There are a couple of things that we've learned about the Dallas Mavericks through roughly the first half of the season. First, we learned that the Mavs are always going to be in the mix as long as Luka Doncic is healthy. Second, we also learned that there's only so much Luka can do and that if the Mavs want to compete with the top of the Western Conference, he's going to need some help. Third, Kyrie Irving may not be the supporting star that Dallas hoped he could be.
Heading into the NBA Trade Deadline, it's clear that the Mavs need to make a move if they're going to emerge as a legitimate contender in the West. Right now, they're pesky but they're not necessarily a contender that elite teams in the West are going to respect. The question is, will the right target emerge for the Mavs at the deadline?
That's far from a guarantee, especially considering that Dallas doesn't have a ton of trade assets to work with or dangle on the open market. The Mavs are certainly improved from last year but it's clear that they need to find that difference-making addition at the deadline that could effectively help this team take another step forward.