Dallas Mavericks: Revisiting the 2012 NBA Draft
With the NBA Draft set to take place later this month, we take a look back at what the Dallas Mavericks did in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Last month, we here at The Smoking Cuban decided to go back in time and examine each draft that has taken place since Dirk Nowitzki came into the league. With over ten drafts down, we turn our attention to the 2012 NBA Draft.
Headlined by a pair of Kentucky Wildcats, the 2012 NBA Draft had plenty of storylines that resulted in some young stars in the league, including Damian Lillard going 6th overall.
Notable Players Drafted in 2012
Top 5 picks (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Dion Waiters, Thomas Robinson)
Damian Lillard- Rd. 1, Pick 6 (POR)
Harrison Barnes– Rd. 1, Pick 7 (GSW)
Andre Drummond– Rd. 1, Pick 9 (DET)
Austin Rivers– Rd. 1, Pick 10 (NOH)
John Henson– Rd. 1, Pick 14 (MIL)
Festus Ezeli– Rd. 1, Pick 30 (GSW)
Jae Crowder– Rd. 2, Pick 34 (CLE)
Draymond Green– Rd. 2, Pick 35 (GSW)
Khris Middleton– Rd. 2, Pick 39 (DET)
Will Barton– Rd. 2, Pick 40 (POR)
State of the Mavs
Dallas had just finished their first season after depleting their championship roster the summer before. After losing Tyson Chandler, J.J. Barea, and more, the Mavericks found themselves chasing the free agent market every summer hoping to land the big fish.
Dallas went into the playoffs as the seventh seed as they faced off with a young and talented Oklahoma City squad headlined by Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. Led by Nowitzki, Kidd, and Marion, the Mavericks were simply outmatched as they were swept by the Thunder.
The Mavericks entered a crucial offseason with questions swirling around Jason Kidd‘s free agency. But before free agency started, the Mavericks had the 17th and 55th pick in the draft.
What the Mavs Did
It was an entertaining draft to say the least for the Dallas Mavericks.
Sitting at the 17th pick in the draft, the Mavericks selected big man Tyler Zeller out of North Carolina, but he was on the move from the moment he heard his name called.
Dallas had an agreement in place with the Cleveland Cavaliers where they traded the 17th pick (Zeller) and Kelenna Azubuike in exchange for the 24th, 33rd, and 34th pick in the draft. Basically, Dallas picked up two early second round picks to move down eight spots.
Now Dallas was armed with the 24th, 33rd, 34th, and 55th pick in the draft as they looked to add some younger pieces to the roster.
With the 24th pick, Dallas selected Jared Cunningham out of Oregon State University. With the 33rd and 34th picks, Dallas selected big man, Bernard James and wing man, Jae Crowder. With the 55th, Dallas selected Darius Johnson-Odom out of Marquette who never played for the Mavs and only played two years in the league.
What the Mavs Should’ve Done
The top half of the lottery was loaded with some quality talent, but the second half of the first round dipped off a bit. With the players remaining at 17, the trade Dallas pulled off with the Cavs was a brilliant move from ownership. Moving down eight spots and picking up two early second rounders was a great move.
It was the selections that killed Dallas.
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Cunningham was a combo scoring guard out of Oregon State that had just put up 17 points a game in his junior year, but was full of question marks. Players sitting on the draft board at 24 was Miles Plumlee, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green and Khris Middleton.
It was the 33rd pick that destroys Dallas in hindsight right now. Selecting Bernard James over Khris Middleton, Will Barton and yes, Draymond Green still hurts to this day. Selecting Jae Crowder ended up being a pretty good pick, but all three of the above players were taken after him.
To add salt to the womb, imagine if Dallas walked away from the draft with Green, Middleton, and Crowder.
With this bittersweet draft behind us, up next is the 2013 NBA Draft that resulted in a lottery pick for the Mavericks.