Though they seem pretty sworn to complete secrecy, the Mavericks have hardly concealed their interest in adding a veteran point guard to the lineup in the hopes of easing the ball-handling burden on Luka Doncic. Kyle Lowry appears to be the most attractive option to them, though they’ve been linked to Lonzo Ball, Mike Conley, Dennis Schroeder, and other perimeter players before free agency kicks off.
It’s a rare scenario where multiple free agent point guards are being pursued by opposite teams. The Pelicans appear completely content letting the far younger Ball depart in the hopes of adding Lowry. As such, the Mavericks should pounce on the opportunity to take advantage of the Pelicans likely extending a massive offer to Lowry that few teams can compete with. A potential three-team deal would look like this:
Pelicans get: Kyle Lowry
Raptors get: Josh Richardson, Pelicans’ ’23 first round pick
Mavericks get: Lonzo Ball
The Pelicans can sign Lowry to a deal that fits into the cap space they helped create by moving Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe to the Grizzlies. The Pelicans are still swimming in draft picks from the Anthony Davis trade, and based on their decision to clear space, would part with a pick if it meant securing Lowry. The Raptors are beginning an all-around rebuild, and getting a first round pick for a player they would otherwise lose is a major win for them.
Lastly, the Mavericks can add the still improving Ball, who gives them a premier perimeter defender next to Doncic, and another superb passer. Ball’s shot has steadily gotten better each year he’s been in the league, and would certainly help the Mavericks add future free agents. While Lowry is the better player right this moment, the addition of him alone isn’t near enough to get the Mavericks where they need to get in order to put them in title contention. Ball won’t either, but has an unknown ceiling compared to the aging Lowry.
With Doncic approaching a super-max contract in addition to the max deal Kristaps Porzingis is currently sitting on, cap flexibility will be a thing of the past after this offseason. That means the Mavericks simply have to add players with headroom, that will help them continue to improve internally. This three-way trade helps get that done for the Mavs.