Andrew Bogut’s time with the Dallas Mavericks could be short-lived. NBA trade rumors are swirling about the Portland Trailblazers and Boston Celtics being among the clubs looking into the big man’s availability. Where Bogut lands, provided that the Mavericks trade him, could tilt the balance in a divisional race somewhere down the line.
ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the Australian center could be dealt before the trade deadline. Stein lists the Celtics as one of the teams which could be interested.
The Portland Trailblazers are a team that could be lurking if the Dallas Mavericks put Bogut on the market. He could fit in well with the Trailblazers.
Looking up and down at Portland’s roster, it is easy to find trade matches. The Trailblazers have a ton of salary obligations tied to several players. Many of the contracts on their books are still manageable, and they can easily absorb the $11 million the Mavericks owe Andrew Bogut.
Also, the Portland Trailblazers have young frontcourt players they can use to facilitate a trade. Noah Vonleh, Ed Davis, and Meyers Leonard each provides a skill set that could greatly benefit the Mavericks.
Getting Andrew Bogut would help shore up the Trailblazers defense, providing them with shot-blocking. The Trailblazers have a young roster and would likely look to deal one of their young power forwards to the Mavericks as they begin an in-season re-tool.
The Mavericks’ cupboard is not completely bare. Not with the ageless Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews, and Harrison Barnes on hand. Nowitzki is in the twilight of his career. Having only played in five games so far, due to a sore Achilles, this could be his final year in the league.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Nowitzki might practice next week, but no official timeframe has been set for his return. Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban did praise his star forward’s work ethic, while admitting that he is uncertain when Nowitzki will return.
“I’ve been saying a lot of hopefullies this season. He’s obviously working his a** off. The guy hates it because he’s working so hard and he isn’t able to play.”
With the status of Nowitzki up in the air, the team with the worst record in the NBA has to start thinking about the future. Unless the Mavericks get hot and stay hot, there will be no playoffs.
That means the Mavericks could eventually decide to start dealing veteran players. Determining what to do with Nowitzki is something that the Mavericks must also consider. If the roster experiences some heavy upheaval, Dirk Nowitzki may be brought back slowly.
If the Dallas Mavericks undergo some in-season changes, Andrew Bogut could be the first to go.
Again, the Portland Trailblazers are a team that could use Bogut to help their interior defense. To satisfy the Mavericks with a deal, the Trailblazers would have to include one out of the trio of Davis, Leonard, and Vonleh. The Trailblazers could also throw in a draft pick with some protection attached to it.
An ideal candidate for the Trailblazers to offer would be Meyers Leonard. Leonard, along with a future first round pick, is a sufficient trade offer to pass along to the Mavericks.
The Boston Celtics also reportedly have an interest in acquiring Bogut, as they look to gear up for a deep playoff run. Look for the Celtics to offer the Mavericks one of their first round draft picks and perhaps shooting guard James Young. Of the two teams, the Celtics will likely to be more aggressive than the Trailblazers in going after Andrew Bogut.
If anything happens with Bogut, it will take a couple of weeks before something materializes. The Dallas Mavericks certainly will not be in a hurry to trade him. This is especially true if the Mavericks believe that a healthy Dirk Nowitzki could translate into some wins. We will not know until early January, at the earliest, what the Dallas Mavericks decide to do. It will be determined by their star power forward’s health and which offers they receive.
[Featured Image by Steve Dykes/Getty Images]