The Mavericks had targeted Dominique Jones much higher than 25th and they were trying to trade into the middle of the first round to snag him, but were stymied by too steep a price. Clubs in the middle of the first round all the way to about No. 24, Mavs vice president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said, wanted cash and the Mavs' 2011 first-round pick in return.
Dallas, with visions of major moves this summer, was not prepared to cough up a first-round chip, which would have risked a potential bigger deal in free agency. By purchasing Memphis' 25th pick for $3 million with no picks involved, the Mavs kept their summer options this summer wide open.
"The MVP of this draft is our owner. Mark stepped up big," Nelson said.
"With the financial step-up from Mark, we've got the asset [Jones] and we still have our pick going forward so its not incumbered. So, if somebody comes calling and they say we want your [first-round] pick in 2011, '13 and '15, we're good to go."
Jones slipping to 25th allowed Cuban to pull out his wallet and for the Mavs to make a move they believe gives them their backcourt of the future with Roddy Beaubois at point guard and Jones at shooting guard.
Had Jones been selected in the middle of the first round, the Mavs likely would have been relegated to their original pick at No. 50 with a possibility of moving up in the second round, but obviously not acquiring the player they coveted.
With that 50th pick, the Mavs selected 7-foot center Solomon Alabi out of Florida State and promptly turned him into another asset for the summer. Dallas traded him Toronto for the Raptors' 2013 second-round pick. Nelson said that move was strictly made to acquire the pick, believing it could be used as part of a bigger deal next month.