Will either of these players play for the Mavericks Summer League team? (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The first draft rights the Mavericks hold is that of Petteri Koponen. Koponen was drafted as the 30th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Sixers, and his rights were traded to Portland. Last year, the Mavericks traded their second round draft pick (#57) for Koponen's rights. He is still young; his age is a spring 24 years. Petteri is a combo guard, and he currently plays for BC Khimki in the Russian League as their starting point guard. Since he signed a three year deal with BC Khimki last season, and with no opt-out, his chance of showing up to the Mavericks Summer League team is less than 5%.
With the NBA Summer League occurring in July, the Mavericks must prepare in which players to bring over. Many will be undrafted free agents; however, some could be unsigned draft picks from long ago. Almost all of these draft picks are in the second round, and their chance of making it is almost zero. Still, they may have a long shot to become part of the Mavericks organization. Also, can another French national join the Mavericks due to the 2012 NBA Draft? Keep reading on a possible first round pick of Evan Fournier.
The next draft rights the Mavericks hold is those of Renaldas Seibutis. Seibutis was drafted by Dallas with the 50th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. He did play for the Mavericks in the 2007 Summer League, but he failed to impress, scoring less than 4 PPG and 1 RPG. Renaldus was cut, but his rights were held. His basketball play has improved, with 18.6 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 4.5 APG being doled out in his last season for BC Lietuvos of Lithuania starting at the shooting guard position along another recent draftee: Jonas Valanciunas. He also won a bronze metal with the Lithuanian team at the 2010 FIBA tournament. Seibutis signed a 2 year deal last season with BC Lietuvos, and has an opt out after the upcoming season. Seibutis has less than 10% chance he shows up for any Maverick tournament such as the Summer League.
Another Maverick draftee which rights are still held is Shan Foster. Foster played for Vanderbilt for four years, and graduated as the crown player for the SEC, being named their player of the year for 2008. Even with such a title from a large conference featuring teams such as the University of Kentucky, his draft stock plunged; scouts accredit the fall of status to his lack of fundamentals and his run of the mill athleticism for a possible NBA player. Dallas picked him up with the 52st pick of the 2008 NBA Draft. Foster got his shot into the Maverick organization in the 2012 Summer League, but failed to make a dent to his signing prospects. He now plays as a virtual unknown for the Belgium team Dexia Mons-Hainaut. In his spare time, Shan dedicated a small song of how badly he wants to play in the NBA (which is surprisingly well):
The last person the Mavericks hold draft rights to is Nick Calathes. Calathes' draft rights were purchased by the Mavericks from the Timberwolves in the 2009 NBA Draft. As a dual passport holder of Greece and the USA, Nick played for Panathinaikos, a Greek club. With the financial crisis Greece is currently suffering, its' no surprise that Nick Calathes is bailing out of Greece, along with their banks. Boweman wrote a great article on Calathes and his statistics in Europe, as well as how they translate to the NBA. His chances of appearing in the 2012 Maverick Summer League team are over 90% if the Greek national team does not make it in the Euro league tournament.
Onto the 2012 NBA Draft, another French national may be added in Evan Fournier. Fournier is a rising star in the French Pro A league, which has produced players like Tony Parker and Rodrigue "Roddy" Beaubois. Fournier has earned a silver and a bronze metal in the U18 and U20 tournaments, respectively. Fournier also earned the Most Improved Player award from the league. Standing at 6'6 and weighing in at 200 pounds, Evan Fournier has great size for a shooting guard. He currently scores 14 PPG, has over 3 RPG, and over 2 APG per 36 minutes, which is a serious improvement over his paltry 6 PPG, 1.5 RPG, and 1 APG two seasons ago. Evan is the franchise player for his team, Poitiers. He does have a terrible 3PT shot, only making a bit below 30% of them. Fournier's shot selection has also been criticized. However, he has broken a few league records, such as one held by Tony Parker:
There is no telling how the Mavericks will improve over the off-season, or even if any of the above mentioned players will play a role in how the future of Dallas will be. However, all fans reading this now have an understanding of what kind of draft tools the general manager, Donnie Nelson, has at his disposal, barring trades.