Multiple sources told ESPN.com's Chad Ford that the Mavs are likely to trade the pick to help create the cap space necessary to make a run at Dwight Howard in free agency. The 13th overall pick has a cap hold of $1,655,300.
One of the Mavs' future first-round picks is already in the possession of the Oklahoma City Thunder. That pick, which is top-20 protected through 2017, was originally given up in the deal that brought Lamar Odom to Dallas. The Los Angeles Lakers traded it to Houston along with Derek Fisher for Jordan Hill, and it then became part of the package the Rockets gave up for James Harden.
If the Mavs hold on to this year's pick, Ford projects them to select Croation teenage small forward Dario Saric.
The Mavs didn't move up in the NBA draft lottery, so they own the 13th overall pick.
The Mavs had only a 2.2 percent chance of moving into the top three picks, including an 0.6 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick.
While this was the first time Dallas has been in the lottery in a dozen year, it continues a trend for the Mavs. Dallas has never moved up in 12 lottery appearances.
There is about a two percent chance that a Mavs ping pong ball will pop up in the top three picks during Tuesday night’s lottery. Dallas has a 0.6 percent chance to get the No. 1 pick.
President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson, who will represent the Mavs at the drawing along with assistant general manager Keith Grant, plans to do everything in his power to improve those odds. He plans to try to tempt the basketball gods by wearing his outfit from Game 6 of the 2011 Finals.
This is the first time the Mavs have had to attend the lottery drawing since 2000, months after Mark Cuban bought a team. They did have one lottery pick during the last dozen years, when Washington drafted Devin Harris fifth overall on the Mavs’ behalf as part of the trade that sent Antawn Jamison to the Wizards.
Is Donald Sterling seriously considering giving Vinny Del Negro a new contract?
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsRick Carlisle should be a major selling point in the Mavs' recruiting pitch for Chris Paul.
(UPDATE: Sources say Del Negro will not return as head coach of the Clippers.)
For the sake of discussion, let’s eliminate Del Negro from the equation. Paul will surely have the right to hand-pick his head coach if he returns to the Clippers, right? That’s just common sense for any franchise trying to keep a perennial All-NBA player.
Still, who could Paul possibly pick that’s better than Rick Carlisle?
The only possible answer would be convincing Phil Jackson to get off his couch and stick it to Jim Buss by coaching the Staples Center’s other basketball team. All indications, however, are that Jackson is only interested in a front-office position at this point, not the day-to-day grind of coaching again.
The Mavs need to maximize Carlisle as an asset in their recruiting pitch to Paul. They need to make a case that Carlisle is a perfect coach for CP3, an elite point guard in his prime with a hard-driving personality.
It’s not just about the credibility Carlisle has from the Mavs’ championship run. His preferred offensive style – a flow system that depends on the point guard to dictate the pace and make good decisions – is a phenomenal fit for Paul and his Jason Kidd-like basketball brain. And Carlisle’s ability to come up with smart, creative play calls when appropriate would appeal to Paul, who praised the Mavs coach via Twitter for a beautifully designed play that freed up O.J. Mayo for a clutch 3 during one of Dallas’ national TV games this season.
Carlisle prides himself on being brutally honest and relentlessly pushing his players. Paul has a similar reputation as a leader, arguably to a fault.
There’s no question Paul’s skills, savvy and take-no-stuff leadership style would make him an ideal point guard for Carlisle. The Mavs must convince Paul that relationship would be mutually beneficial.
EDGE: Another major advantage for the Mavs.
Click here for a look at some of the more notable ones.
There’s one reason why Chris Paul might consider leaving millions of dollars on the table to say farewell to a 56-win team with a lot of young talent. His name is Donald Sterling.
|Ryen Russillo and Adnan Virk talk about Dwight Howard's future and say while teams like Houston and Dallas may be able to offer Howard more from a basketball perspective, Howard's image will take an enormous hit if he decides to leave Los Angeles. |
Put it this way: The Clippers have made half as many playoff appearances during Sterling’s 32-year ownership tenure as the Mavs have in 13 full seasons under Mark Cuban. Sterling’s squads have won a grand total of two playoff series, 11 fewer than Cuban’s teams.
Oh, and Sterling also happens to have been accused of racism, sexism, etc. in multiple lawsuits. In basketball and his other business, he’s simply an awful boss. Cuban, on the other hand, is widely beloved by those who have played for the Mavs for his willingness to do whatever is in his power to give his team the best chance to win. (He also happens to be friendly with Paul, as evidenced by Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki palling around with Paul at Tiger Woods' charity poker tournament in Las Vegas over the weekend.)
That’s why Cuban vs. Sterling is a point the Mavs must hammer in their talks with Paul.
Clippers president Andy Roeser and general manager Gary Sacks, who was promoted to his position last summer after Neil Olshey made a lateral move to Portland, deserve credit for putting together one of the league’s deepest benches. However, they’ve also been part of the problem franchise for two decades.
The mountains of Sterling’s dirt might be enough to plant seeds of doubt in Paul’s mind about staying in L.A. The Mavs brass would still have to sell him on their ability to build and sustain a legitimate contender with him as a centerpiece.
Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson can point to their dozen-year playoff run with Nowitzki as proof of their credibility. Their challenge will be forming a plan for the future that could make CP3 believe that he’d win a championship in Dallas.
EDGE: Mavs by a mile.
Ian Mahinmi is the last member of the Mavericks’ championship team left standing in these playoffs.
With Mahinmi watching all but four minutes from the bench, his Pacers eliminated the Knicks in Game 6, ending a miserable series for two integral pieces of the 2011 title team.
Indiana’s Roy Hibbert dominated Tyson Chandler before the Knicks big man fouled out with 3:12 remaining. Jason Kidd was benched for the second half for the second straight game and went scoreless for the 10th consecutive game, dating to Game 2 of the first round.
Hibbert had 21 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks in the series finale. Chandler had two points and six rebounds, limited to only 23 minutes because of foul trouble.
For the series, Hibbert averaged 13.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks, compared to 6.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks for Chandler. The Knicks were outscored by 23 points with Chandler on the floor in the series, including 17 in Game 6.
The 40-year-old Kidd had a historically horrible offensive performance during these playoffs. He averaged 0.9 points and shot 12 percent from the floor, the lowest postseason field goal percentage for a player with at least 25 attempts since 1947.
This might not quiet the outcry about Mark Cuban opting to break up the Mavs’ championship team – that’d probably require signing a superstar this summer – but it definitely deadens the angry mob’s factual ammunition.
Here is what Cuban feared: The Mavs would look a lot like the Boston Celtics or New York Knicks, veteran teams who weren’t good enough to be true contenders and have extremely limited avenues to improve because of their bloated payrolls and the restrictive rules of the new collective bargaining agreement.
Imagine if the Mavs paid the price to keep all of their championship pieces. Chandler, Kidd, Jason Terry, J.J. Barea and Caron Butler will cost a total of $35.1 million next season, which would put the Mavs in luxury-tax territory, handcuffing them this summer. Only Butler’s $8 million salary would come off the books in 2014-15.
With a Dirk Nowitzki as the lone star surrounded by an supporting cast of players who are primarily also on the decline, do you really believe the Mavs would have been a threat to come out of the West?
You can make a strong case that it’d have been better for the Mavs to have kept the title core together and at least be a playoff team than the mediocre mess the franchise put on the floor this season. But this really isn’t a Chandler vs. Chris Kaman conversation. It’s a risk/reward discussion.
In Cuban’s opinion, the potential reward didn’t justify the risk of sacrificing roster flexibility if they kept the championship team intact. Finances were only a factor in the post-lockout decisions as they related to limiting the Mavs’ upgrade options.
Cuban decided to dream big, putting immense pressure on him to pull off a superstar acquisition this summer. That ultimately needs to happen to justify stripping down the title team as a good decision.
But if you think the Mavs broke up a dynasty, you clearly didn’t watch much of the first two rounds of these playoffs.
There are a lot of things to like about Jack. He’s got a deadly midrange jumper and an effective floater, the kind of shots that come in bunches for guards who run pick-and-pops with Dirk Nowitzki. He doesn’t commit many turnovers. He possesses the kind of mental and physical toughness Rick Carlisle wants from his point guards.
Jack would be a significant upgrade for the Mavs, but he wouldn’t be a perfect fit. In fact, there are some red flags.
Start with the fact that Jack isn’t a pure point guard. He’s a combo guard who thrived as Golden State’s sixth man, often paired with Stephen Curry. He has never averaged more than 6.3 assists per game in a season, and his career assist average (4.4) is lower than Darren Collison’s. When he’s running the point, Jack has a tendency to over-dribble, a big don’t in Carlisle’s flow system.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Jack is a tweener defender, too. He struggles to stop a lot of point guards because of his lack of lateral quickness, and his height often puts him at a significant disadvantage against shooting guards. (Jack’s defensive issues were exploited during the playoffs, when Warriors opponents averaged 5.8 more points per 100 possessions with him on the floor than when he was on the bench.)
And then there’s the money.
Jack, who made $5.4 million this season, has made it clear he would prefer to stay with the Warriors. Golden State wants to keep him, too, although the Warriors are in serious jeopardy of paying luxury tax. The Mavs – or any other team bidding on Jack – would have to make an offer out of the Warriors’ comfort range to get him.
How much are you willing to pay for a combo guard who turns 30 in October and has bounced around to five teams in the last six seasons? That’s a question the Mavs must be prepared to answer if they don’t hit a home run and sign Chris Paul.
Jason Kidd: It’s gotten to the point that Knicks coach Mike Woodson is being widely praised for benching Kidd during the second half of New York’s series-extending Game 5 win over the Pacers.
Kidd failed to score for the ninth consecutive game, missing a layup in the second quarter. The missed shot was the only stat Kidd recorded during his 5:20 of playing time.
Woodson opted to play rookie Chris Copeland instead of Kidd. Copeland responded by giving the Knicks a much-needed spark, scoring 13 points in 19 minutes. Kidd has scored a total of 11 points in 11 games this postseason, shooting 12 percent from the floor.
Tyson Chandler: Chandler told reporters he’d be fine for Game 6 despite a nasty fall on his back when he got his shot blocked by Indiana’s Roy Hibbert.
Chandler didn’t put up impressive numbers (two points, 1-4 FG, eight rebounds, two blocks), but neither did Hibbert, who had nine points on 3-of-7 shooting and seven rebounds. Both big men got in foul trouble, limiting Chandler to 27 minutes and Hibbert to 31.
Ian Mahinmi: With Hibbert in foul trouble, Mahinmi played 17 minutes, his high this postseason.
Mahinmi had five points, three rebounds and a blocked shot, but his plus-minus illustrated Hibbert’s importance as Indiana’s defense anchor. The Pacers were outscored by 10 points with Mahinmi on the floor.
The NBA Finals 2013 campaign, "Forever is Big," is the first to celebrate current NBA players who are on their way to becoming legends because of successful Finals moments. In this commercial which begins airing Saturday, we see Dallas Mavericks superstar Dirk Nowitzki make an incredible signature fade away jump shot in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat.
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DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki has half-joked that his German blood makes him pretty pessimistic by nature, but he's preparing to play the salesman role this summer.
|ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs. |
"I think I’ve got a couple of good years left if I stay injury-free," Nowitzki said Thursday after an event to promote AT&T's program to urge against texting and driving. "I feel like this is a great city. We all know that. I’ve said numerous times that this is one of the top five cities out of the 30 in the league to live in, to play in, for the owner, for the franchise. That’s definitely part of it. No state tax is nice. That’s always part of the pitch.
"And [Mark] Cuban and Donnie [Nelson] always found ways to make this franchise better, if it’s with deals or basically pulling deals out of the hat where nobody saw anything coming. I think Mark obviously has to be a big part of the pitch. And next year, I come off the books. We all know that as well. I’ve got only one more year of big money left, and then it’s pretty obvious I’m going to take a pay cut. If that helps us get even more talent in here, then that’ll be great."
At that point, the big German broke into a goofy grin and added, "That’s all I’ve got. … I’m trying, I’m trying."
Nowitzki, who will join Cuban, Nelson and coach Rick Carlisle on the Mavs' recruiting committee, recognizes that it'll be tough to talk Paul or Howard into taking less money to leave L.A. But he believes it's a possibility.
"By now, I’m sure they’re starting to think about, ‘What’s my future looking like?’" Nowitzki said. "So that’s where we swoop in and hopefully get something going, hopefully get a meeting scheduled somewhere in July and hit it out of the ballpark."
|ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs. |
This would be a classic Donald Sterling decision. He’d rather pinch pennies than put his team in the best possible position to win.
Why not part ways with a clearly overmatched head coach and grant Paul the right commonly given to franchise players to help pick an upgrade? Well, Sterling is still bitter about paying the remainder of Mike Dunleavy’s five-year, $22 million contract when Dunleavy was fired in 2010, so the comically cheap Clippers owner prefers to give his head coaches short-term deals.
Heck, if Sterling gives Mark Cuban a call, he can probably talk the Mavs’ owner into paying a chunk of Del Negro’s salary. It’d be worth it to increase the Mavs’ odds of acquiring the NBA’s premier point guard.
Jason Kidd: The drought continues.
Kidd went scoreless for the eighth straight game. He’s 0-of-16 from the floor and 0-of-10 from 3-point range over 177 minutes during that span. The Knicks have been outscored by 25 points with the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer on the floor in those eight games.
Kidd’s numbers in the Knicks’ Game 4 loss to the Pacers: three assists, one rebound, one steal, two missed shots and a minus-9 plus-minus in 16 minutes.
Tyson Chandler: The Knicks gave him a lot more help, but Chandler more than held his own in the big man matchup after being dominated by Roy Hibbert in Game 3.
Chandler put up his first double-double of the postseason, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He also matched high during these playoffs with three blocks.
Hibbert’s line: six points on 2-of-8 shooting, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two assists.
Ian Mahinmi: Mahinmi gave the Pacers 10 energetic minutes off the bench, grabbing six rebounds, blocking two shots and scoring two points.
That’s become a meme that’s often repeated in discussions about Mark Cuban’s bold plan to create ample salary cap space by stripping down the 2011 title team. Never mind the facts.
The fact of the matter is it’s difficult to sign free agents if you don’t have salary cap space. That’s not exactly unique to Dallas.
The Mavs whiffed on Deron Williams last summer, although Cuban’s effort in that recruiting pitch resembled some of Josh Hamilton’s final at-bats in a Rangers uniform. Being 0-for-1 doesn’t constitute a trend.
The point isn’t to predict that the Mavs will land Chris Paul or Dwight Howard this summer. The odds are against Dallas simply due to the rules that allow for their current teams to offer an extra year and larger annual raises.
However, from weather to a winning culture, Dallas’ attractiveness as an NBA destination is an advantage to the Mavs. Being a top-five market without a state income tax is a bonus. The days of Kiki Vandeweghe refusing to play for the Mavs are ancient history.
The Mavs have earned a reputation as a first-class franchise during Cuban’s 13-year ownership tenure. That’s why Jason Kidd’s agent helped orchestrate a trade to bring the point guard back to Dallas in 2008. That’s why Shawn Marion’s agent played a key role in making a complicated sign-and-trade deal go down the next year. That’s why Tyson Chandler was crushed when Cuban declined to offer him a long-term deal. That’s why Howard had the Mavs on his very short list of acceptable trade partners when he was forcing his way out of Orlando.
That’s why there will be plenty of free agents who will want to talk to the Mavs in July, a list that perhaps includes the two biggest prizes on the market.
“Who wouldn’t want to play in an environment like this every night?” restricted free agent Brandon Jennings said during the Bucks’ trip to Dallas in February. “You’ve got an owner who’s so into his team and everything like that. Every time you see the Mavs, you see him cheering or going crazy. They won a championship. They’re about winning.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Mavs will win this summer. But if they don’t, it’d be foolish to blame a mythical aversion NBA players have for joining the Mavs.
How else would they be able to convince Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak to agree to a sign-and-trade deal that would ship Howard to Dallas for a couple of veterans with expiring contracts and spare parts?
For the sake of argument, let’s say that Howard forces the Lakers’ hand by saying that he’s leaving Los Angeles, no matter what. If the Lakers don’t agree to the sign-and-trade that would allow Howard to join Paul in Dallas – for the sake of argument, we’re making the huge assumption that Mark Cuban and Co. have successfully recruited CP3 – the big man will just sign with Houston or Atlanta.
Better for the Lakers to get something for Howard instead of letting him leave for nothing, right? Not really.
Let’s be real. If Howard leaves while Kobe Bryant is in the early stages of his comeback from a torn Achilles tendon, the Lakers have no chance to win a championship next season.
That wouldn’t change if they accepted a sign-and-trade deal that sent every player on the Mavs’ roster not named Nowitzki to Los Angeles. All that would do is prevent the Lakers from avoiding a massive luxury tax bill.
If the Lakers added Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and Mavs filler to a roster that features rehabbing Kobe, ancient Steve Nash and Pau Gasol, they’d be fighting just for a shot to sneak into the playoffs again while paying a luxury-tax bill in the neighborhood of $28 million, assuming they’d use the amnesty clause on Metta World Peace.
What about that would possibly appeal to L.A.?
If Howard leaves, the Lakers might as well unofficially tank the season. They could avoid the luxury tax altogether by using the amnesty clause on Gasol. Kobe could take his sweet time with his comeback.
In this scenario, the Lakers could be looking at a high lottery pick in a loaded 2014 draft, when they’ll also have a ton of cap space. Why would they want to end up with a middle-of-the-road pick after putting together a mediocre team with a nine-figure price tag?
Perhaps you could argue that the biggest obstacle blocking the Mavs from acquiring a CP3/D12 duo is the Lakers agreeing on a sign-and-trade deal.
You could also argue that the only hurdle between the Mavs from acquiring LeBron James is the Miami Heat agreeing on a trade. That doesn’t make it a legitimate possibility.
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Play Podcast ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs.
Play Podcast Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about who he would rather have if forced to choose between Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Play Podcast Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the possibility of Chris Paul joining the Mavericks and break down what kind of pitch Mark Cuban would have to make to the NBA's best point guard.
Play Podcast ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to touch on the storylines in the NBA playoffs and offer a Mavs perspective.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' disappointing season and what needs to happen for them to get back to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Donnie Nelson joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' season and the importance of this summer.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Mavericks playing after being eliminated from playoff contention, whom he wants to keep for next season and much more.