In Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks have one of the elite playmakers in the game. However, if the playoffs showed us one thing, it’s an NBA trending toward teams with multiple playmakers providing more options to attack a defense. Not a one-man show.
Dallas wants another top playmaker, and they are rumored to be a frontrunner if Giannis Antetokounmpo leaves Milwaukee. Since that is a longshot, Dallas isn’t waiting around, it’s looking at other playmakers, reports Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
The Mavericks are looking all over for a secondary playmaking presence behind Luka Doncic; they’re chasing Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie, and Chicago’s Zach LaVine. Whether any deal is completed before draft night remains to be seen.
Dallas has the No. 18 pick in the draft, which will not be the fulcrum of any trade.
Oladipo would make sense in Dallas because he is in the final year of his contract and reportedly wants out of Indiana. Even if Dallas traded for him and he couldn’t return close to his peak form following his injuries, the Mavericks can walk away. Also, it keeps the team’s Antetokounmpo (or other top free agents) dreams alive, and if it does work out they can re-sign him (although he wants a max deal). There’s a fair amount of Oladipo interest around the league, but teams want to see him on the court before committing after his play last season. Also, the cost to get Oladipo — and match his $21 million salary — may be too steep for Dallas.
Dinwiddie has one more guaranteed season on his contract, then a $12.3 million player option he most likely does not pick u. If he did, it would mess with the Mavericks 2021 cap space. Also, Brooklyn is looking to trade Dinwiddie (or other players) as part of a move to bring in a third star, not something Dallas has to offer up.
LaVine has two fully guaranteed years at $19.5 million left, he would eat into the cap space Dallas is keeping for 2021. His fit next to Doncic also has to be brought into question, to put it kindly.
Even if none of those work out, know that Dallas is aggressive looking for another star and more shot creation. This is not a team waiting around to improve in a couple of years, the Mavs believe they are just a couple of moves away from contending now.