4. Mavericks give up 1st to add rim protection
The Mavs only have one first-round pick available to trade, and it has to be unprotected because they only own one second-rounder beyond 2027. Dallas does not want to trade it, but they are off to a hot start and could be just one piece away from title contention.
Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving give them an unstoppable offense, but there are defensive concerns, especially in the middle. The Mavericks are relying on a rookie as their starting center and only rim protector. They may want to sure up that position before the deadline.
Holmes has not played a second this season and has not been a regular rotation player since 2021. He has a $12.8 million player option for the 2024-25 campaign, which is likely to be picked up. Even if he does, it gives Portland an expiring contract to trade in the offseason or at the 2025 deadline.
The Portland Trail Blazers would be ecstatic to get an unprotected first-round draft pick from the Dallas Mavericks in 2027. Even if it does not turn into a premium selection, unprotected choices are never easy to acquire and have extra value in trades. The Blazers would be paying a similar salary to Robert Williams III next season, so the swap barely impacts their cap sheet.