Ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline, the Mavericks have been mentioned as potential suitors for multiple players, including Cleveland’s Andre Drummond and Atlanta’s John Collins. Magic forward Aaron Gordon has been talked about in Mavericks circles for years, but it’s his teammate who catches the eye and makes the most sense from an organizational standpoint to pursue.
Evan Fournier would be the perfect compliment to Luka Doncic, as a player who can serve as another offensive creator on the floor to take some of the pressure off of the primary ball-handler.
Fournier is enjoying the best statistical season of his career, averaging 19.1 points and 3.6 assists, both career highs while shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from 3. At 6’7, Fournier would slide into the wing rotation seamlessly alongside Josh Richardson, allowing Tim Hardaway Jr. and Dorian Finney-Smith to come off the bench in roles they are better suited for. Fournier can play either the 2 or 3, giving the Mavs additional lineup and rotational options that are currently not present. Fournier would also be a significant upgrade to Dorian Finney-Smith on offense, who has struggled to find his shot this season after shooting a career-best 38 percent from long range last season.
But how would the Mavericks acquire Fournier?
This is where things get tricky. With Fournier’s deal expiring at the end of the season, he will have a lot of suitors at the deadline who might drive up the bidding for him. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer is reporting that the Mavs have been the loudest suitor for Fournier, with a package of James Johnson and two second round picks going to Orlando. Would that be enough to land a player of Fournier’s caliber having the best season of his career to date?
The Mavs might have to include one of their main trade assets in addition to Johnson, such as Jalen Brunson or Finney-Smith to make the deal worthwhile, but Dallas would likely be reluctant to give up either in such a deal for a rental player. Fournier would certainly upgrade the Mavs for the remainder of this season, and the Mavs will have to walk the fine line of trying to upgrade the roster this season while keeping one eye on the future.
With the trade deadline fast approaching and the Mavericks in search of immediate upgrades that won’t compromise their future plans, Fournier is the player that most fits that bill, but the Mavs will not be without competition for his services.