Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks are off to a strong start this season, sitting in the No. 4 spot in the Western Conference with a 13-6 record. However, if the Mavericks are determined to win the Western Conference and contend for the NBA championship, they should continue to find ways to improve their roster before the February trade deadline. According to Sean Deveney of Heavy, one of the players that the Mavericks could target on the trade market is Dennis Schroder of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
On paper, the Thunder look like a team that is capable of earning a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference. They have a combination of All-Star-caliber veterans and young and promising talents who have potential to become superstars in the league. However, since the departure of Russell Westbrook and Paul George, multiple signs are indicating that the Thunder will be moving veteran players like Schroder before the February trade deadline and start focusing on the development of their young players.
Though Mavericks already have Doncic taking the role as their starting point guard, Deveney believes that Schroder would still be a “reasonable” trade target for Dallas. The potential arrival of Schroder would help the Mavericks ease the load on Doncic’s shoulders in terms of ball-handling and playmaking. Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle could use Schroder alongside Doncic as his starting backcourt partner, or he could utilize him as his primary backup point guard.
Dennis Schroder… is a flopper pic.twitter.com/hSFeShltzP
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) November 28, 2019
Though he would love to take a spot in the Mavericks starting lineup, Schroder wouldn’t have any problem coming off the bench in Dallas. This season, Schroder has proven that he can excel in the second unit. In the 18 games he has played as Chris Paul’s backup in Oklahoma City, the 26-year-old point guard is averaging 15.4 points, four rebounds, and four assists, while shooting 43.9 percent from the field and 29.1 percent from beyond the arc. Schroder wouldn’t make the Mavericks an instant title contender, but he could definitely help the team become a more competitive squad this season.
Compared to other trade candidates like Paul and Danilo Gallinari, the Thunder aren’t expected to demand a high asking price for Schroder. In the proposed trade deal that would send Schroder to Dallas, the Mavericks could simply offer a trade package including two second-round picks. To make the deal work financially, the Mavericks could also use Courtney Lee’s expiring contract as a trade chip.