The Dallas Mavericks are currently one of the hottest teams in the NBA. With Luka Doncic having an MVP-caliber season and Kyrie Irving slowly regaining his rhythm, the Mavericks are riding the high of a 7-game winning streak as they look to keep climbing the Western Conference standings. And they began their post-2024 NBA All-Star break with a huge win over the Phoenix Suns, who they just took over in the standings.

Dallas enhanced its chances of winning a championship this season by addressing some of its concerns at the 2024 NBA trade deadline. They added size, length, and versatility in their frontcourt by acquiring PJ Washington from the Charlotte Hornets and Daniel Gafford from the Washington Wizards. Both Washington and Gafford have been terrific acquisitions so far as they have helped shore up Dallas' issues defensively in the frontcourt.

Washington has given them a versatile and lengthy wing who can defend bigger forwards, an issue they sorely wanted to address at the deadline. Meanwhile, Gafford has given them more rim protection behind rookie Derek Lively II.

A lot considered the Mavericks as winners of the trade deadline. But they still have some flaws to address if they want to improve their chances of winning a title. Here is the fatal flaw the Mavericks must fix after the 2024 NBA All-Star break.

Mavericks' fatal flaw: More playmaking in the backcourt

The Mavericks arguably have the best offensive backcourt in the NBA right now. Luka Doncic is a maestro with the way he can call his own number and create opportunities for his teammates. Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving is a magician with the basketball and owns arguably the tightest handle ever in the history of the NBA. Despite having two of the best playmakers in the league, the Mavs are still lacking a tertiary ballhandler who could take some of the offensive pressure off the two stars.

The Mavericks rank 5th in the NBA in unassisted field goals made and 2nd in unassisted three-pointers made. They're also second in isolation frequency with 10.2 percent of their plays coming in one-on-ones. The Mavs are also first in field goal frequency after 7+ dribbles and first after 6+ seconds of touch time. While some of this has to do with having two of the most prolific iso players in the game, part of it is a result of their lack of capable creators.

Looking at Dallas' roster, there are not many players on the team who are capable of creating plays, either for themselves or for others. All of their rotation players have at least 60 percent of their made field goals come off assists.

Tim Hardaway Jr. can put the ball on the floor at times, but he isn't as trustworthy when it comes to decision-making. Likewise, he thrives more as a catch-and-shoot option than off the dribble. Dante Exum is a capable playmaker, but he isn't as adept at creating his own basket, as well when needed. Jaden Hardy, meanwhile, hasn't been entrusted as much by head coach Jason Kidd to receive consistent minutes.

Mavericks can still look towards the buyout market to address this flaw

Though the Mavericks made terrific moves at the deadline, they could have made another one to address this flaw of theirs.

Washington Wizards veteran Tyus Jones was a popular name among teams looking for a terrific backup point guard. However, he wound up staying put in Washington. Dennis Schroder was also moved at the deadline and with a $12.4 million price tag, he could have been a player the Mavs could have targeted as well.

With the deadline passing, they have no choice but to turn towards the buyout market to address this flaw. However, are there any other players left out there who they can add?

The Mavericks already lost out on one of their top targets in the buyout market when Spencer Dinwiddie, a former Mav himself, chose to go to the Los Angeles Lakers after he was bought out by the Toronto Raptors. Veteran guard Kyle Lowry could have also been another option, but he wound up going to his hometown Philadelphia 76ers after getting bought out by the Charlotte Hornets.

As of now, there aren't really a ton of options for the Mavericks to address their lack of a playmaker. And no, the Mavs shouldn't even consider taking a look at Killian Hayes.

Perhaps their best hope is waiting for the return of Dante Exum, who has rejuvenated his career in the NBA. After playing basketball abroad for two seasons, Exum has found a home in Dallas this season. In 32 appearances so far, he has averaged 9.2 points and 2.8 assists on 57.1 percent field goal shooting and 47.7 percent three-point shooting in nearly 20 minutes per game, mostly as a reserve. Exum won't be the perfect solution, but he at least provides them another steady hand on the court.