The Dallas Mavericks is one of the teams expected to be aggressive on the market this offseason. Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis may have already blossomed into All-Star caliber talents, but in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the NBA championship title next season, the Mavericks obviously need more star power. In the past months, they have already been linked to several potential trade candidates, including Andre Drummond of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report included the Drummond-to-Mavericks deal on his list of impact trades NBA contenders can make in the 2020 offseason. In the proposed scenario, Dallas would be sending a package that includes Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, Delon Wright, and the No. 31 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft to Cleveland in exchange for Drummond.
Drummond would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Mavericks, giving them a very reliable third scoring option behind Doncic and Porzingis, a great rebounder, and a quality rim protector. Last season, he averaged 17.7 points, 15.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.6 blocks while shooting 53.3 percent from the field, per Basketball Reference.com. Drummond’s arrival in Dallas would allow Porzingis to move to the power forward position, which would help him preserve his body.
If he meshes well with Doncic and Porzingis, the Mavericks could form their own “Big Three” that would give them a better chance of beating Western Conference powerhouse teams likes the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, and Golden State Warriors in a best-of-seven series.
Aside from making them more competitive next year, there’s another reason why trading for Drummond makes a lot of sense for the Mavericks. While boosting their chances of bringing home the Larry O’Brien trophy, Swartz said it would also help them open up enough salary cap space to chase a big name like Giannis Antetokounmpo in the 2021 free agency.
“While his presence could help Dallas make a deep playoff run, his expiring $28.8 million contract may actually be more valuable. If the Mavericks want to open up space for Antetokounmpo in 2021, this deal gives them an extra $28.4 million to do so by trading the contracts of Powell, Kleber and Wright. Dallas would then have roughly $55.9 million in committed salary going into 2021-22, giving the Mavs more than enough cap space to try to sign the two-time MVP.”
If the trade becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Mavericks, but also for the Cavaliers. In exchange for Drummond’s expiring contract, they would be receiving three veteran role players who would fill in around their young core. When all of them are healthy, they easily could flip Kleber, Powell, and Wright for draft assets or a young player before the next year’s trade deadline. Meanwhile, using the No. 31 selection, the Cavaliers could add another talented prospect in the upcoming draft that would help them speed up the rebuilding process.