Perspective is everything. And sometimes you get so locked into your point of view that you don’t see things clearly anymore. This is especially true in sports, and if you follow a team closely you might lose sight of the big picture. You start to love certain players more than you should and hate other players more than is rational.
So I wanted to step outside of my Dallas Mavericks bubble and get the perspective of some people who cover other teams in the Southwest Division. Today I’m talking to Noah Magaro-George from Pounding the Rock, a San Antonio Spurs blog.
Note: Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Which player on the Mavericks (besides Luka Doncic) would you like to have on the Spurs?
Dorian Finney-Smith would probably be my first choice outside of Luka Doncic if San Antonio could take one player from the Mavericks and add them to their team. The 29-year-old forward is a reliable stationary three-point shooter with enticing defensive versatility, qualities every franchise desires from a modern frontcourt player. But in all honesty, San Antonio seems alright rolling with their rag-tag roster as they prepare to enter the Victor Wembanaya sweepstakes.
Is there a player on the Mavericks you want the Spurs to stay away from at any cost?
Christian Wood has a shoddy reputation around the league, and while that may be overblown, the Spurs have an abundance of youngsters that need veterans who can show them the ins and outs of the basketball business both on and off the court. San Antonio would presumably want to avoid a contentious locker room in the middle of a rebuild.
What is the Mavericks’ biggest weakness?
A seeming lack of off-ball shot versatility could hurt the Mavericks this season. Stationary sharpshooters have value, but they can only do so much to bend a defense. Bertans was a lethal movement shooter a couple of years ago, but his accuracy has slipped in recent seasons. Tim Hardaway Jr. and Reggie Bullock can hit shots coming off screens at a respectable clip, so perhaps Dallas will be fine in this regard.
What would it take for the Mavericks to acquire Keldon Johnson?
The Mavericks would be hard-pressed to pry Keldon Johnson from San Antonio. Dallas has little as far as young players not named Luka Doncic go, and any draft picks will likely land far outside the lottery. General Manager Nico Harrison would be better off not picking up the phone to dial the Spurs.
What goes back to Dallas if Josh Green is traded to the Spurs?
Josh Green is an intriguing prospect that could make a breakthrough as a full-fledged member of the regular rotation for Dallas this season. He is young, athletic, and has a high motor, but the Spurs already have plenty of young wings on their roster. If this pair of interstate adversaries shake on a deal, it would assumably include Romeo Langford, Joe Wieskamp, or Josh Richardson. The latter has already spent time with the Mavericks, and a reunion feels like a longshot. Are Langford and Wieskamp all that enticing? I would lean towards that answer being a resounding no.
Who is in worse need of a rebrand—the Mavericks or the Spurs?
San Antonio has treaded water as a play-in hopeful for the last three years with no genuine chance of advancing in the playoffs or securing a top-of-the-line lottery selection. They needed to hit the reset button, and they did so this summer. This rebuild is also coming with a rebrand. The organization traded their lone All-Star in Dejounte Murray, scheduled games in Austin and Mexico, and broke ground on a new practice facility and human performance campus near a bustling shopping center in the northwest part of the city.
Which former Spurs player would you love to see paired with Luka?
For the sake of not choosing Tim Duncan or David Robinson and taking the easy way out, why not go with Manu Ginobili? The recent Hall of Fame inductee was among the most creative scorers and passers of his era, which makes me salivate at the thought of pairing him alongside Luka Doncic. Can you imagine the entertainment value of that tandem? While Ginobili would undoubtedly take a backseat to Doncic, he would make for a helluva second option in Dallas. The idea of Manu in a Mavericks jersey is enough to make any Spurs fan nauseous, so it may be time to end this daydream here.