There were intriguing notes that came shortly after the draft was completed. Speaking to different sources, the Mavs were ready to select any of the point guards out of Trey Burke, CJ McCollum or Michael-Carter Williams if they fell to 13. According to one specific source, the Mavs were ready to trade up into the top 10 if one player they targeted fell one more spot.
Rick Carlisle and Donnie Nelson spoke after the draft.
Here is the quoteboard for Rick Carlisle’s comments to the media.
“Some different things happened during the draft. There was a lot of activity, a lot of trades all over the place. We knew it was going to be a bit of an unpredicted night. We started with 13 and we moved down a couple of times and got to 18. We’re pleased to have the opportunity to draft Shane Larkin from the University of Miami. [He is a] winning player. He took them from an OK team to becoming the ACC champions this year, which is a big deal. This league now is a lot about playmakers and being able to make plays and do things off the dribble. Being able to score, get other guys involved and have a feel for the game. Speed is important. He brings some of those dynamics and characteristics. We think he’s going to help us.”
Did his combine skills intrigue you to draft him?
“Let’s face it, he has phenomenal bloodlines. His dad is one of the all-time great major league players in history. Shane would have been a great baseball player if he went that way. I think that’s obvious. He selected to go with basketball which is interesting. He’s excelled with it. I think speed is so important in the game today. One of the things that’s really unique about him is that from an analytic standpoint, he’s one of the better guys we’ve seen come out of college shooting off the dribble. It’s a bit of a lost art. He’s one of the best in the game coming out of college this year. He can also get places and get other people involved. I think he’s good and going to get better. He’s the kind of guy that fits into today’s game. I think he’s going to help other guys on our team be better players and I think he’s going to get better too because he’s a worker.”
Did the pick and roll game in Miami help lead to selecting him?
“Absolutely. Our pick and roll game this year was not at the level we’re used to. We wanted to get better in that area. Shane is one of the best at doing that. A lot of guys try to go under screens because of his quickness and he shot behind screens very effectively. He’ll see a lot of different coverages in this league. What we’ve seen, he does a good job of reading situations. He’s been a winner. It makes a lot of sense for us.”
Are there any similarities to J.J. Barea?
“I would say so, yes. I don’t think he and Barea are exact duplicates. We’ve missed the last couple of years the element that Barea brought to the game here: being able to get to the rim, being able to get it going from three, the resourcefulness. Shane is going to bring some of those things. He’s not going to be identical to Barea. He’ll be better in some areas and other areas he won’t be as good. We like him and feel like he can compete for playing time right away.”
Did the unpredictability of the draft lead to go after Larkin?
“We liked him in the draft. Depending on your opinion of guys, you could make a case that he could have gone higher or right in that area. I’m a believer that playmaking now has become maybe the most important part of the offensive game in our league. Guys like him, if they’re available, you want to try to have a shot at them. Was this exactly planned like this? Not exactly, but he was one of the guys we liked.”
Was it tough letting Jared Cunningham go?
“There are other things involved with that, as well. Jared is a young dynamic player with a very good future. He’s healthy now. He’s got a great chance to prove himself in a different situation that is going to have a lot of openings on the roster.”
How much did the moves of the draft have to do with free agency?
“I mentioned that there were multiple considerations for moving Cunningham. I don’t want to talk about that stuff because I don’t want to get fined. We have an eye on a lot of different things right now. We’re trying to create the best possible scenarios to get younger and be opportunistic.”
Was there a point in the draft where you were thinking of moving up?
“The phones were active tonight. They really were. There was a lot of going on … The what if’s and the what could have’s don’t really matter at this point. We got who we got. You’re going to find out that there’s a little more about this draft in time. We’re happy about this draft and there’s a lot more work to be done.”
On Nick Calathes being in town:
“He’s a very good player. He was one of the top players in Europe during the playoffs. We have his rights. That’s more of a Donnie question. I’ll steer away from that. He’s an asset to the franchise and a very good player.”
Is Larkin capable of being a starting player right now?
“I don’t know that. I think what I said was, is I think that he’s good enough to earn playing time. We’ll see what form that takes and what form the roster ultimately takes. We like him. If we hadn’t taken at 18, he would have been gone at 19. We do know that.”
Were these moves made to play the guys immediately or for just getting cap room?
“We’re trying to accumulate high quality, high character, high energy, high motor, skilled players to put around Dirk Nowitzki. He’s still one of the greatest players in the game and we’ve got to enhance his ability to do what he does. We’ve got to enhance the opportunity to keep him playing as long as possible because he loves to play and he’s great. To do that effectively, we’ve got to get the best guys possible around him. That’s a priority and it’ll continue to be one this summer.”
How was Dirk in the war room?
“Of all the war rooms I’ve been in since I’ve gotten into coaching, there was more going on tonight than I’ve ever seen. If you were a first-timer in there, it was eye-opening … There were hundreds of calls tonight, from start to finish. Dirk was a little surprised with all the things that go on in the war room.”
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University, studying ideologies of Clark Kent. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.