Dallas Mavericks: Lauri Markkanen not a homerun but worthwhile

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Ever since Mark Stein linked the Dallas Mavericks to restricted free agent Lauri Markkanen, Mavs Land has been enamored. After a productive, yet underwhelming summer of free agency, the Mavs front office need some headline players. And Lauri certainly qualifies.

Markkanen’s fit on the Dallas Mavericks isn’t exactly clear. As a 7-foot shooter who can go 40% from behind the arch, there’s definitely a place for him. But one cringes when picturing him on defense alongside Kristaps Porzingis.

Lauri Markkanen would be a good addition for the Dallas Mavericks depending on the cost

At 24-years-old, Markkanen is a young player who’s still developing. His play on the court may not live up to his name and reputation, but he’s a up-trending player (before last late season) with a tantalizing skill set nonetheless.

A Mavs team with Lauri is better than a Mavs team without Lauri. But in a sign and trade situation it’s not exactly that easy. The Mavs are well equipped to offer their $11M trade exception in a deal, but would need Lauri to play ball with that the salary and the Bulls to basically give up hope of any worthwhile return.

That would be the ideal trade situation but maybe not the most likely.

Another idea would be sending Maxi Kleber to Chicago and letting Lauri assume Maxi’s role on the Mavs. This looks like  solid move on paper but I’m not entirely sure Lauri can just slide into Maxi’s role. Maxi’s an undervalued cog in the Mavs machine and I’d much rather add Lauri without subtracting Maxi.

The Bulls have had an extremely active offseason and aren’t banking on their malcontent restricted free agent to play for them this coming season. He’s publicly stated his desire to leave and could be a bit cancerous in a reloaded locker room. Especially if he sees his minutes drop as we expect.

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Markkanen was moved to the bench late last season so his value isn’t great around the NBA. He’s unlikely to get his desired contract offer and may be willing to accept less on a short-term deal just to get out and hit reset on his career. The Bulls aren’t required to move Markkanen but they have all but one of their roster spots accounted for already so keeping him doesn’t add a ton of value.

In an addition by subtraction kinda way, Chicago may opt to cut bait and trade him for just the trade exception in order to give everyone a fresh start. This is obviously ideal and the only situation I’m endorsing.

Even though Lauri comes with a much higher ceiling, I’m not giving up the floor of Maxi in order to get this deal done. It seems the only thing to do is to play the waiting game. Like the Goran Dragic situation, we may have to sit and wait to see which way this falls.

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What would you do if you were in charge? Trade Maxi to get it done or sit and wait knowing you may miss out?

  • Published on 08/17/2021 at 16:01 PM
  • Last updated at 08/17/2021 at 14:13 PM