We have written at length over the previous couple of years at DallasBasketball.com about the potential for a Zach LaVine reference to the Dallas Mavericks. Most of that work, although detailed and well thought out, was merely a part of a pipe dream scenario. Now, though, it seems that the Mavs might even have a legit shot at making such a move a reality with free agency just five weeks away.
On Friday, NBA reporter Marc Stein had some interesting things to say in regards to the Mavs’ upcoming offseason, including what he’s heard about their stance on LaVine.
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“Trading for [a second star-level] player is the Mavericks’ only expected path to achieve this this offseason, with no cap flexibility within the near future and a determination to re-sign guard Jalen Brunson that may cement Dallas’ status as a luxury-tax team for the primary time for the reason that title run,” writes Stein.
“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 across the league that LaVine, as he heads into free agency, has more interest in leaving Chicago than initially presumed.”
LaVine averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game for the Bulls this season while shooting 47.6 percent from the sphere and 38.9 percent from 3-point range. The 6-5 athletic guard’s ability to play well each on and off the ball makes us think he’d be a wonderful slot in Dallas as Luka Doncic’s co-star.
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After making $19.5 million per 12 months on his current contract, LaVine can be searching for a max contract this summer. Whether the Bulls are willing to accommodate that or not continues to be uncertain.
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“As much as [Mark] Cuban and GM Nico Harrison have openly acknowledged a pressing have to bolster their rim protection and rebounding, Dallas sees LaVine because the type of player who could fill other crucial needs together with his ability to each play off Doncic as a long-range shooter and likewise collapse defenses by slashing to the basket to attain,” Stein continued.
“Dallas’ path to trading for a player as coveted as LaVine is unclear, given its limited assets, however the appeal of his skill set is apparent.”
One thing we have learned over time within the NBA in the case of free agency is that if a player desires to play for a selected team, he and the possible team will discover a strategy to make it occur. For Harrison, he’ll have to get a “yes” from LaVine before moving into the precise details of tips on how to make it a reality. That is the toughest part.
Given what the Mavs were capable of accomplish this season – making it to the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors before running out of gas – one would think the concept of joining Doncic on his quest to win an NBA championship would intrigue LaVine.