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#pounditTuesday, April 16, 2024

Mavericks could trade away key player before deadline?

Mark Cuban smiles

Nov 27, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban smiles for the camera before the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks clearly need to get Luka Doncic more help, but they could actually be doing the opposite at this year’s trade deadline.

Veteran NBA writer Marc Stein reported this week on his Substack page that the Mavs have opened up extension talks with big man Christian Wood. If the two sides are unable to reach an agreement, however, Dallas is widely expected to explore the trade market for Wood before the Feb. 9 deadline, Stein adds.

There are some indications that a sizable chasm exists between the two. The 27-year-old Wood, who, for now, will be an unrestricted free agent after the season, became eligible for a new four-year extension on Christmas Eve. But ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported earlier this week that the Mavs would like to give Wood a two-year extension for up to $36 million.

Wood has arguably been Dallas’ best non-Doncic player this season. Though he is undersized for a center and doesn’t really block shots, Wood is putting up 17.8 points per contest on superb percentages of 54.4 percent from the field and 40.3 percent from distance. But a complicating factor is that Wood, who has made only ten starts overall, has expressed frustration with his role on the Mavericks.

Having to trade Wood before the deadline because they cannot agree to an extension with him would be a rough outcome for Dallas. But they may not have much choice if the alternative is to lose him for nothing in free agency.

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