Tristan Thompson has always been a possible trade target of the Dallas Mavericks but after the season-ending injury to Dwight Powell, a trade with the Cavs has never made more sense…
In the wake of Dwight Powell’s season-ending Achilles injury, it’s important not to overreact. The Dallas Mavericks are still a bona fide playoff team with their top three or four pieces fully intact. Dwight Powell may be an important part to Rick Carlisle’s offense, but he’s not integral.
With that said, Powell’s role is not easily filled. The high-flying rim-roller is among the best in the league in what he does and to simply subtract him from the lineup without finding a replacement, changes the complexion of the NBA’s top-rated offense.
Tristen Thompson isn’t going to solve all of the Dallas Mavericks problems. The 6-foot-9 238lb big man from Cleveland is an athletic big who can rebound, roll, and defend, but he’s not going to be the fixture in the middle capable of shutting down the NBA’s top centers (but neither did Dwight).
Thompson is a low cost option who averages a double-double this season (12.6 pts, 10.6 rebounds) and should be able to continue that in Dwight Powell’s role here in Dallas. With Cleveland in sell-mode they don’t need to be convinced to trade their long-time fixture in the middle, and will be willing to trade him to the highest bidder.
Patience is Key
Dallas, without a first round pick, will be relying on their high second rounder (from Golden State) to get the deal done (along with Courtney Lee). Cleveland won’t be eager to settle and may take this up until the deadline to pull the trigger. Luckily for Dallas they can afford to wait…a little while.
The key in playing the “patience game” is Maxi Kleber. Kleber usually does the heavy lifting when Dwight’s out and that’s especially true now. While he may not be as athletically spectacular as Powell, he’s more explosive than credited for and with his 3-point shooting, he adds an extra layer of flavor to his game. As Locked on Mavs pointed out the other day, Maxi is just behind Powell in roll man rankings (using roll man points per possession), with both being in the NBA’s top-5.
Even before Powell was lost, Dallas had a need at the 4/5. But now that the Dallas Mavericks are without their most athletic big, Tristan Thompson seems like a must. If the Mavs can get him for their 2nd rounder, they shouldn’t hesitate. In the meantime, we’re in good hands with Maxi.