Pros and Cons of a Potential Maxi – Lauri Trade


This week Tim Cato from The Athletic reported that a potential trade could come soon for the Dallas Mavericks and Chicago Bulls, involving Maxi Kleber and Lauri Markkanen. Many fans are conflicted on the potential trade due to the nature of the Mavs moves in the past. Fans want the front office to be active during free agency to improve the team but not at the risk of making unnecessary trades. This potential trade has several pros and cons.

Pro: Markkanen is younger, thus, having a higher growth potential.

Kleber is 29 years old while Markkanen is 24 years old meaning that Markkanen hopefully has five more years to grow as a player. Younger players do not always guarantee the advantage many would expect but the potential is the exciting part. Markkanen would have an excellent opportunity to learn from and play with Luka Doncic during pivotal years in his career. Ultimately these two players are neck and neck with each other but Markkanen seems to have a higher ceiling than Kleber.

Con: Disrupting team chemistry and expectations.

Kleber has been on the Mavs during all four of his seasons in the NBA and he has clearly bonded with many of the players on the team. We’ve seen him joking with Doncic and Boban Marjanovic and even visiting New Jersey this summer with Jalen Brunson. In addition to his closeness with his teammates, everyone knows what Kleber brings to the table in terms of skills. Knowing players capabilities and skill sets is important but it is not at all a deal breaker as trades are made all the time and adjustments can be made relatively easily.

Pro: Correct development from another perspective could complete the puzzle for Markkanen.

Markkanen is a player that has unfortunately regressed from a promising start. This makes you question where his development went wrong. The Mavs could connect his past offensive production with improved defense to revive his career and make him a talented fit for the Mavs. While this development won’t happen overnight the opportunity may be worth it.

Con: Markkanen is not a better defender than Kleber.

When watching both players it is quite apparent that Kleber is better defensively than Markkanen is. The Mavs need solid defenders if they want to be true contenders so giving that up currently would be difficult. Markkanen is two inches taller than Kleber although it doesn’t show on the court especially defensively.

Overall it is unclear who is better off in a potential trade because it also depends on what else the two teams would have to give up to make it happen. If the Mavs have to give up a first round pick it most likely is not worth it as that is their only reliable way of getting players right now as most players gravitate towards certain teams. Kleber is a reliable defender who fits well with his current team while Markkanen needs a new environment to reach his full potential. The main difficulty is most of the pros of the trade rely on Markkanen improving which obviously is not guaranteed. This makes keeping Kleber more appealing as he is a proven player who has playoff experience. On the other hand the Mavs do need to make more changes if they want to build a stronger roster around Doncic so maybe this is part of the answer. What do you think of this trade potential?

Categories: Mavs Fans For Life

2 replies

  1. Thank you for pointing out the pros & cons of a potential trade involving these players. Using the information you provided about each player, I would lean more towards keeping Kieber rather than gamble on Markkanen.

  2. Very insightful. Love this game.🏀

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