As the NBA Finals draw ever closer and two more teams start planning summer vacations, speculation about trades, roster adjustments and draft prospects is also increasing.
Case in point, the Dallas Mavericks and Hassan Whiteside. Two years ago, Dallas wasn’t shy about its pursuit of the then-27 year old Miami Heat center and what he could potentially bring to a franchise that’s been starved for a defensive anchor in the middle since Tyson Chandler roamed the lane in the 2011 championship season.
Could Dallas be interested in making a trade for the now-disgruntled-and-handsomely-paid Whiteside who now is, like, really unhappy in Miami?
Dallasbasketball.com’s Mike Fisher and Dalton Trigg have been all over this in the last few days and if you haven’t checked out their pieces, do so here and here.
Before I get into this, I want to make sure we’re clear on something: saying a team is open to a possibility doesn’t mean there’s an active pursuit. For example, I’m “open” to buying one of Mark Cuban’s mansions if the price is right (read: $200 or so would do the trick). Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen.
Conditions would need to be met. A lot of pieces would need to fall into place.
Such is the case in Fisher/Trigg’s piece with Whiteside as “sweeteners” are explicitly mentioned as things that would need to be included for Dallas to be interested in trading away someone like Wes Matthews for Miami’s big man. Again, that’s not something that’s in motion at this time, just a possibility. And a possibility with conditions attached.
There are three main takeaways I gather from these two great, informational pieces. They are as follows:
- Whiteside is certainly not Dallas’ “plan A” when it comes to finding a center.
- Dallas’ draft selection will play a HUGE role in determining who will be the target of their other pursuits (trades, free agency, etc.)
- Per Fisher, the Mavs are “aiming higher” than solutions like Randle and Whiteside in the middle (and supposedly “higher” than names like Jabari Parker)
See these quotes for yourself:
The Mavs will also look at other vet candidates for the job, and Whiteside ranks below many of them.
I’ll repeat here for the record, an example: Julius Randle might end up being a Dallas target, but I’m told the Mavs are aiming “much higher” than that.
It’s easy to read these tweets and headlines and immediately think, “Pfft. Dallas isn’t doing this.” That’s not what these articles are saying. They are merely detailing the how’s and why’s of what would need to happen IF the Mavericks were to entertain such a venture.
We had another round of Demarcus Cousins-to-Dallas info rehashed to us by the Ringer last week, intel that Fisher and Trigg contend is being “badminton’d” back to the Dallas fan base as if it were breaking news.
They also have the intel on that in two pieces penned by Trigg here and here.
With the draft less than a month away, there’s still plenty of speculation as to whether Dallas will opt to address its offensive needs (they ranked near the bottom of the league in points scored last year) with a risky prospect like Michael Porter, or if they’ll take their center of the future in Bamba (of note, Dallas ranked 18th in defensive rating last year).
Stay tuned to thetrailing3.com for Episode 2 of The Trailing 3 Podcast later this week and check out Episode 1 if you haven’t already! Thanks for reading!