Since the Dallas Mavericks learned their fate on lottery night, the dominant converstation surrounding the team has been debate over what to do with the 10th overall selection. One popular school of thought is that Dallas should look to trade back in order to secure another asset. According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the Mavericks may be looking to do just that. In his latest report detailing whisperings around the league, Fischer says that the Mavericks “are considering options to move down from No. 10 into the middle of the first round ...to pick up a veteran rotation piece to help support Luka Doncic and free agent-to-be Kyrie Irving.”
It makes a ton of sense on paper. There are just about nine guys in this draft that I would be thrilled with Dallas taking: Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, Brandon Miller, Amen Thompson, Cam Whitmore, Ausar Thompson, Jarace Walker, Taylor Hendricks, and Anthony Black.
While one of these guys is statistically likely to fall, there is no guarantee that any of them will be there when the Mavericks select at pick No. 10. If Dallas isn’t in love with anyone they expect to be in their range, trading back for another asset could be a great move. The Mavericks could potentially add a veteran piece while moving down to take someone like Dereck Lively or Leonard Miller, names that would fit in Dallas but wouldn’t make sense to pick at 10.
So if Dallas does decide to trade down, who would be a suitable trade partner? Well, according to Fisher, Dallas has talked to the Atlanta Hawks about “the idea of swapping Dāvis Bertāns and the No. 15 pick for John Collins and the No. 10 pick”. Collins, perennially on the trading block, has long been linked to Dallas. His value has plummeted in recent seasons, and his contract is viewed as an albatross. Collins has three years and over $78 million left on his deal. Bertāns is also on a terrible contract but has an early termination option for next season with only $5 million guaranteed for 2024-2025. Collins is definitely the more productive and versatile player, but I’m not sure taking on his gross contract while failing to pick up an additional asset would be wise for Dallas.
Fischer says that the Collins talks “do not appear to have progressed at this time.” This could mean that Dallas balked at the Collins/Bertāns swap and is holding out for more. Trading down could be a very smart move, but they would need to get something legitimate back for it to be worth it.