The Dallas Mavericks have started the season 9-7, which has them in ninth place in the Western Conference entering Sunday. Dallas is led by superstar Luka Doncic, who has had a tremendous season thus far.
Doncic has had an unreal start to the season, averaging 34.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 8.1 assists entering Sunday. The 23-year-old is shooting 49.7 percent from the field and 29.1 percent from three. He dominates the game on so many levels, and his play has carried the load for Dallas.
Christian Wood has also had a tremendous impact as the 6th man. The Mavs acquired Wood in the offseason, and he has been a real difference-maker. Wood is averaging 17.5 points along with 7.5 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 43.2 percent from behind the arc.
He has been a great scoring punch for the Mavericks off the bench, adding a presence they didn't have last season.
While Dallas has been solid, they still don't have enough to get past the top teams in the league to win a championship. Doncic had a sensational playoff run last season, leading the Mavs to the Western Conference Finals, where they were defeated in five games. Even with the addition of Wood, it would be tough to see the Mavs winning the championship this season, as the league has only gotten more competitive. Making a trade to surround Doncic with more talent would help them become a contender.
With that said, here is the Mavs' most realistic trade target after the first month of the 2022-23 season.
Mike Conley Jr.
Mike Conley is a veteran guard that could be on the trade block and be a target for Dallas. While the Utah Jazz have a 12-6 record and sit in first place in the West, they could sell their veterans. In the offseason, Utah shipped Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The young core for the Jazz has played well, and shipping of their veterans could help them acquire more draft capital and future assets.
For Dallas, Conley would provide them with another ball-handler, which could help vastly. Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie are the primary ball handlers but are both in the starting lineup. A trade for Conley would allow him to run the second unit, improving their bench production and depth.
Conley recently suffered a knee strain, which will keep him out for at least two weeks. However, he is still a player the Mavs should heavily consider acquiring. The veteran is averaging 10.2 points, along with 7.9 assists and 1.2 steals per contest. He is shooting 39.2 percent and 38.6 percent from downtown. He would be a great facilitator for the Mavs off the bench and provide veteran leadership.
While Dallas may not be able to acquire a star at the moment, adding another ball-handler could help them improve and become a solidified playoff team. Acquiring Conley could also take some pressure off of Doncic, who has to carry the offense. Having the ball in Doncic's hands is obviously very effective, but adding Conley would give them another ball-handler, which could lower Doncic's usage rate and have him fresher for the postseason.
The Mavs may not have a true co-star for Doncic, but surrounding him with more depth could lead to more success. If Dallas can get Mike Conley Jr. for a good price, it would be a highly beneficial addition.