Fred VanVlee strong fit for Dallas Mavs?

NBA Analytics Network

The Dallas Mavericks have struggled to maintain positive momentum this season, despite one of the NBA’s elite playing in Luka Doncic. Following Jalen Brunson’s departure to the New York Knicks, the superstar has faced a significant workload. Could the Mavs make a move before the February 9 deadline?

In the NBA, you need a superstar to win a championship. For the largest part. With few exceptions, the team that exits the season with the Larry O’Brien Trophy usually has at least a top-10 player. Teams often decide whether they are ready to compete with a question in mind: “how good is our best player?”

No one could deny that the Mavericks’ Doncic is a top 10 player – most agree he’s in the top three. With him on the roster, the Mavericks should see themselves as contenders.

The best player on the Toronto Raptors is Pascal Siakam. He’s incredible, but with his team at 21-27, it’s hard to say he’s the type of player who can lead a title attempt. The Raptors are not fighting. Maybe they should send Fred VanVleet to the Mavericks.

NBA Analysis Network Trade Scenario

Toronto Raptors receive: C Dwight Powell, G/F Reggie Bullock, 2025 First-Round Pick (DAL)
Dallas Mavericks receiving: G Fred VanVleet

Of course, no one needs to tell the Raptors about the importance of being an elite player. They won a championship in 2018-19 after acquiring one. When the Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard, they knew they were getting one of the best basketball players in the world.

When Leonard left after their title run, it may have stung. Generally, a player sticks around to defend a championship. At the same time, Leonard was always known to have an eye for his hometown of Los Angeles. His departure put the Raptors in an interesting situation. They’ve remained competitive in its wake, but it feels like they’re a little less each year. Is it time to think about rebuilding?

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Fred VanVleet, Luka Doncic, Toronto Raptors & Dallas Mavericks Updates

Dwight Powell has two positions for the Raptors in this trade. The first is clear: he has an expiring contract. So does VanVleet, so taking back key bad contracts would be a shame if the Raptors move him.

But that’s not his only value to the Raptors here. As constructed, they don’t have a player like Powell. The Raptors would do well to see how this group functions with an edge-walking, edge-protecting big man in the rotation.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Fred VanVleet, Luka Doncic, Toronto Raptors & Dallas Mavericks Updates

Still, Powell is clearly not the center of this deal for the Raptors. That would be the Mavericks’ first-round pick in 2025. That’s a valuable asset for a player about to get free agency. Should the Mavericks risk moving it just to rent VanVleet for a year?

They absolutely should. Remember the Kawhi Leonard trade we had just outlined. The Raptors moved DeMar DeRozan and a promising young Jakob Poeltl in exchange for Leonard. Somehow we doubt they regret it. Of course, an NBA title is not guaranteed for the Mavericks after this deal. Far from it. Fred VanVleet is no Kawhi Leonard.

LATEST NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Fred VanVleet, Luka Doncic, Toronto Raptors & Dallas Mavericks Updates

On the other hand, he may be just what the Mavericks need. VanVleet is a powerful three-point shooter who also has the handle and speed to pull shots for himself and others. He should be a perfect co-star for Luka Doncic. After all, we already know he’s a superstar.

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