roster around Doncic, who already looks like a perennial MVP candidate.
Oladipo, who is entering a contract year, has reportedly agitated some Pacers teammates and may not have a long-term future in Indiana, making him a potential target for Dallas. Typically, a 28-year-old who has made multiple All-Star teams would require a significant return, but Oladipo didn’t look like his old self last season after returning from his torn quad tendon. If the Mavs are willing to roll the dice on his health, like they did in 2019 with Kristaps Porzingis, the price might be a little lower than usual.
As for Dinwiddie, we heard earlier this week that multiple contending teams in the Western Conference had engaged in internal discussions about pursuing the Brooklyn guard. It’s safe to say the Mavs were one of those clubs, though it remains to be seen if the Nets will consider moving Dinwiddie. He may have his role reduced in 2020-21 with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving back in the lineup, but he’s also an important insurance policy in Brooklyn given Irving’s and Caris LeVert‘s injury histories.
Meanwhile, we noted earlier Thursday that the Mavs were among the teams that have contacted the Bulls recently to inquire on LaVine’s availability. Unless Chicago drafts a potential franchise guard, such as LaMelo Ball, next Wednesday, we’d be a bit surprised to see the team place LaVine on the trade block. Still, we don’t yet have a clear idea of which players new Bulls president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas is most attached to.
Oladipo, Dinwiddie and LaVine will have respective cap hits of $21M, $11.5M and $19.5M in 2020-21, so it wouldn’t be too difficult for the Mavs to match salaries in any trade, either using Tim Hardaway‘s $19M expiring deal or a smaller contract or two. Dallas also has this year’s Nos. 18 and 31 picks available to dangle in a trade offer.