Mavericks, Cavaliers trade picks

Updated: June 29, 2012, 2:49 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Dallas Mavericks turned their first-round pick in the NBA draft into three selections Thursday night.

After using the 17th overall pick to get 7-foot North Carolina center Tyler Zeller, the Mavericks traded his draft rights along with guard Kelenna Azubuike to Cleveland for three selections.

Before the deal was formally approved by the NBA, the Cavaliers made three selections for the Mavericks. Cleveland took Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham with the 24th overall pick, then made the Nos. 33 and 34 picks in the second round that were part of the draft-night deal.

Dallas also got the draft rights to Bernard James, a 27-year-old center from Florida State selected 33rd overall, and Marquette forward Jae Crowder, the Big East Player of the Year taken with the next pick.

Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson had talked about getting an impact player at No. 17, their highest pick since 2000. They instead got three players in a span of 11 picks.

"Overall, it was a great draft," owner Mark Cuban said. "If we would have just gotten the one guy we liked, but we got three guys that we think are going to come in and play for us."

Cunningham, an early NBA draft entry, led the Pac 12 in steals in his junior and sophomore seasons. As a junior for the Beavers last season, he averaged 17.9 points, second in the Pac 12. Cunningham also had 91 steals, matching Gary Payton's mark as a junior, and averaged 3.8 rebounds.

The 6-foot-10 James joined the Air Force in 2003 and did three tours in the Middle East. After leaving the Air Force, he went to Tallahassee Community College, then played the past two years with Florida State, averaging 10.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots a game last season.

Crowder averaged 17.5 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. The 6-6 Crowder scored 20 points or more 13 times, and was in double figures in 31 of 35 games last season.

The Mavericks had the oldest team in the NBA last season, and were swept in the first round of the playoffs by Oklahoma City a year after winning their only NBA championship. They could undergo significant roster changes around perennial All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki.

Earlier, Cleveland took guard Dion Waiters with the fourth pick.

The NBA champion Miami Heat grabbed Mississippi State forward Arnett Moultrie with the No. 27 pick, then quickly traded him to Philadelphia for a future first-round pick and the rights to the 76ers' second-round selection, 7-foot forward Justin Hamilton of LSU at No. 45.

The Heat's future first-rounder is lottery-protected for the next three drafts, a source told ESPN.com's Chad Ford. If the Heat do not get the pick by the 2015 draft, they will receive a second-round selection that year and a second-rounder in 2016.

By trading away the first-round selection, the Heat did not have to commit to any guaranteed contract, potentially saving about $1 million in payroll and an equal amount in salary tax for each of the next two seasons.

But Heat president Pat Riley said the decision to make a trade had "nothing to do with luxury tax."

"The players that we had on the board were not there at the time and we felt we had a great option with Philly," Riley said.

"We just felt that with our roster, roster spots are very valuable," Riley added. "That was the reason why we deferred the pick."

Philadelphia already took St. John's forward Maurice Harkless with the 15th pick. Now the Sixers got the big man many figured they would take earlier.

Moultrie averaged 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds last season for Mississippi State. The 6-11 Moultrie spent his first two college seasons at Texas-El Paso, where he averaged 9.3 points in 70 games.

Moultrie entered the 2010 NBA draft before withdrawing his name from consideration. He was second in the SEC in scoring last season and led the league in rebounding -- coming in ahead of No. 1 pick Anthony Davis of Kentucky in that department.

The Sacramento Kings selected UC Santa Barbara guard Orlando Johnson with the 36th pick and then sent him to the Indiana Pacers for cash considerations.


The Brooklyn Nets acquired the draft rights to Tyshawn Taylor after he was selected 41st overall by Portland in exchange for cash considerations.

Taylor, 22, is a 6-3 guard out of Kansas who averaged 17.3 points and 4.8 assists per game in his senior season.

Taylor is a native of Hoboken, N.J., who played high school basketball at St. Anthony.


The 76ers sold their 54th pick to Brooklyn. Picking for the Nets, the Sixers drafted Tornike Shengelia, a 6-9, 220-pound 20-year-old forward from Tbilisi, Georgia.


The Los Angeles Lakers bought the 55th pick from Dallas. Picking for the Lakers, the Mavericks selected Darius Johnson-Odom out of Marquette.


Information from The Associated Press and ESPNNewYork.com's Kieran Darcy was used in this report.

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