We are almost officially to the halfway point of the season running back essentially the same Mavericks squad for the 4TH STRAIGHT SEASON - with no real accolades attributed to this team outside of Luka.
I am tired of the narrative that the Mavericks don't have any tradeable assets. While we may not have young tradeable assets or first round picks, we have plenty of players who could net positive gains for the Mavericks.
The two main pieces the team is missing right now that would vault us into contention are:
1. An Elite Forward
2. An Elite Rebounder
Now looking at the Mavericks roster and how we could potentially muck this thing up and make some improvements.
This is all more fantasy than reality because I doubt the Front office would just blow up the whole roster in Kidd's first season but, here are our most tradeable players in order.
1. Kristaps Porzingis
2. Jalen Brunson
3. Tim Hardaway Jr.
4. Dorian Finney Smith
5. Maxi Kleber
6. Josh Green
7. Dwight Powell
8. Reggie Bullock
9. Willie Caullie Stein
*Luka not included because why on god's green earth would we trade him.
Just looking at these options we have plenty of trade packages we could explore that could net us favorable players.
The Mavs plain and simple need more talent in their top 8 if they are going to compete - this is how the Suns were able to get to the finals last year, the Bucks were able to win last year, the Heat on their finals run - so on and so forth, each team had what the Mavericks don't right now - elite depth. Hell - that's what the 2011 Mavs had when they won the title.
Ideally a roster constructed around Luka (through the top 8) would looks as such
SG: 3 and D
SF: 3 and D playmaker
PF: Elite Defender with 3 making ability
C: Elite Defender and Rebounder - some spacing capability
6: Elite shot creating guard - can be a negative on defense
7: 3 and D forward
8: Above average interior big that's a willing passer
So that would look something like this:
PG: Luka Doncic
SG: Marcus Smart
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: Ben Simmons
C: Myles Turner
6: Jalen Brunson
7: Dorian Finney Smith
8: Larry Nance Jr.
9: Justin Holiday
10: Terrence Davis
11. Hassan Whiteside
12. Norvel Pelle
Mavericks get: Myles Turner - Justin Holiday
Pacers get: Dwight Powell - Reggie Bullock
Mavericks get: Ben Simmons
Sixers get: Kristaps Porzingis
Mavericks get: Harrison Barnes - Terrence Davis
Kings get: Tim Hardaway Jr. - Josh Green
Mavericks get: Marcus Smart - Bruno Fernando
Celtics get: Maxi Kleber - Willie Cauley-Stein
Mavericks get: Larry Nance Jr. - Greg Brown
Trailblazers get: Trey Burke - Marquese Chriss - Boban Marjanovic
(This one is a big stretch but whatever)
Mavericks get: Hassan Whiteside - Norvel Pelle
Jazz get: Frank Ntilinkina - Sterling Brown
Now could all of this happen to build this crisp lineup all before the trade deadline? Absolutely not, I don't think the Mavericks (or any team besides the Thunder) would have the capacity to facilitate 5 trades during the regular season. However, it's still fun to dream as I sit here as a fan watching my favorite sports team waste another year of Luka Doncic.
Self-critiques on the roster build - Obviously 3 point shooting is going to be a glaring issue with Ben Simmons and Marcus Smart sharing the floor, but with shooters off the bench in Jalen Brunson, Dorian Finney Smith, and Justin Holiday - there is plenty of lineup adjustments to get the spacing right. Also, the three point woes would be mitigated having a stretch Center in Myles Turner and two elite three point shooters on the court in Luka and Harrison Barnes.
Things I really like: The defense, transition, and passing capability with this squad would be incredible. This roster gives Luka 3 elite rim runners in Ben Simmons, Myles Turner, and Larry Nance Jr. The vertical attack here would open up a lot of options here on offense - even with diminished 3 point shooting.