NBA Rumors: Zach LaVine Trade Could Turn Mavericks Into ‘Full-Fledged Western Conference Contender’

Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls dunks against the Washington Wizards during the first half at Capital One Arena.
Patrick Smith / Getty Images

After a slow start, the Dallas Mavericks have finally found their way back to the winning column, earning back-to-back victories against the Houston Rockets and the Denver Nuggets. However, though Luka Doncic is once again establishing an MVP-caliber performance, the Mavericks are still not viewed on the same level as other Western Conference powerhouse teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. In order to have a better chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and winning the championship this year, most people believe the Mavericks need more star power around Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.

One of the most realistic superstar targets for Dallas before the 2021 trade deadline is Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls. In a recent article, Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report included the LaVine-to-Bulls deal on his list of brand-new blockbuster trade ideas that could happen this season. As of now, the Bulls have yet to make LaVine officially available on the trading block, but if the Mavericks would succeed in acquiring him, Buckley believes a “Big Three” of him, Doncic, and Porzingis could turn Dallas into a “full-fledged Western Conference contender” in the 2020-21 NBA season.

“LaVine’s combination of off-the-bounce explosiveness and perimeter sharpshooting could make him the perfect copilot for Doncic. Put both around a healthy Kristaps Porzingis, and the Mavericks might make the jump from frisky first-round opponent to full-fledged Western Conference contender. LaVine is on course to average 23 points, four assists and four rebounds for the third consecutive season. Only six other players can make that claim, and they’re basically all perennial All-Stars. LaVine could add a new layer of athleticism to the Mavericks attack, and if their offseason focus on defense continues paying dividends—they’re already up from 18th to 10th in efficiency—they could become a two-way power.”

Zach LaVine #8 of the Chicago Bulls drives against George Hill #3 of the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center on December 30, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
  Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

LaVine would be a great acquisition for the Mavericks. His potential arrival in Dallas might further improve their performance on the offensive end of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option, playmaker, and floor-spacer. This season, he’s averaging 24.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 1.3 steals while shooting 45.9 percent from the field and 29.7 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

With his ability to excel with or without the ball, he could fit nicely alongside a ball-dominant star like Doncic. If LaVine manages to regain his shooting touch, it would benefit Doncic more. Sharing the floor with an efficient three-point shooter might make it easier for Doncic to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he’s trapped by the opposing team’s defense.

To acquire LaVine, Buckley suggested the Mavericks could offer a package that includes Tim Hardaway Jr., James Johnson, Tyrell Terry, and a 2025 first-round pick to the Bulls. In the proposed scenario, Dallas would also be receiving veteran big man Thaddeus Young.