How Portland’s Success Hurts the Dallas Mavericks

PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 20: Damian Lillard
PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 20: Damian Lillard /

The Portland Trail Blazers are having one of their better seasons and their success has a consequence on the Dallas Mavericks.

On February 8th, the day of the NBA Trade Deadline, the Portland Trail Blazers were 29-25 and tied for the 6th spot in the Western Conference and one game ahead of the 9th spot.

Although they made their own little move at the deadline shipping away Noah Vonleh to Chicago, Portland stayed pat and decided to bet on themselves heading into the final playoff stretch out West.

At the bottom of the Western Conference was the 17-37 Dallas Mavericks who decided to make a move at the deadline where they shipped out Devin Harris to the Denver Nuggets. Dallas obtained Doug McDermott in the deal, but also gained a second round pick from the Denver Nuggets.

The second round pick was to be the less favorable of either Sacramento or Portland. Basically, the Mavericks were getting Portland’s 2018 second round pick. When Mavericks GM, Donnie Nelson, addressed the media following the trade deadline, he talked about the two new assets.

“These two new additions. There is opportunity for flexibility there,” Nelson said on acquiring McDermott and the 2018 second round pick. “Grabbing another young asset there or packaging and moving up. When you are in the mode that we are, those things are important. Young players that have upside and picks.”

More from The Smoking Cuban

Nelson even went as far to say that the Portland pick could be a middle second round pick.

“The Portland pick will probably be a middle second round pick,” Nelson said.

But that was before Portland went on their tear across the league.

Since the trade, Portland has went 15-3 and rose all the way to the three seed in the Western Conference.

If the draft was today, their second round pick would be 56th overall compared to a pick in the low to mid forties.

Could this influence a possible trade back up into the first round if this Portland pick is in the late fifties? Probably not, but if Dallas was assuming this pick was going to be in the low to mid forties, that looks to be out the window now due to the rise of Portland over the past couple of months.

Dallas still owns their own second round pick that will be in the early thirties.

Next: 3 Things to Watch in the Elite Eight

It is cool to see an ex-Mavericks assistant in Terry Stotts do well, but the better Portland does, the worse pick Dallas will get in the second round.