The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly looking at possible trades that could further help them make the playoffs.

The Mavericks have not made the playoffs since 2016 but look on course to do it this season, at least at the time of writing. Currently in eighth place in the Western Conference with a 12-11 record and seven wins in their last 10 games, they are just 4.5 games behind the Denver Nuggets who occupy the top spot with a 17-7 record.

A big reason for their success so far has been the performances of rookie Luka Doncic, who has received heaps of praise and currently averages 18.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists over 22 games played so far.

Selected as the No. 3 pick in this year's draft by the Atlanta Hawks, Dallas traded their protected 2019 first-round pick as well as the draft rights to Trae Young to sign the Slovenian.

That means the organization has no reason to tank this season in hopes of getting the No. 1 draft pick next year for someone like Zion Williamson, and making the playoffs would represent a very successful season.

Therefore, it would also make sense for Dallas to look for trades that could help their chances even more, which is the case according to Mark Stein of the New York Times.

“Look, I’ll tell you this. They are looking and they want to do something," Stein told The Ringer's Bill Simmons, as quoted on Hoops Hype. "There is no question about that. [General manager] Donnie Nelson is always active. And so they’ve got chips. I don’t think it has materialized [in terms of] what is out there yet. We’re not even at December 15. But they’re always on the look out to do something.”

Stein's comments explain why it was reported in October that the Mavericks were among the teams that wanted Jimmy Butler and were gauging his price, before his eventual trade to the Philadelphia 76ers.

One potential trade as theorized by Simmons was the Mavericks trading Wes Matthews, who is earning $18.6 million this season before becoming a free agent next summer, and a second-round pick to the New York Knicks in exchange for Tim Hardaway Jr. and Frank Ntilikina, both of whom are earning $18.1 million and $4.8 million this season, respectively.

For the Knicks, such a trade would free up cap space to sign someone like Kevin Durant in the summer, while the Mavericks and their playoff chances would be strengthened further with the arrival of Hardaway.

However, Stein doesn't think such a deal will happen as Dallas, who are among the teams who will have plenty of cap space next summer, may prefer to test the free agency pool next summer when players like Khris Middleton and DeMarcus Cousins can become free agents. He adds they will only trade for players who are on long-term contracts if they "really like" them.

“I think they do want to go into this summer with cap space if they can and now they have Luka," Stein explained. "Is Luka going to be the first European who actually attracts other players because of the way he plays? … They’re not going to take on long-term money unless they really like the guy because I think they want to take the space and see what they can do.”

Luka Doncic Luka Doncic has enjoyed an impressive rookie season for the Dallas Mavericks so far. In this picture, Doncic of the Mavericks reacts in the final seconds of the game as the Mavericks beat the Golden State Warriors 112-109 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, November 17, 2018. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images