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The Mavericks will be without Maxi Kleber for some time, and it should have them upping the offer for a rumored trade target.
The Dallas Mavericks will be without forward Maxi Kleber for an indefinite period of time. The team is saying Kleber tore his hamstring during practice on Tuesday and is out indefinitely.
The Mavs are set to be without Kleber for the foreseeable future, and it’s a massive loss for the Mavericks who are 14-14 and now ninth in the Western Conference.
The expectation with Luka Doncic in the fold is that the Mavs will compete, so with the trade market unofficially opening on Thursday, you can bet the Mavs will be making calls to upgrade the roster. One player they’re rumored to be interested in could help significantly with the frontcourt issues.
John Collins was on the Mavericks radar already, and Maxi Kleber injury increases the need
The Mavericks already had rumored interest in John Collins before the Kleber injury. Shams Charania’s column previewing the NBA trade market this season mentioned the Mavs as one of the four teams interested in the Hawks forward who has, once again, been made available by Atlanta.
Collins, a power forward, plays a similar role to Kleber in that they both play in the frontcourt yet can stretch the floor if needed. Kleber, though, shoots far more from beyond the arc than even Collins (61.6 percent of his shots are from beyond the arc throughout his career, Collins: 22.4 percent).
The advantage Collins has over Kleber is that he’s more mobile and athletic. Paired with Trae Young — who was swapped with Doncic on draft night — he’s been a lob threat, something Doncic hasn’t really had yet in his career.
Here’s what The Smoking Cuban’s Tyler Watts has to say about Collins and his role in Dallas, if they were to trade for him:
“In Dallas, Collins would be asked to take more shots, be a key rebounder, and offers them a versatile big man that can both space the floor and be a pick-and-roll partner for Luka Doncic. Christian Wood has played well with the Mavericks, and Collins has a similar skill set with added defensively ability. The 25-year-old could explode in Dallas playing next to number 77.”
Doncic is a pick-and-roll ball handler on 10.5 plays per game this season with a point-per-possession rate of 1..03. Young, for comparison, produces 0.83 points per possession as the pick-and-roll ball handler (13.7 possesions per game).
Though he played the four in previous years, Kleber has been playing center more this season with Christian Wood taking over responsibilities at power forward. The Mavs could slide Wood to the five — a position he has played in the past — and slide Collins in at the four.
With Kleber out, it certainly pushes Dallas up the board as far as who makes the most sense to put in an offer for Collins.