Con: Lack of trade assets
The Dallas Mavericks first-round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft is now owned by the Atlanta Hawks, courtesy of their moving up to select Luka Doncic in last year’s draft.
During the regular season, the Mavericks also made a deal with the New York Knicks to acquire Kristaps Porzingis. In the deal, the Mavericks gave up point guard Dennis Smith Jr., their 2017 first-round draft pick, as well as two future first-round picks in 2021 and 2023.
Any deal for Capela would have to start with Courtney Lee’s expiring contract, but the Houston Rockets would likely want more than just a role player in Lee. The Mavericks would have to give up the last of their desirable contracts to convince Houston to agree.
If the Mavericks are forced to give up a combination of young players like point guard Jalen Brunson, 3-and-D wing Justin Jackson, sharpshooter Ryan Broekhoff, or another first round draft pick, it could prove to be too much.
All three of them will be important role players in the upcoming few years.
The Mavericks could also try and swap Tim Hardaway Jr. for Capela, but Dallas would have to take on a few more contracts to make it work. Capela also has four years left on the five-year, $90 million contract he signed last offseason.
Alone, he isn’t good enough as an individual player to make the Mavs into a playoff team. In order to risk dealing away the last of their young and valuable assets, the Mavs need the absolute certainty that they can sign another free agent and become a contender.