Days before the February NBA trade deadline, the Dallas Mavericks decided to engage in a blockbuster deal with the New York Knicks. The Mavericks traded Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round picks to the Knicks for Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Trey Burke.
Having Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic on their roster, the future looks bright for the Mavericks. However, the acquisition of Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr. greatly affected the Mavericks’ chance of surrounding Porzingis and Doncic with quality players in the 2019 NBA free agency. Luckily, the Mavericks don’t seem to be done yet in making moves.
As the February NBA trade deadline approaches, David Lord of 247 Sports revealed that at least two NBA teams are expected to call the Mavericks to inquire about the availability of Harrison Barnes and Dwight Powell.
“A goodbye to HB means the $25.1 mil vacancy can be Dallas’ anew. Powell’s giveaway can mean $10.3 mil of added cap room. And then Dallas can be back in business in trying to buy ‘big fish’ help for Luka and KP this summer.”
The ideal trade scenario for the Mavericks is to find trade partners who are willing to send expiring contracts and future draft picks for Harrison Barnes and Dwight Powell. Getting rid of their current contracts will give the Mavericks the spending power in the summer of 2019. The 2019 NBA free agency will be featuring several NBA superstars like Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, and Kyrie Irving.
Mavericks' Harrison Barnes not happy with owner Mark Cuban's comments about American basketball culturehttps://t.co/fHYt1UUkYo— CBS Sports NBA (@CBSSportsNBA) December 23, 2018
Acquiring a superstar who can mesh well with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis could legitimize the Mavericks’ chance of contending for the NBA championship in the 2019-20 NBA season, provided that the Latvian center fully recovers from the torn ACL he suffered last season.
Aside from targeting incoming superstar free agents, the Mavericks are expected to prioritize securing Kristaps Porzingis’ future in Dallas. Though he hasn’t played a single game in the 2018-19 NBA season, Porzingis is set to receive plenty of interest in the 2019 NBA free agency. However, since he’s a restricted free agent, the Mavericks only need to match offers from other NBA teams just to bring him back.
The Mavericks won’t have a hard time dealing Dwight Powell, but a trade involving Harrison Barnes is somewhat complicated. Before engaging him in a trade discussion, the Mavericks should first ask permission from Barnes since he has an 8 percent trade kicker on his contract, per Spotrac. Also, interested teams should first get an assurance that Barnes intends to opt into the final year of his contract.