Could the Dallas Mavericks Trade into the First Round?
The NBA Draft is next week and the Dallas Mavericks only have a second round pick, but could they trade into the first round?
A couple of December’s ago, the Dallas Mavericks made a blockbuster trade that sent Jae Crowder, other players, and their 2016 first round pick to the Boston Celtics for Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell. The Rondo experiment obviously didn’t work out and Dwight Powell is set to be a restricted free agent.
Now the Mavericks enter the draft with just a second round pick they could either use on a player who could compete for a roster spot or a draft-and-stash international player that won’t make the jump this season to the NBA. There is also the possibility that Dallas could simply trade away their second round pick and make zero selections next week.
But what if the Mavs do the opposite and try to trade into the first round of the draft?
Last year, Dallas had the 21st pick in the draft and drafted Justin Anderson out of the University of Virginia. Anderson played in 55 games on the season, including the last 15 games where Dallas made a late postseason run to make the playoffs.
Anderson gave fans in Dallas a young face to finally root and be excited for as youngsters hardly see the court in Carlisle’s system. But Anderson’s athleticism and energy made him a player that Dallas couldn’t resist having on the court at times.
The pick after Anderson was Bobby Portis to the Chicago Bulls. Portis played in 62 games on the season and averaged 17 minutes a game. Looking like a first round steal, Portis’ rise could play into the aging front court in Chicago finding new homes this summer.
So could a late first round pick be up for grabs on draft night?
Believe it or not, there are FOUR teams in the first round that have THREE first round picks. The Philadelphia 76ers (1st, 24th, 26th), Boston Celtics (3rd, 16th, 23rd), Phoenix Suns (4th, 13th, 28th) and Denver Nuggets (7th, 15th, 19th) all sit in the driver’s seat on draft night.
Many draft experts believe that at least two, if not all three, of these teams don’t want to go into training camp with three first round picks on the roster, thus giving these teams two options. They could take a draft-and-stash international player that won’t come over this year OR they could look into trading one of their lower first round picks.
This gives teams like the Dallas Mavericks without a first round pick a shot at moving into the first round.
The 16th pick from Boston would probably be a steeper price so that leaves picks 23, 24, 26, and 28 that Dallas could look into moving up into. Let’s take a look at one of Philadelphia’s picks at 24 and 26.
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It’s unclear what would warrant a move into the back-end of the first round but let’s say Dallas offered Devin Harris, their second round pick, and a future second rounder to move up to 24 or 26? This would still allow Philly to have Ben Simmons/Brandon Ingram, another first round pick, a veteran guard in Devin Harris, and two additional second round picks.
Dallas, on the other hand, would then focus on resigning Raymond Felton to replace Devin Harris and more importantly have a first round pick to play around with. Players such as Thon Maker, Denzel Valentine, Cheick Diallo, and Taurean Prince are all names being mentioned around this area of the draft that Dallas could target.
With Dallas looking to get younger while still remaining competitive, this could be a type of move the front office might look to take advantage of.
Keep an eye on Dallas come draft night for any surprises up the front office’s sleeve.