Adrian Wojnarowski reported late last week that the Dallas Mavericks hired former Brooklyn Nets director of scouting Matt Riccardi. The title for Riccardi in Dallas is unclear at the moment and the Mavericks current director of scouting, Jason White, has been with the team for 23 years. He has spent the last 11 of those years as director of scouting.
Brooklyn Nets director of scouting Matt Riccardi is joining the Dallas Mavericks in a senior front office role, sources tell ESPN. Riccardi spent 13 years with the Nets, advancing from an intern. He grew up in the Dallas area.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 6, 2022
White and Riccardi share a history of beginning lower within an organization and working their way up so they should be able to work together well. The Mavericks are unlikely to have a first round pick next summer as their 2023 pick is owed to the New York Knicks unless it falls within the top ten picks. This may cause fans to disregard this hire as not being meaningful, but a team does not need a high pick in order to get value from scouting.
The Mavericks draft history over the last two decades is very similar to an old Emmitt Smith quote: “We had some diamonds, but we had a lotta cow poo poo around it, and the diamonds was mixed in with the poo poo...it just all look like poo poo.” The Mavericks have found two absolute diamonds in Dirk Nowitzki and Luka Doncic, but there is certainly a lot of poo poo.
The Mavericks have to get better at finding value later in the drafts and this appears to be an attempt to do that. The Nets do not exactly have a sterling history themselves but they do have some better finds than the Mavericks. Jarrett Allen proved to be a steal after having been selected 22nd overall in 2017. Hamidou Diallo and and Nicolas Claxton also show promise as second round picks.
Cameron Thomas, the Nets 27th overall pick last season, also shows some promise. It is questionable how much Riccardi will improve the Mavericks ability to draft, but this shows an attempt to improve in that area. Even if the Mavericks don’t have first rounders, there’s still the second round and finding undrafted free agents that requires lots of scouting work. Just look at the Mavericks roster right now with Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber. Those players weren’t drafted, but still required the skills of a scouting department and coaching staff to find and develop those two players.
The Mavericks attempting to improve at the draft, coupled with the decision to trade into the draft to select Jaden Hardy in June, shows that the Mavericks may finally be taking the draft seriously.