Mavericks trade aggression should provide blueprint to Warriors bounce back

Golden State v Dallas Mavericks
Golden State v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks moved to within one game of the NBA Finals on Sunday, in doing so potentially providing optimism towards a response from the Golden State Warriors next season.

After back-to-back wins in Minnesota, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving again came up clutch down the stretch to claim a 116-107 victory which pushes the Mavericks to a 3-0 lead over the Timberwolves.

Should the Dallas Mavericks bounce back from playoff absence to likely NBA finalist provide hope for the Golden State Warriors next season?

It's been an incredible turnaround for the Mavericks who finished 11th in the Western Conference last season with a 38-44 record. Now on the brink of the Finals, does their bounce back provide hope to the Warriors following their disappointing season that saw them finish 10th before being eliminated in the Play-In Tournament?

In some ways it should given it demonstrates the competitive balance of the West, but it should also provide a wake up call for Golden State who have been lying dormant compared to Dallas when it comes to roster movement.

Of the Mavericks' starters in these playoffs, only Doncic was on the team prior to February last year. They took advantage of Irving's suppressed value to acquire him from the Brooklyn Nets, signed Derrick Jones Jr. to a minimum contract in August, then traded for PJ Washington and Daniel Gafford before this season's deadline. Their most impactful bench piece, rookie center Dereck Lively II, was acquired in a draft night trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder last June.

Dallas' approach was risky, particularly given they also handed Irving a hefty contract extension at a time where he was considered one of the most unreliable stars in the league. Fast-forward to now though and the Mavericks' bold strategy is paying enormous dividends, to the point where many see them as the favorite for the NBA championship.

Of course, it's easier to take those risks when you've got a perennial MVP candidate in Doncic. The question for the Warriors is whether they believe Stephen Curry can still be that Doncic-esque player that's capable of leading them to another championship. Even if there's doubt about that, you're talking about the greatest player in franchise history who should be prioritized as such.

The Mavericks aren't the only Conference finalist to have been aggressive on the trade table, with each of the other three having also made substantial deals in the past 12-24 months. Yet after finishing even lower than Golden State did this season, Dallas' transformation over the past year is providing a blueprint of what can happen with a more ruthless mindset on the trade market.