Despite surpassing expectations in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks are still likely to find ways to upgrade their roster this fall. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis may have blossomed into All-Star caliber players, but in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title, the Mavericks obviously need more star power on the team. In the past few months, they have been linked to several big names expected to be available on the trade market in the 2020 offseason, including Buddy Hield of the Sacramento Kings.
According to Dalton Trigg of Sports Illustrated, the Mavericks could use Tim Hardaway Jr. as the main trade chip to acquire Hield from the Kings this fall.
“If Hardaway Jr. decides to opt in to his $19 million player option, Dallas could, in theory, send his expiring contract, a filler player (perhaps Delon Wright or Justin Jackson), and the No. 31 pick in this year’s draft to Sacramento for Hield, whose four-year extension will kick in this offseason. There’s a couple of other ways you could mix and match the pieces, but that’s probably the most realistic scenario in our opinion.”
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban had already expressed his desire to keep Hardaway Jr. long term in Dallas, but there is a possibility for him to change his mind if he’s presented the opportunity to improve their roster. Though he failed to carry his team to the postseason, Hield is still a better player than Hardaway Jr. This season, he averaged 19.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, and three assists while shooting 42.9 percent from the field and 39.4 percent from beyond the arc, according to ESPN.
Sharing the court with a more efficient scorer and three-pointer like Hield would lessen the load on Luka’s shoulders on the offensive end of the floor and make it easier for him to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he’s trapped by the opposing team’s defense. If he continues to improve his performance and manages to address the major flaws with his game, Hield could form a lethal trio with Doncic and Porzingis in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Being traded to the Mavericks would also be beneficial for Hield. Aside from having the opportunity to have more playing time and return to the starting lineup, joining forces with Doncic and Porzingis would also give him a realistic chance of winning his first championship ring next year.