Mavs Eyeing Nikola Vucevic As Offseason Target?

After acquiring a former All-Star big man on Thursday when they traded for Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavericks are eyeing a current All-Star as a potential offseason target, according to Brad Townsend of The Dallas Morning News. A league source tells Townsend that the Mavs are setting their sights on Magic center Nikola Vucevic, who will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Vucevic, 28, is enjoying the best season of his eight-year NBA career in 2018/19, averaging 20.6 PPG, 12.0 RPG, and 3.8 APG with a .521/.378/.775 shooting line in 51 games (31.3 MPG) for Orlando.

While Vucevic has never been an elite rim protector – his 1.1 BPG this season match a career high – he has expanded and modernized his game within the last couple years by adding a three-point shot to his arsenal. The Mavs apparently view him as a potential fit at center alongside Porzingis, who would play the four.

If Dallas intends to make a serious run at Vucevic, it will be interesting to see how the team handles its cap situation. After adding Tim Hardaway, Courtney Lee, and Porzingis to the roster, the Mavs no longer project to have any real cap room during the offseason. In order to clear the cap room necessary to pursue Vucevic, the club may have to make a trade or count on Harrison Barnes or Dwight Powell opting out.

If Porzingis opts to sign his one-year, $4.5MM qualifying offer rather than inking a more lucrative longer-term deal, it could also create added flexibility for the Mavs, but that’s probably not the preferred outcome for the franchise.

Vucevic is earning $12.75MM this season and would technically fit into the Mavs’ newly-created $12.9MM trade exception, but Orlando seems unlikely to deal him this season, and Dallas is running out of favorable trade assets anyway. The 28-year-old appears to be in line for an offseason raise.

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17 thoughts on “Mavs Eyeing Nikola Vucevic As Offseason Target?

  1. LivingUnderDaBridge

    Barnes is not opting out, but I would love him on the team. Sort of a brook Lopez role.

  2. phins34

    Trade Barnes to the Kings who apparently have had interest in him. I’d keep Powell.

    • Z-A

      Yea that makes the most sense. I would look for a far into the future 1st with as little protection as you can get (lottery protected most likely).

      Speed up the buyout market with ZBO & Shumpert.

      • x%sure

        Sacto’s in a playoff race, so no BO for Shump anyway.

        Dallas is probably out of it, so they could offer Barnes for 2 out of 4 of expirings ZBo, Shump & Koufas, or Bogdan.

        • natsfan3437

          Barnes and 2020 Second for Zack Randolph, Ben McLemore and 2021 First Round Pick (top 5 protected)

          Mavs have traded away 2019, 2021, and 2023

  3. Knicks should offer to send DSJ to Orlando if Dallas takes the protection off the second 1st round pick they sent.

  4. Thomas James

    Thon Maker, Ersan and the protected first round pick this year that obviously Milwaukee will keep for voooch. Milwaukee needs a true center to go along with Lopez and Orlando gets a controllable young player or two to try and develop. Win win for both sides as Milwaukee is trying to reach the finals and Orlando keeps trying to build on the talent they have. Plus Vooch is an unrestricted free agent and can sign with anyone including back to Orlando if they so desire.

    • yoyo137

      It would be a mistake for the Bucks to give up a 1st round pick and give up on Thon Maker for Vuc who will be a free agent. Khris Middleton is a free agent this offseason and they’ll need money to re-sign him or sign another big FA. Plus Brook Lopez and Vucevic already do similar things on the court. That’s a huge overpay to try to push them over the hill this year, it totally compromises their future and they don’t get the full value out of Thon and that 1st.

  5. Maybe trade barnes to pistons for andre drummond? And pick up Jon Lauer with the wes Mathews trade exception

    • 123Redsox

      Drummond for Barnes strait up won’t happen. Drummond is elite. Barnes is is very good but not elite

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