After successfully ending their three-year playoff drought in the 2019-20 NBA season, the Dallas Mavericks are expected to be more aggressive in upgrading their roster this fall. Though they managed to surpass the expectations from them this year, they obviously need more star power around the young superstar duo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning an NBA championship title. One of the most intriguing targets for the Mavericks in the 2020 free agency is Fred VanVleet of the Toronto Raptors.
VanVleet may not be showing any strong indication that he plans to leave the Raptors this fall, but if they fail to reach an agreement regarding a new contract, the Mavericks should do everything they can to steal the veteran shooting guard from Toronto. According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Mavericks could acquire VanVleet in the 2020 free agency by engaging in a sign-and-trade deal with the Raptors. In the proposed scenario, Dallas would be sending a package that includes Tim Hardaway, Justin Jackson, and a 2020 first-round pick to Toronto in exchange for VanVleet.
Though he’s yet to become an All-Star, VanVleet would be an incredible addition to the Mavericks. As Favale noted, his potential arrival in Dallas would immediately address the Mavericks’ need for another shot-creation weapon next to Doncic.
“VanVleet addresses that second-option issue. He isn’t the best finisher or most effective pick-and-roll initiator, but he stretches defenses both on and off the ball. He banged in 44 percent of his spot-up threes this season, and his attacks inside the arc, while touch-and-go when he’s looking for his own shot, are actions around which defenses collapse. And perhaps best of all, unlike Gallinari, his secondary scoring doesn’t come at the expense of Dallas’ already stops-starved defense.”
VanVleet would give the Mavericks a very reliable third scoring option, playmaker, floor-spacer, and perimeter defender. This season, the 26-year-old shooting guard averaged 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.9 steals while shooting 41.3 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. The successful acquisition of VanVleet may not be enough to make them an instant title contender, but it would give them a realistic chance of challenging Western Conference powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers in a best-of-seven series.
If the trio of VanVleet, Doncic, and Porzingis grow together and build good chemistry, it would only be a matter of time before the Mavericks have their own “Big Three.”