“Assuming Irving returns, the Mavericks might have an eye (via trade) on Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton,” Pincus wrote. “Per NBA sources, Dallas also eyed Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner and Atlanta Hawks forward/center John Collins before the trade deadline.”
The Mavericks clearly want to improve the roster around superstar Luka Doncic after the team was eliminated from the postseason on Friday night with a loss to the Chicago Bulls.
After making the Western Conference Finals in the 2021-22 season, Dallas struggled to compete in the West this season, even after trading for Irving at the deadline. The Mavericks don’t want to lose Doncic eventually to a trade request, so they may go after a star like Ayton in the offseason.
The Suns could be willing to move Ayton if things don’t work out this season. Right now, Phoenix is preparing for a playoff run with the core of Chris Paul, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant and Ayton.
However, the Suns allowed Ayton to sign an offer sheet with the Indiana Pacers this past offseason in free agency. Ayton was a restricted free agent, so Phoenix eventually decided to match the offer.
This season, Ayton is averaging 18.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks per game while shooting 58.9 percent from the field. He has taken on a bit of a smaller role in the offense in the games that Durant has been with the team.
It seemed like the Suns weren’t intent on keeping the former No. 1 overall pick last offseason, so Dallas may have a shot at acquiring him if the Suns fall short in the playoffs.
Dallas has a lot of questions heading into the offseason with Irving and Christian Wood both set to become free agents. The team could try to reengage on trade talks with Atlanta and Indiana as well.
The key for the Mavericks will be creating a better roster around Doncic to compete in the 2023-24 season so he believes in the direction of the franchise going forward.