Dallas Mavericks center woes: Draft, sign, or trade?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dallas Mavericks are in full rebuilding mode, and that all begins with the team’s center position. Over the past two seasons, Dwight Powell was the Mavs starting big man. In those years he averaged around 8-6 points per game and four rebounds.

This season that was all expected to changed with Christian Wood and JaVale McGee in the mix. However, that didn’t pan out as planned.

In 7 starts this season, McGee dropped in four points and 2.9 rebounds. The biggest struggle was his presence down low. Against his opponents, McGee allowed 40 opponent points in 36 minutes. Wood on the hand, had a more productive start.

In 17 games as a starter, Wood averaged 20.4 points and 9.4 rebounds on 51.7 percent shooting.

The problem? His defensive game struggled to be an improvement from McGee.

But with the offseason underway, where do the Dallas Mavericks go from here?  How do they solve their big man woes?

For starters, the Mavs are waiting to see where they are selected in the NBA draft. Assuming the team gets a top 10 pick, there will some options to choose from.

Assuming this happens Dallas will not have a lot to choose from. Top prospect Victor Wenbanyama can be removed the list. Unlike something drastic happens, this is very unlikely.

The team could go for a small big man who has some upsize or select a young prospect that can take his game to the next level.

Some center prospects to keep in mind include Dereck Lively and James Nnaji.

Lively would be a good name to watch. The 7’2 player does not fair well on the offensive side of the ball, but defensively he can hold his own. During the 2022-2023 year he finished with 82 blocks and 5.4 rebounds. His length plays to his advantage as he can switch between defenders.

Nnaji too is a defensive anchor. The Nigerian player does a great job holding his own, keeping his opponents in check. His a great asset that can help teams get second chance points.

Assuming the draft doesn’t work out, the Mavs could also look toward free agency.

One name to watch for is Nikola Vucevic. The bulls center averaged 17.6 points and 11 rebounds.

His games is reminiscence of Wood, in that he can shoot from all over the court. He too can average a double double, who is most known for his offensive game. This is something that could of concern for Dallas.

Another big man hitting the market is Brook Lopez. The NBA vet is having one of his defensive seasons. The Bucks center does a great job controlling the paint and stopping scorers from scoring. This season he averaged 2.5 blocks. His keen eye is something that allows him to play from all parts of the court.

Assuming he does hit the market, how much would be worth?

One final option for Dallas would be making a trade.

Recently, Bleacher Report released possible trade scenarios. One of the ideas thrown around is the Minnesota Timberwolves sending Rudy Gobert to Dallas. The trade had the Mavs sending Tim Hardaway Jr., Davis Bertans, and a future first round pick.

This would  give the team a defensive anchor Dallas can rely on. The problem is he had a drop in his numbers this season.

Would Dallas nudge on a trade like this? It is possible they become desperate to help Luka Doncic in any way possible.

Next. Dallas Mavericks are odds-on favorite to re-sign Kyrie Irving. dark

Whatever the case is, Dallas must solve their rebounding issues. The most realistic option is through a trade, if they want a true proven star.

Time is ticking.