The Dallas Mavericks is one of the worst teams in the NBA this season. Right now, second worst to be exact (9-24) with only the Atlanta Hawks (7-24) having a more inferior win-loss slate.
Dallas is currently 27th in the league in points per game (99.7) and ninth in opponents’ points per game (102.6), giving them a -2.9 differential, which is really not that bad. However, they cannot seem to pull off wins during crunch time as the team had lost seven of their last nine games, most of them went down to the wire.
The Mavs have some promising players, though, namely Harrison Barnes, rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., and sophomore floor general Yogi Ferrell. Veterans Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea, and long-time team leader Dirk Nowitzki continue to produce despite their struggles.
However, the team clearly lacks energy and bench production, which led to some analysts believing that a major trade to get those assets could be imminent.
When it comes to energy boost and bench play, the best duo rumored to be in the trade market right now is that of the Los Angeles Lakers’ Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson. Both Randle and Clarkson have been in the rumor mill since the start of the season when Magic Johnson announced that they would be targeting two big-name free agents next summer.
SB Nation‘s Mavs Moneyball blog suggested a trade sending Randle and Clarkson to the Mavericks in exchange for Nerlens Noel, Devin Harris, Josh McRoberts, and a future second-round draft pick.
Noel is presently sidelined after undergoing an operation to repair a torn left thumb ligament. There is still no definite timetable for his return, and there are rumors that the Mavericks could put him on the trade block as soon as he comes back.
Meanwhile, the Lakers are in need of a rim protector that could also complement the style of play of their core group of Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Brandon Ingram. At 23 years old, Noel could be the ideal big man for the young squad as the former Kentucky standout would grow with the trio of Ball, Kuzma, and Ingram all at the same time.
Fansided‘s Lake Show Life said that trading Randle would allow Kuzma and Larry Nance Jr. to have more playing time and more room to develop. The blog noted that Lakers head coach Luke Walton is having a hard time “managing the minutes of all three.” Giving up Randle would easily solve that issue.
As for the Mavs, having Randle and Clarkson would give a huge boost to their bench. Randle and Clarkson’s on-court energy could also become contagious to the whole Mavericks team.