Who will the Mavs draft tomorrow?

USA TODAY Sports

Many people are absolutely certain that the Mavericks will trade their pick. It's supremely unfortunate, but for the second straight year that 1.2 million dollars or so stands between the Mavs and space for a max contract and, for the second straight year, Cuban and Donnie seem deadset on capspace above all else.

However, as Mike Fisher pointed out today, the Mavericks certainly are doing their due diligence and, furthermore, may be barred from simply not having a pick this year because they have a first round pick to deliver to Los Angeles for Lamar Odom as soon as it is outside the top 20, and the new CBA rules forbid a team skipping first-round picks in two consecutive years. This is more or less a technicality, in that it only means the Mavs have to draft a player for someone else in the first round, a fairly typical draft day maneuver---but it does mean that the Mavs will have to take a good, hard look at the player they're turning down. There have been a thousand times in the last year that Mavs fans have figured Cuban couldn't keep doing it, and there's no indication his will is softening--but it is getting late.

To be clear, the Mavs are not one of those teams that have leaks. If they were, it would seem to be the case, from murmurings in recent days, that if Michael Carter-Williams, whom the Mavs love, is available at 13, they'd take him and worry about it later. As is, it's just as likely they'll grab German PG Dennis Schroeder, if they can convince him to stay in Europe a year, or someone you've never heard of, or it's just all a smoke screen.

Indications are that the Mavs have some possible trades already lined up for draft day. Rumors say Cleveland again, and I certainly don't know. The question here, is what the triggers for those trades are---is it a done deal? Or is there some combination of players available and future planning that will make the Mavs keep their pick? Is the virtual certainty of Chris Paul in LA next year a feature in the revision of Mavericks plans? Does it depend more on who's available, on what they can get, or on getting someone to take on more salary in addition to the pick?

I really don't know. What do y'all think?

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