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3 ways the Mavericks can trade up in the NBA Draft

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If Dallas wants an immediate difference maker in this draft, they need to trade up.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Florida State vs Florida Gulf Coast Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

The time is almost upon us: the Dallas Mavericks are a little over a week away from adding a new, young player to the fold. There’s been a lot of talk about just how deep this draft is when it comes to overall talent, and mock drafts have been all over the place when it comes to the top-10. But for all that talent, there are only a select few you can envision significantly changing a franchise in the short term.

While the Mavs front office could stay at No. 9 and pray that one of those players falls to them, they should consider attempting to trade up a few spots to get a player who will have an immediate impact. Obviously, that is easier said than done, and a lot depends on what other teams are looking for. However, here are three plausible ways Dallas could move up in the draft, potentially helping both themselves and their trading partners.

Minnesota Timberwolves (No. 7 pick)

If any trade is going to happen on draft night, this one probably has the best chance of materializing, based on team needs and minimal pick separation. The Timberwolves made it known last season that they would like to trade Ricky Rubio. As long as Rubio is the starting point guard in Minnesota, it will continue to stunt the growth and potential of Kris Dunn (fifth overall pick in the 2016 draft).

Minnesota would also like to add an established veteran to help lead their young core. According to Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler, the Timberwolves would consider trading the seventh pick for a “win-now” veteran. Could that veteran be Wesley Matthews? What about Seth Curry? Although last season was his “break-out” year, Seth is 26 years old and just entering his prime. Oh yeah, and he’s only making $3 million this upcoming season on his expiring contract.

On the other side, the Mavs need a “pass-first” point guard, according to Mark Cuban, and guess who fits that description? Ding, ding, ding, you guessed right! It’s Ricky Rubio, the point guard Minnesota wants to unload! Of course, all of this is dependent on what the Timberwolves are looking for in a “win-now” vet. I don't know about you guys, but Wes Matthews and Tom Thibideau seem like they'd be a match made in heaven. Another big question though will be how highly the Wolves front office thinks Lauri Markkanen, who is probably the best forward left after Jonathan Isaac (the Mavs reportedly really like Isaac).

Proposed trades:

Timberwolves receive: Wes Matthews, 2017 first round pick (9th overall), 2018 first round pick (top-3 protected)

Mavs receive: Ricky Rubio, 2017 first round pick (7th overall)

-OR-

Timberwolves receive: Seth Curry, Dwight Powell, 2017 first round pick (9th overall), 2018 first round pick (top-3 protected)

Mavs receive: Ricky Rubio, 2017 first round pick (7th overall)

New York Knicks (No. 8 pick)

The New York Knicks and the Mavs have done big business in the past, so I could see it happening again if a player ranked higher than Frank Ntilikina drops to the eighth spot. Let’s say one of Jonathan Isaac (highly doubtful), Dennis Smith or Malik Monk is sitting there at No. 8.

Phil Jackson and the Knicks really like Ntilikina and reportedly think he’d be perfect for their triangle offense. Could the Mavs work a trade out that also sheds some salary? If the Knicks signed a broken down Joakim Noah to a four-year, $72 million deal, surely there’s a chance they might take Powell’s contract off Dallas’ hands, right? Right?

Ok, maybe I'm just fishing here, but you see what I'm getting at. It’s unlikely that the Mavs would trade just one spot, but depending on who’s available, you really just never know on draft night. Assuming the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony want to part ways, but New York doesn't want to buy out his contract, here’s a fun trade scenario to think about.

Proposed trade:

Knicks receive: Wes Matthews, Dwight Powell, Devin Harris, Seth Curry, 2017 first round pick (9th overall)

Mavs receive: Carmelo Anthony, Courtney Lee, 2017 first round pick (8th overall)

Sacramento Kings (No. 5 pick)

This trade idea is more pipe-dreamy than it is realistic, but it’s one that could really inject some life into a Mavs team that’s desperate for a big-time player. The player I’m talking about is De’Aaron Fox. He’s explosive, smart and can do pretty much anything you could ask of a floor general. He’s already good, and we know the Mavs love him. The problem here is that the Kings really love him, too.

Heck, Fox might not even be available by the time the Kings are on the clock. There’s been some talk that he could go as high as second to the Los Angeles Lakers. But even if he were available at No. 5, what might it take from the Mavs to pry away that pick?

We know the Kings loved Wes Matthews back in the summer of DeAndre Jordan drama, but how do they feel about him now? Like I mentioned earlier, this one would be a miracle if it happened, but the Mavs should throw in some future picks and some filler players to sweeten the pot, and at least give it shot on draft night. Phone calls. We want lots of phone calls being made next week, just in case Vlade Divac decides to do his thing again.

Proposed trade:

Kings receive: Wes Matthews, Devin Harris, Nico Brussino, 2017 first round pick (9th overall), 2018 first round pick (top-3 protected), 2019 first round pick (top-10 protected)

Mavs receive: Aaron Afflalo, Garrett Temple, 2017 first round pick (5th overall)