NBA Trades: This Hawks-Mavericks deal is a winner for both teams

Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young NBA Trades, Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Luka Doncic (77) drives to the basket as Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young NBA Trades, Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

It has been nearly a month since NBA free agency started, and there have been several clear winners and losers. The Dallas Mavericks certainly qualify as the former after making several shrewd moves to improve the roster. They aren’t done, however, and have been shopping starting center, JaVale McGee. On the other hand, the Atlanta Hawks have had a relatively quiet offseason, though they have been linked to an All-Star recently.

While the Hawks are in the running to acquire a star, should they strike out, they could look to make other deals, including one with the Mavericks. Dallas has already made a couple of moves to address their need at starting center, but their current big men are either stopgap options or not ready to immediately contribute.

Meanwhile, the Hawks have a good starting center and a cheap replacement waiting in the wings, making the former expendable and Atlanta the perfect trade partner for Dallas. Let’s take a look at a potential trade between the Hawks and the Mavericks.

NBA Trades: What would a Mavs-Hawks trade look like?

With stars Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving likely to dominate the ball for the Mavericks next season, it appears that they want a couple of shooters as well as an athletic center to pair with them. Hawks center Clint Capela fits the bill as an athletic big who can set screens and catch lobs from Irving and Doncic. He is also a terrific rebounder and rim protector and could help Dallas be at least average on defense.

That may seem like a low bar for Dallas, but with a projected high-powered offense, having a respectable defense could be the difference between them missing the playoffs again and finishing with a top-four seed. Therefore, moving McGee, newly acquired center Richaun Holmes, and a future first makes plenty of sense for Dallas, but it also makes sense for Atlanta too.

McGee is on an expiring contract and could later be moved for a second-round pick, while Holmes has a player option for next season and would cost $9.4 million less than Capela should he pick up his option. Saving more than $10 million over the next two seasons and picking up a first-rounder might be worth it for the Hawks.

Especially after re-signing all-star Dejounte Murray to a lucrative extension that kicks in after next season, which would give them one of the most expensive backcourts in NBA history when combined with Trae Young’s contract. Atlanta has already made a salary-clearing move this summer, and they appear to be trying to reshape their roster.

Next. Atlanta forms a big three with this win-now deal with Toronto. dark

It remains to be seen if their pursuit of a third star will be successful, but if it falls through, then this Dallas deal might be a decent fallback plan that would allow them to save money and add assets.