Dallas Mavericks Options on Day of Draft
The much-anticipated NBA draft is this evening, and the Dallas Mavericks pick ninth. What are their options ahead of tonight’s frenzy?
The morning before the NBA draft, the news is swirling around the NBA. Various rumors, trade proposals, and mock drafts are floating around constantly. Now just a few hours away from the NBA draft, what options do the Mavs have to consider?
The most likely scenario to unfold tonight is the obvious one. The Mavs are likely to remain at number nine on the draft board. While certain options for trading up or down may make some sense, Dallas knows one thing for sure: A very, very talented player with high potential will be available for them when they are up to bat.
Most reports and mock drafts have the Mavericks selecting guard Dennis Smith Jr. from NC State or French point guard Frank Ntilikina. It is likely that one of those two will be there for Dallas, although interest in both players has grown around the league in recent days.
The New York Knicks have shown the most interest in the 18 year old French phenom. While the Mavericks have built strong relationships with his inner circle, the Knicks remain one spot ahead of the Mavs on the draft board. Dennis Smith Jr. has worked out for several teams and according to Bleacher Report, the Boston Celtics are considering trading down for Smith despite owning the third pick in the draft.
The Mavericks discussed a potential trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves earlier yesterday. The proposal included the Mavs sending the T-Wolves the ninth pick in the draft along with Wesley Matthews. In return, the Wolves would send the Mavs guard Ricky Rubio and the seventh pick in the draft. The trade has been shelved for now, but the deal could re-surface tomorrow evening.
Part of the reason for the delay on the verdict of the trade is likely due to the fact that both teams would like to know who is available at the seventh pick tomorrow night. The Timberwolves may not want to pass on someone they feel strongly about drafting if he is available at the seventh selection. The Mavs would also like to hang onto the ninth pick with the assumption that they would come away with the same player they would draft at number seven.
The Mavs and Timberwolves will likely re-visit this trade tomorrow, but for now, the Mavs are searching for a backcourt partner to put alongside Wesley Matthews. While the Mavs are still fully expected to pursue free-agent-to-be Jrue Holiday, Dallas should not hesitate to grab either Smith or Ntilikina assuming one or the other is there at number nine.
In the unlikely event that Jonathan Isaac falls past the number six pick, the Mavs should think long and hard about accepting the deal with Minnesota. The Mavs are likely reluctant to say yes to the proposal given that the current expectation is that Isaac will be taken in the top six, and thus accepting the deal will net them a player they could have had at nine. But Jonathan Isaac has the potential to be a superstar in the NBA given his rare combination of size and ball-handling ability, and therefore the Mavs should pounce if they have a shot at him at seven.
For now, the Mavs are standing pat at number nine. This is likely the best option for the team. While a trade for Rubio is tempting, a possible combo of Jrue Holiday and Wesley Matthews is better than Ricky Rubio and possibly Malik Monk. Such a trade would also kill any potential pursuit of Jrue Holiday.
Next: NBA Draft Roundtable: Worst Pick Mavs Could Make
The Mavs could look quite different this time tonight, and Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban have loads of pressure on their shoulders. The NBA Draft is tonight at 6:00PM Central time.