Fred VanVleet Strong Trade Fit For Luka Doncic’s Mavs?

Fred VanVleet, Dallas Mavericks, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

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

In the NBA, you need a superstar to win a championship. For the most part. With few exceptions, the team that walks away from the season with the Larry O’Brien trophy usually features a top-10 player at a minimum. Teams often decide if they’re ready to contend with a question in mind: “how good is our best player?”

Nobody could deny that Doncic of the Mavericks is a top 10 player – most would agree that he’s top three. With him on the roster, the Mavericks should view 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 that can lead a title push. The Raptors aren’t contending. Perhaps they ought to 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 Receive: G Fred VanVleet

Of course, nobody has to tell the Raptors about the importance of 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 departed after their title run, it may have stung. Generally, a player sticks around to defend a championship. At the same time, it was always known that Leonard had eyes for his hometown Los Angeles. His departure left the Raptors in an interesting situation. They’ve stayed competitive in his wake, but it feels like they’re a little less so every 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 functions for the Raptors in this trade. The first one is obvious – he’s on an expiring contract. VanVleet is as well, so taking back any significant bad contracts would be unfortunate if the Raptors are moving him. 

Yet, that’s not his only value to the Raptors here. As constructed, they don’t have a player like Powell. The Raptors would be well served to see how this group functions with a rim-running, rim protecting big man in the rotation. 

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

Still, Powell clearly isn’t the centerpiece of this deal for the Raptors. That would be the Mavericks’ 2025 first-rounder. That’s a valuable asset to receive for a player who’s about to hit free agency. Should the Mavericks risk moving it only to rent VanVleet for a year? 

Absolutely they should. Recall the Kawhi Leonard trade we’d 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 isn’t guaranteed for the Mavericks following 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 exactly what the Mavericks need. VanVleet is a potent three-point shooter who’s also got the handle and quickness to create 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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