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The Celtics and Trail Blazers could trade for Andrew Bogut if the Mavericks make him available

Dallas hasn’t put Bogut on the trade market yet, but the likelihood he ends up there grows with every Mavericks loss.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Dallas Mavericks Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics and Portland Trail Blazers are early frontrunners for Andrew Bogut if and when the Mavericks decide to trade the 32-year-old center, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Right now, Mark Cuban has said and ESPN’s Tim MacMahon has reported that Bogut is not being shopped. However, if the Mavericks continue losing games, it’s very likely Bogut will end up as a trade chip.

Here’s what Stein said about the defensive-minded big man.

Boston has already emerged as a team interested in trading for Dallas center Andrew Bogut, and here’s another team that makes sense: Portland. The Mavericks have yet to make Bogut available for potential deals, per ESPN’s own Tim MacMahon, but the Blazers are a natural suitor given their clear need for a defensive anchor at the rim as the league’s 30th-ranked defense as of Friday morning.

While Bogut is currently recovering from a minor knee injury that will cause him to miss another week or two, the big man has been fantastic in Dallas so far this season. After a few seasons in Golden State anchoring the team’s defense, Bogut has hardly lost a step doing the same in Dallas despite less defensive talent around him. That, combined with the fact that there’s just one year remaining on his current deal, makes him a valuable trade commodity for the Mavericks.

If you read between the lines, Cuban has made it clear he is willing to trade veterans like Bogut who he doesn’t see as part of the future for the Mavericks if the team does continue to lose games. Right now, the have the second worst record in the league, sitting at 5-17. Clearly, it’s in the team’s best interests to tank for a top draft pick in a great draft, although the decision is still much tougher for the actual players. However, it all might work itself out — Dallas isn’t a bad team when healthy, but they certainly don’t seem good enough to dig themselves out of the hole they’ve dug.

What the Mavericks will likely what in return for Bogut is a first round draft pick, plus spare parts. The Trail Blazers currently project to have a draft pick in the No. 16 to 20 range. The Celtics might have to pull off a three-team trade, since their only draft pick will be swapped with Brooklyn, making it too rich for them to include in a swap for Bogut.