Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, NBA Free Agency, NBA Trade Rumors

Mavericks weighing a sign-and-trade for Zach LaVine this summer

Pairing Zach LaVine with Luka Doncic could get the Dallas Mavericks over the top in the west.

While Luka Doncic tasted the first postseason success of his NBA career, the Dallas Mavericks fell in five games to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 Western Conference Finals.

Doncic may be able to score at will, but he needs the right second star next to him to bring a title to the metroplex. Dallas needs more than just a 3-and-D guy, so a high-end playmaker like Zach LaVine of the Chicago Bulls would be of great interest for the Mavericks’ front office. NBA insider Marc Stein reported the Mavericks could explore adding LaVine by way of a sign-and-trade.

Stein wrote that cap flexibility will be an issue for the Mavericks’ offseason plans this summer.

“Trading for [a second star-level] player is the Mavericks’ only expected route to do so this offseason, with no cap flexibility in the near future and a determination to re-sign guard Jalen Brunson that will cement Dallas’ status as a luxury-tax team for the first time since the title run,” wrote Stein.

Stein would add that LaVine might be more willing to leave the Bulls than initially realized.

“Sources nonetheless maintain that one option already being weighed by team brass is the prospect of joining the sign-and-trade bidding for the Chicago Bulls’ Zach LaVine, amid a growing belief around the league that LaVine, as he heads into free agency, has more interest in leaving Chicago than initially presumed.”

Does the prospect of adding LaVine to the Mavericks change the entire dynamic out west?

NBA rumors: Dallas Mavericks exploring sign-and-trade for Zach LaVine

For whatever reason, the Mavericks have never been able to land a marquee player of note in free agency. It may have something to do with Mark Cuban as the owner, or the franchise’s two most significant players historically being of international origins. Regardless, Doncic is too talented of a playmaker to never bring Dallas a league championship before he exits his prime as a professional.

As far as if LaVine is the right player to pair with Doncic long-term, it really depends on how willing of a defender he will be at this point of his career. Doncic has never really made that a priority thus far. Given that LaVine is an incredible athlete, his skill set could theoretically pair marvelously alongside a more technical player in Doncic. Of course, he needs the ball in his hands to succeed.

Since Klay Thompsons in their primes do not grow on trees, elite No. 2 options like LaVine will have to suffice in this scenario. The good news for the Mavericks is there is no dominant team out west. It should have been the Phoenix Suns’ year to win a championship, but Doncic and the boys spoiled all the dreams The Valley could ever hope to provide. So maybe the Mavericks do got next?

No matter how it shakes out, Dallas is not adding a second star without doing a sign-and-trade.

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