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Mavericks reportedly eyeing trade for Myles Turner or John Collins

Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 31: Myles Turner #33 of the Indiana Pacers reacts after a play in the game against the Chicago Bulls during the third quarter at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 31, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

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The latest sign Dallas is not happy with its situation at center: The team waived Willie Cauley-Stein to sign Marquese Chriss, who joined the team on a 10-day hardship contract then won the job.

Chriss is not the long-term answer at the five and the Mavericks head into the trade deadline thinking about two big men — Myles Turner of the Pacers and John Collins of the Hawks — reports Marc Stein in his newsletter.

Dallas has been trying to get into the trade mix for Turner or Collins... But Dallas’ ability to swing a significant trade could hinge on its ability to find a trade partner for Tim Hardaway Jr., who is averaging just 14.5 points (his lowest mark in five seasons) and shooting a mere 39.2% from the field and 32.8% from 3-point range after signing a four-year, $75 million contract in August.

The Mavericks have been known to be interested in Collins since last offseason, when the Hawks signed him to a five-year, $125 million extension of his rookie contract. Collins brings impressive athleticism, rim protection on defense and some offensive versatility.

The question is will the Hawks trade him? Collins has expressed frustration with his role in the offense this season, but the duo of Collins and Trae Young took Atlanta to the Eastern Conference Finals last season. Do they want to give up on that now?

Turner is available via trade and the more likely player to end up in Dallas. He averages 12.9 points and seven rebounds a game, and is also one of the better rim-protecting centers in the NBA, leading the league with 2.8 blocks a game. More than just blocks, he disrupts opponents’ drives to the rim — players shoot just 55% against him within six feet of the bucket. He can also hold his own on a switch on the perimeter.

Turner wants a more prominent role in the offense, which is something the Mavericks can offer him as a part-time pick-and-roll partner with Luka Doncic (they also run that with Kristaps Porzingis). Turner needs to work hard on the offense to grab those opportunities.

If Dallas isn’t willing to put Porzingis in a Turner trade — and the buzz around the league is the Mavericks plan to hold on to him — then it does come back to Hardaway, as Stein reported. The Hawks will not want Hardaway (they are already stacked on the wing), meaning it would need to be a more complex three-team trade, which is challenging to pull off.

Just keep an eye on Dallas and Turner, they are going to make a push.