Dallas Mavericks: Revisiting the 2011 NBA Draft
The Dallas Mavericks were coming off of their first NBA Championship and needed a boost in the roster to stay relevant. Did they do so through the draft?
As we draw nearer to present day NBA, we stop today to talk about the 2011 NBA Draft. If you have not been able to keep up with the site over the past few weeks, we have been revisiting each of the NBA drafts after the Dirk Nowitzki selection.
Wanting to determine whether or not we made the right decisions year in and year out, we have taken the time to break down each draft class and the moves the Mavs made during. It is broken down into four categories of notable players drafted, the state of the Mavericks as an organization, what the Mavs actually did in the draft, and what they should have done.
The year 2011 was headlined by the freshman guard from Duke that played in only 11 games before being taken number 1 overall. Many people were surprised that the first pick taken was coming off a major injury, but the Cavaliers were sold on him.
Notable Players Drafted in 2011
Enes Kanter – Rd. 1 Pk. 3 (UTAH)
Jonas Valanciunas – Rd. 1 Pk. 5 (TOR)
Brandon Knight – Rd. 1 Pk. 8 (DET)
Kemba Walker – Rd. 1 Pk. 9 (CHA)
Klay Thompson – Rd. 1 Pk. 11 (GSW)
Kawhi Leonard – Rd. 1 Pk. 15 (IND traded to SAS)
Reggie Jackson – Rd. 1 Pk. 24 (OKC)
Jimmy Butler – Rd. 2 Pk. 30 (CHI)
Chandler Parsons – Rd. 2 Pk. 38 (HOU)
Isaiah Thomas – Rd. 2 Pk. 60 (BOS)
State of the Mavs
The Dallas Mavericks were coming off the best year in franchise history as they finally broke the curse and won the championship behind Dirk, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, and Tyson Chandler. The Mavs may not have been the best team in the league all year, but they certainly were in the playoffs.
After defeating the Trail Blazers, Lakers, Thunder, and Heat on their way to the title, Mark Cuban and the Mavericks needed to determine whether this roster was capable of a similar feat in the next year, or would changes need to be made.
The decision was made that the Mavs would need a new look to compete once again, so Dallas went out seeking through free agency.
What the Mavs Did
Seeing as a title was just won, the draft was more of an afterthought for the team and, despite the decision to look for a stronger roster, Dallas did not think the draft offered what would be most beneficial for the team.
The Mavericks still had their first and second round picks in 2011 come draft day, holding the 26th and 57th picks. Although each pick was available, the Mavs wanted veteran players to add to their team so they made trades that sent the first rounder to Denver and second round to Portland.
In exchange for the players selected (Jordan Hamilton and Tanguy Ngombo, respectively), the Mavs received Rudy Fernandez and the rights to Petteri Koponen, a player who has yet to come to the NBA from overseas.
Jordan Hamilton did not have a very illustrious career in the NBA as he played in only a few seasons before electing to go overseas. Meanwhile, Ngombo never came to play in the NBA, so Dallas did not really miss out on the players drafted in these spots.
What the Mavs Should’ve Done
Dallas continues their streak of getting rid of picks before we can even figure out what we want to do. The search for the perfect veteran role player has been a unique one that has worked in some cases and really hurt us in others.
Upon being traded, Rudy Fernandez elected to leave the NBA and go back overseas to Real Madrid where he is currently playing. Meaning Dallas traded away two draft picks for not a single NBA game from any other players.
Take into account that some of the players taken after Hamilton include Norris Cole, Jimmy Butler, Chandler Parsons, Jon Leuer, Lavoy Allen, and Isaiah Thomas, and it is clear Dallas made a mistake. Had they chosen any of these players, who vary in level and importance in the league, the Mavericks would have been far better off and may have someone valuable on the roster from a draft.
No, the Mavs should not have traded away all their picks like they did, but it is hard to see that at the time. With a pick as late as 26, it is always a gamble no matter what.
Next: Dallas Mavericks: Salah Mejri Will Be an Important Piece
Stay tuned for the remaining years of the Dallas Mavericks drafts here at The Smoking Cuban. If you are interested in seeing the previous drafts we have already revisited, look back at our home page.