1. Dallas Mavericks
I know I know, this seems like low-hanging fruit. After all, the Dallas Mavericks are known to have a penchant for Euro-centric talent. I promise this isn’t a lazy attempt to connect the dots here based on the fact alone, but it certainly doesn’t hurt my case.
Thinking about it, Vucevic is exactly the type of center the Mavericks could use in their system built around superstar Luka Doncic. They previously tried this experiment with Kristaps Porzingis, but his massive contract and extensive injury setbacks made him more of a liability than an asset. With Vucevic, Dallas would (presumably) not have to deal with either of those issues.
Nikola Vucevic would address several problems for the Dallas Mavericks, so I expect to see them join the free agency chase.
Vucevic wouldn’t be the first player the Mavericks have explored when it comes to replacing Porzingis’ impact, as they gave Christian Wood more than a fair shot to grow into a bigger role this season. Unfortunately, defensive deficiencies and an alleged bad attitude in the locker room held him back from excelling and growing into a Mavericks mainstay.
With the Mavericks taking a massive step in the wrong direction in 2022-23 after a Western Conference Finals appearance the year before, the pressure is on for them to make significant upgrades this summer to keep Luka content. Dwight Powell and Maxi Kleber are fine players, but so far from the talent level you’d like your starting big man to be at, so I think Vucevic is an interesting dark horse candidate to help a team like the Mavs return to prominence.
This much is especially concerning considering Vooch has repeatedly stated he is prioritizing winning a championship over financial wealth at the moment, with only so many productive years left of his career to offer a contender.