Multiple sources tell Townsend that Mavericks president and general manager Donnie Nelson has informed other GMs around the league that he’s looking to upgrade his roster, even if it means taking on unwanted contracts, and he’s willing to part with everyone other than Doncic and Porzingis.
Dallas is also hoping to trade up in the draft and acquire a lottery pick, Townsend adds, though sources didn’t say where in the lottery Nelson is aiming. The Mavs currently hold selections No. 18 and 31.
There have been reports that Dallas is among the franchises hoping to preserve cap room for a possible run at Giannis Antetokounmpo if he becomes a free agent in 2021. But Townsend states that the priority is to build a contending team around Doncic before his first shot at free agency two years from now. With Doncic appearing to be a perennial MVP candidate, several agents have quietly informed the Mavericks that their clients are interested in coming to Dallas.
Townsend expects the Mavs to seek players who can handle either forward position and identifies Thunder free agent Danilo Gallinari as a likely target. According to Townsend, Dallas had a deal in place for Gallinari at the trade deadline, but backed out because he refused to agree to an extension, preferring to test the free agent market. Gallinari remains a productive scorer at age 32, averaging 18.7 points per game this season and shooting 40.5% from three-point range.
Another option could be trading for Sixers forward Tobias Harris, who turned down an offer from the Mavericks last summer to remain in Philadelphia for $180MM over five years. The Sixers may be seeking salary relief, especially with a revamped front office taking over.