As a college basketball aficionado, my brain has been occupied by all things NBA Draft since Thursday’s lottery. I’ve laid awake at night staring at the ceiling while thinking about the endless possibilities this time of year holds. The idea of Lamelo Ball being paired with Stephen Curry, Obi Toppin somehow making the Cavaliers even worse on defense, and most importantly, all things Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavericks weren’t affected by the Draft Lottery, but with a fresh batch of mock drafts now hitting my screen, I’m already preoccupied thinking about how the team will operate in the next few months. One of those mock drafts was by Sports Illustrated, who sneakily added this nugget to their Mavericks prediction.
Per sources, the Mavs have already made this pick available in trades in search of immediate help, as they look to accelerate their path toward contention. That may prove to be a trend, given the number of playoff teams in this part of the draft that would appear to be a player or two away from making a leap. The 16-22 range looks like a sweet spot for value, with a number of solid guards all but certain to be on the board, and the picks themselves expected to be attainable via trade.
From Sports Illustrated’s “NBA Mock Draft 6.0: Projecting All 60 Picks After Timberwolves Win Lottery” by Jeremy Woo
Now we know that the idea of the Mavericks trading out of their 18th place is a possibility. This makes me want to pull my hair out, not because it’s a bad idea, but because it opens up a whole new world of opportunities. If you haven’t heard me say this before, you will hear me say this a lot over the next few months: the choices the Mavericks make in this draft are some of the most important decisions regarding their championship future. That’s also true for this free agency and if they even actually draft or not. With Kristaps Porzingis and Luka Doncic at optimal ages and the Mavericks payroll in a comfortable position, it’s imperative that Dallas takes advantage of these next few years.
So what should the Mavericks do with this pick? Well, there’s dozens of possibilities, but three seem the most obvious to me.
The Mavericks use the pick to draft
Simply enough, Dallas drafts a player they hope becomes a valuable contributor to their future. This is personally my favorite option. It brings you a cheap role player with potential upside, removing your need to find a role player on the market. But this option is also undeniably the most risky. It’s not rare to see things simply not work out with prospects. A player not contributing to the Mavericks system quickly could set the team back on their way to a championship. This team simply doesn’t have a lot of time to waste for a prospect to grow into their role.
The Mavericks use the pick to trade for a role player
Dallas could either trade this pick straight-up, or throw in a couple of mid-rotation players in hopes of securing a starter-level talent. I’m not really sure just how valuable this pick would be by it’s lonesome. The Mavericks likely throw in a couple of mid-rotation players (< 20 minutes per game) to grab an established role player. They could also use a few of these players to move up and trade for a prospect they missed out on earlier in the draft, but this is pretty risky so I think it’s unlikely. It seems really rare to me that they use this pick as an asset to get more picks, but I guess nothing is impossible. If that happens, expect the Mavericks to make a blockbuster trade before the season.
The Mavericks use the pick and some key assets to trade for a third-star
For those of you who apart of lovely “Mavs Twitter”, you know how often our wonderful fan-base fantasizes about “future Dallas Mavericks”. Well, this scenario is likely how those big-time players who we dream about would come to Dallas. The Mavericks use this pick, along with some key players, to get another high-caliber weapon beside Doncic and Porzingis. The Mavericks would acquire a guy like Rudy Gorbet, Bradley Beal, Aaron Gordon, or C.J. McCollum. This would undoubtedly cost the Mavericks at least one starter and a few players off the bench. This also likely raises the Mavericks payroll and therefore lowering the possibility of making a big splash in future free agencies. But the upside of getting an established high-level player would be of definite value to this young team.
What do you think the Mavericks should do? Vote in our poll and feel free to support your decision in the comments!
Should the Mavericks keep their 18th overall pick or use it in a trade package?
This poll is closed
Keep the pick and draft
Use the pick in a "cheaper" trade package for a role player
Use the pick plus some key role players to create an "expensive" trade package that brings in a third star