Trade No. 1: The Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks have their eyes set on contending this season, both to try and win in the short-term and prove to Luka Doncic that he can compete for titles and should sign an extension to stay in Dallas. They can't afford to have another lost season as they had last year.
That drop out of the playoffs did afford them the opportunity to land Duke center Derick Lively II in the NBA Draft, and he has been excellent starting as a rookie at the 5. He is an instinctive shot-blocker and his athleticism getting up for alley oops and rebounds is impressive.
Unfortunately, the Mavericks just got a front-row seat to how much of a rookie Lively still is, as Jarrett Allen rolled into town and stole his lunch money on Wednesday night. The rookie had as many fouls (four) as points and was overwhelmed by Allen's size and strength. The entire team was, as Allen pulled down more offensive rebounds himself (nine) than the entire Mavericks' team (seven).
Dallas could be motivated to upgrade at the center position for a run this season, and Allen is one of the few high-end centers who could be available at the deadline. Here is the kind of offer the Mavs might make to prioritize their run this season:
The Mavericks would get their man in the middle and barely touch their rotation. Grant Williams was their big offseason addition but has been moved to the bench in favor of Derrick Jones Jr. He would be an ideal fit with the Cavaliers as either the starter at power forward or a backup at both big positions, a high-volume shooter and solid defender.
Richaun Holmes provides center depth for the Cavs, who can cut Damian Jones after this deal. Cleveland gets off of Ricky Rubio's salary (Dallas retains him for matching salary in a subsequent trade) and Jaden Hardy is an upside play for a bench scorer. The Cavs may not do this deal if it's not a first-round pick included, but the fit of Williams and getting off of Rubio's contract for next year may be enough to get it done.