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 Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.