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News » Mavs like their draft status

Mavs like their draft status

Mavs like their draft status
During his pre-NBA draft media session, Pittsburgh big man DeJuan Blair couldn't contain his excitement, saying that "For me, June 25th is bigger than Christmas.''

At least it's fun for somebody. NBA presidents and general managers don't share that opinion. Most of them are prepared for the proverbial lump of coal in their summertime stockings.

The Mavericks even figured they could drop down a couple of spots in the draft and their lump of coal would be the same.

That's why they took advantage of the situation and traded down Wednesday, shipping their 22nd pick overall to Portland for the Blazers' pick, which is 24th.

The Mavericks picked up a second-round pick (56th overall) in tonight's draft and the lower of Portland's second-round picks in 2010.

It may seem like a gratuitous trade. But the Mavericks view it as stockpiling a couple of second-round assets while also holding onto a pick they don't see as any different, whether it's 22nd or 24th.

"It's just two spots, and we're still going to get the guy we like,'' Mavericks president of Basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. "The depth of the second tier in this year's draft has given us the opportunity to trade down, pick up two second-round picks and not lose ground in terms of talent.

"This will give us flexibility for the future.''

The trade is not without risk. There are two players who would have been there at the 22nd pick who won't be there at 24. That said, most draft experts agree that the talent pool between No. 11 and No. 25 is, in most cases, too close to call.

Any of them could be busts or surprise successes.

And so, the Mavericks will proceed with No. 24. They also will field calls before the 6:30 p.m. draft. They continue to dangle Jerry Stackhouse's enticing contract as a chip to try to acquire an impact player, much like the San Antonio Spurs did to get Richard Jefferson.

The smart money is on the Mavericks laying low until free agency commences July 1.

This year's draft is expected to be one of the weakest in recent years and includes only one sure-fire prospect in Blake Griffin, who will be taken by the Los Angeles Clippers, who have the No. 1 overall pick.

After that, plan on nothing except a lot of posturing, speculation and outright fibbing.

The Mavericks are no different. They will watch and wait tonight and see what is left when they pick. And when it's their turn, they have this pecking order:

*A point guard, preferably coming from the grouping of Florida's Nick Calathes, Virginia Commonwealth's Eric Maynor, UCLA's Darren Collison and North Carolina's Ty Lawson, although it would be a major surprise if Lawson slips to 24.

*A strong swingman like Pittsburgh's Sam Young or maybe North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, although it would be a huge upset if Hansbrough lasts that long.

"I don't know that we can get real picky,'' Nelson said.

Oh, but they will. There is a group of players that will make them happy.

Briefly: Ohio State center B.J. Mullens had this to say about what NBA player he most wants to emulate: "I like Dirk Nowitzki. He's a great shooter, and I would like to play like him.'' ... The Mavericks will host a draft watching party tonight at the Chili's on the Southwest corner of American Airlines Center starting at 6 p.m.


CHAT LIVE about the NBA draft with Eddie Sefko at 11:30 a.m. today on the Mavericks blog. Also, catch Sefko and Tim MacMahon as they give their insight during tonight's NBA draft.

6:30 p.m. today (ESPN)

Eddie Sefko's mock draft

1. LOS ANGELES Clippers

Blake Griffin (above), 6-10, PF, Oklahoma

The only sure-fire star in this draft. Not even the Clippers can mess this one up, right?


Hasheem Thabeet, 7-3, C, Connecticut

If they keep the pick, they get a Dikembe Mutombo-like shot-blocker.


Ricky Rubio, 6-4, PG, Spain

Smooth operator may be the only swingman with a sure-fire impact in his rookie season.


James Harden, 6-5, SF/SG, Arizona State

He brings the wow factor back to the Kings, who are desperate to get back on the map.

5. MINNESOTA Timberwolves

Jordan Hill, 6-10, PF, Arizona

Very athletic big man who could slip in draft if the Wolves are scared off by lack of polish.

6. MINNESOTA Timberwolves

Tyreke Evans, 6-5, PG, Memphis

Would like a true PG, but can't help themselves when it comes to this combo guard.


Stephen Curry, 6-3, PG, Davidson

Dynamite shooter, but suspect in all other areas. He'll be a great addition


Jonny Flynn, 6-0, PG, Syracuse

A true point guard will be groomed for the Steve Nash role in Mike D'Antoni's system.


Demar DeRozan, 6-7, USC

Raps want a younger, cheaper and hopefully better Shawn Marion.


Jrue Holiday, 6-3, PG, UCLA

If Flynn or Curry drops, they won't be disappointed.


Brandon Jennings, 6-0, Italy

The talent level drops off starting here, unless they want to stockpile point-guard talent.


Terrence Williams, 6-6, Louisville

Got blamed for internal woes in college, but his talent is too enticing to pass up.


James Johnson, 6-8, Wake Forest

Not satisfied with T.J. Ford, they bring in a guy with sizzle but maybe not enough steak.

14. PHOENIX Suns

Ty Lawson, 6-0, North Carolina

Who better to study under Steve Nash than a guy with great fundamentals PG skills?


Austin Daye, 6-10, Gonzaga

He's got good skills facing the basket or slashing. Shot selection a question.


Gerald Henderson, 6-5, Duke

They'll take the best available player.


B.J. Mullens, 7-0, Ohio State

Project center gives them some insurance if they trade Samuel Dalembert this summer.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: June 26, 2009


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