For the first time in years the Dallas Mavericks have had something to trade for at the deadline, so what did they do and how will it work? we assess…
A few somewhat odd trade deadline decisions have Dallas Mavericks fans scratching their heads. With the smoke cleared and dust settled, let’s look at the Mavericks trade deadline moves. Going into the trade deadline the Dallas Mavericks were very clear on what they wanted to accomplish in the days leading up to the trade deadline:
- Find a center to fill in for injured Dwight
- Get a defensive upgrade on the wing.
- Maintain team chemistry.
The Dallas Mavericks checked the first box by sending a 2020 second round pick to the Golden State Warriors for seven-foot center Willie Cauley-Stein. The Mavericks benefited from the Warriors looking to cut cost to avoid paying the luxury tax in a draft lottery bound season.
With the Detroit Pistons looking to part ways with center Andre Drummond, many Mavericks fans wanted to see Drummond in a Dallas uniform. With no real draft assets and an unwillingness to trade any key players, the Dallas Mavericks had little chance at making a trade for Drummond happen.
It’s also unlikely that the Mavericks would’ve taken on Drummond’s contract. Andre Drummond will make almost 60 million dollars over the next two seasons. Meaning to make the money work out the Mavericks would’ve had to trade not only Courtney Lee, but also two other key players like Delon Wright and Maxi Kleber. Cauley-Stein is only set to make just over four million over the next two years with a player option next season.
This is a low risk and possibly high reward trade for the Dallas Mavericks. Willie Cauley-Stein is a good defender and rebounder on a team friendly contract that ends around the time of Powell’s expected return. If things work out, the Mavericks added much-needed depth at the center position for the future.
If things don’t work out, the Mavericks can easily move on. This wouldn’t have been the case with Drummond. The Pistons had trouble finding a trade partner for Drummond with two seasons left on his contract. It would’ve been a tough for the Mavericks to move Drummond next season in the last year of his contract. This could be an under the radar great move for the Dallas Mavericks in the long run.
The Mavericks addressed the wing defense issue by signing 6’6″ forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. The former second overall pick had his contract bought-out by the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday and was signed by the Mavericks on Monday. The Hornets and the Mavericks were rumored to be trade talks for Kidd-Gilchrist, but it looks like the Mavericks patience paid off.
To open up the roster spots for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist the Mavericks waived second year forward Ryan Broekhoff. Broekhoff’s solid play as of late, his 40% three-point shooting and his recent start has some fans wondering; why Ryan?
Well, it really came down to contracts. Rookie’s Antonius Cleveland, and Josh Reaves the two players behind Broekhoff in the Mavericks rotation are on two-way contracts. Meaning they hold two special roster spots added in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement. Two-way players spend not more than 45 days with their NBA team, and they spend the remainder of the season with that team’s G league affiliate.
The Dallas Mavericks accomplished the final objective by properly handling the first two. The Dallas Mavericks were able to upgrade at two key positions, and they only lost fringe rotation player Ryan Broekhoff, and rookie center Isaiah Roby. Roby was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for center Justin Patton, who was later waived to open up Willie Cauley-Stein’s roster spot.
Though the Dallas Mavericks may not have landed the big name trade that fans hoped for, they were able to add two much-needed interior defensive players. The Mavericks were also able to add players on team friendly contracts without upsetting the team chemistry.
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With the playoffs in their sights the Dallas Mavericks made moves to improve right now while maintaining future flexibility, a win win for the Dallas front office.