The Dallas Mavericks are an interesting case study on how to properly (or improperly) build around a generational talent like Luka Doncic. Doncic, much like LeBron James in the early 2000s, became too good, too soon (not a bad thing, mind you) that their teams (the Mavs and the 2000s Cleveland Cavaliers) were unable to surround them with the necessary young, elite talent who could match their rapid ascent and grow alongside them.

It’s too early to tell yet if the Mavs would continue to suffer from success. One thing’s for sure: the Mavs’ supporting cast around Doncic isn’t particularly impressive. After a strong run to the Western Conference Finals last season, the Mavs have had to endure inconsistencies from their role players, a drop-off in their defensive performance, and just an overall overreliance on their Slovenian superstar.

As a result, the Mavs have been so unimpressed with the supporting cast they have put around Luka Doncic that they have reportedly made everyone but their superstar available in trade talks.

That may seem like a drastic move, but in the NBA, the clock is always ticking on a team with a superstar of Doncic’s caliber. Amid all the superstar movement in recent years, Doncic could very well be a flight risk if the Mavs continue putting together one uninspiring supporting cast around him after another.

Nevertheless, the need to make moves doesn’t mean that the Mavs should just throw all caution in the wind and trade players just for the sake of it. Even with almost the entire roster’s availability, some pieces already in the roster definitely have a place alongside Doncic.

With that said, these are the three players the Mavs will regret trading before the February 9 NBA Trade Deadline.

Mavs will regret trading away Christian Wood, Josh Green, and Dorian Finney-Smith

If there’s anything the Mavs regret at the moment (and perhaps for the foreseeable future), it’s letting Jalen Brunson, the breakout star of the 2022 postseason, go for nothing. Brunson is now tearing the nets for the New York Knicks, emerging as a bonafide All-Star caliber talent.

That may be in the past now, but the Mavs’ past demons could soon haunt them once more in the form of Christian Wood. The Mavs acquired Wood in the offseason despite the 27-year old’s impending free agency. There was hope that the two sides could then agree to a contract extension to give Luka Doncic a reliable secondary offensive star.

However, the Mavs have reportedly been unwilling to cave into Wood’s contract demands. As a result, the Mavs could now decide to trade him away lest they run the risk of letting him leave for nothing.

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But as is the case with everything in life, past traumas (to exaggerate slightly) should not dictate future actions. Christian Wood could very well end up being like Jalen Brunson and leave the Mavs hanging in free agency, but there are no guarantees he’d do that.

Plus, would it not upset Luka Doncic that the Mavs would give up prematurely on one of the best teammates he’s had over the past few years?

At the very least, the Mavs should see the season through with Christian Wood.

Meanwhile, Dorian Finney-Smith has also seen his name become involved in trade rumors. Finney-Smith has even acknowledged his involvement in trade talks, saying that while he knows it’s part of the business he’s in, he would very much like to stay in the place he has called home since the 2016-17 season.

But the Mavs should reciprocate Finney-Smith’s sentiments and not ship him out before the trade deadline.

Sure, Dorian Finney-Smith’s efficiency has fallen off a cliff this season, and his defense isn’t as suffocating as it was in the past. But he remains one of the Mavs’ most versatile players, especially defensively. Even goldfish remember just how well he played during the Mavs’ triumph over the Phoenix Suns in last year’s playoffs.

He may be due for some positive regression as well; his shooting percentages over the past three seasons means that he could very well be primed for a huge bounce-back in the last three months of the regular season.

The Mavs may need to shake some things up, but Finney-Smith remains arguably one of their most important players, and his player archetype remains one of the most valuable there is around the league. If anything, the Mavs need players like him, not to trade him away.

Lastly, Josh Green is emerging as a key piece for the Mavs as of late, and he represents a welcome change of pace for the glacial Mavs. In fact, since returning from injury, he has played heavy minutes for Dallas, earning the trust of head coach Jason Kidd.

The Mavs need more promising young talent around Luka Doncic, not less. Thus, it’d be a daft move if they end up trading away a player with plenty of room to grow in exchange for a shortsighted quick fix.