Draft lottery impactful for Mavs, Deron Williams
Moving from Jersey to New York? The Brooklyn-bound Nets certainly hope that's a bit of good luck. The Mavericks hope it is not.
The Mavs won't be counting their lucky ping-pong balls Wednesday, but they will have keen interest in the 25 percent odds the Nets, with the league's sixth worst record, have of acquiring one of the top three picks. How the ping-pong balls bounce could have a direct impact on the Nets or Mavs securing the services of free-agent-to-be point guard Deron Williams.
The Nets traded their first-round draft pick during the season to the Portland Trail Blazers for veteran forward Gerald Wallace. However, they "top-three protected" the pick, meaning if the Nets defy the odds and the ping-pong ball gods grant them the first or second or third pick in the June 28 draft, then they keep the pick.
Some believe that if that happens, the pick will serve as the cherry to complete a trade with the Orlando Magic for dominant center Dwight Howard. And if the Nets were to land the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, they would feel exceedingly giddy about their chances of re-signing both Howard and Williams for the long haul.
Dallas, of course, dismantled its 2011 title team with an eye toward the future under the new collective bargaining agreement. For the first time in owner Mark Cuban's tenure, the Mavs have cap space to chase high-dollar free agents and totally remake the team. Then Chris Paul was traded from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the season, he agreed to stay in L.A. for a minimum of two seasons and thus removed himself from this summer's once-ballyhooed free-agent class.
Howard wavered on his free-agent status throughout the season before finally flip-flopping one last time and agreeing to exercise his player option with the Magic for next season. He has yet to commit long-term to the club that could finally be fed up with his non-commitment and could be ready to trade him sooner rather than risk another hair-pulling, drama-filled season.
So the Mavs' front office will be rooting hard for the ping-pong balls to go against the Nets so that the Blazers will be the rightful owner of the Nets' first-round pick.
If Orlando remains dead set on trading Howard, a best-case for the Mavs would be for him to land anywhere but Brooklyn. That could dash Williams' hopes of a tag-team in the borough and perhaps make a homecoming for the Dallas-area native and a partnership with Dirk Nowitzki more appealing.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Mavericks news, Dirk Nowitzki and much more.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett discuss the upcoming NBA draft and possible moves the Mavericks could make.
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.