A tired Donnie Nelson spoke to reporters after the draft. He went into detail on Shane Larkin. He couldn’t go into much detail on Ricky Ledo, the team’s second-round selection as the trade hadn’t been formally completed. He also discussed the reasoning for letting Jared Cunningham go and how the Mavs are prepared for this summer.
Here is Donnie Nelson’s post draft Quoteboard.
How is the cell phone doing?
“It ran out twice during the draft. Reinforcements were definitely needed. That was a very active and exciting and wild draft, from the first pick all the way down. I haven’t quite seen a draft like that in a long time.”
Did the draft go as you expected?
“It was serendipitous. We had lots of scenarios, trade up, trade down, trade out … There was a lot of parity there. There was quite a lot of deal-making, across the board.”
What do you like about Larkin?
“Larkin is one of the top point guards in the draft. He’s got the ability to get into the paint, create and also score. His ability to break down defenses is certainly a strong point. He has leadership qualities. For us to get him where we did, we feel real good about that.”
How much money did the team save through the draft?
“I’m not very good at math, especially at 11:30 at night. We saved some in the Jared Cunningham thing. Hats off the Jared, he’s a terrific young player that’s got a bright future. We’ve got the Shane Larkin contract. Up in the lottery, there were three pretty unanimous point guards that went right before our pick and that’s when we got into the trade down mode and able to keep track of Shane to where we got him. We felt really good drafting him in that spot.”
How did it work with getting Larkin where you did?
“As the night unfolded, there were three point guards that went in pretty short order. At that point, we could trade down and get some picks in the future and still get our guy that we coveted and targeted. That ended up working for us.
“We got the guy we wanted where we wanted. We saved a little bit of money in the process and picked up a couple of future picks. It ended up working out pretty well for us.”
What will Larkin’s immediate role be?
“He’s kind of in the mold of J.J. Barea. He can get by the best of them … He’s about as quick as it gets. His ability to shoot the long ball and create, especially the way the game is played nowadays, is just really, really important. I would say coming in, he’s a third point guard fighting for a backup position. He’s in a pretty good position to do that.”
How much was the draft about getting ready for free agency?
“We wanted to walk out with ideally a point guard, ideally a shooting guard because we don’t have much in the backcourt at this point … We feel like we got at least a point guard.”
Are you concerned you don’t have a pick for next year’s draft?
“There were talks and we had opportunities to get one. That doesn’t worry me that much. Again, we’re active and we have assets that can get into the late first round. We have a good history of either buying in or trading in. That doesn’t really bother me that much. We’re protected 1-20 [next year] and that’s usually where the heavy hitters are. So I think we’re in good shape going forward.”
Did you save as much money as you were hoping to through the draft?
“Yes, yes we did.”
What was the deciding factor to trade Jared Cunningham away?
“It was really more of a financial situation more than anything else. It’s the nature of our business. Sometimes you’ve got to clear the decks. That was in mind when we made this deal.”
What role does Nick Calathes play as you move into the summer?
“We’re in communication with his people. He came in here last week, as it was reported. We’re talking to him about his potential here or if it’s not a fit, to work closely with his agent to where we can get him to a situation elsewhere where he can step in and play because he does belong in the league.”
How do you tell fans you gave up on the first-round pick from last year?
“The financial piece of it is pretty critical, at this juncture. It’s more of a timing situation more than anything else. We’ve got to go into the offseason with the decks clear and clean. It was more of that than anything else. We feel like we got a pretty good young player in the second round.”
Is there any doubt in your mind that if you need to free up more space to get a max free agent that you will be unable to do it?
“Yes, we will.”
Is there any chance that Larkin would be a part of that to free up more space?
“That’s not our intent. We feel that we can get there. We feel very confident about that.”
Are there concerns about Larkin’s defense?
“He’s one of the quickest humans not in just this draft but in many drafts. When you have that kind of quickness, it’s just not beneficial offensively. He can flat out get after people so that’s not really an issue. Rick [Carlisle] is really one of the more creative coaches that we’ve ever had in the league. Size really wasn’t a problem with J.J. and Rick coached a 38-year-old Jason Kidd to a championship and a lot of people didn’t think he could stay in front of people. Rick is about as creative as they come to blending the zones and mans and changing the looks.
“Rick was a big proponent of this and that was real important to us. To have a quarterback that your coach is comfortable with and has confidence in is really, really important … We got our man. We tracked him through the entire first and we were able to pick him up, save a little bit of money which has its place, get off a little money, we still got our guy. We’re in good position for the offseason.”
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University, studying ideologies of Clark Kent. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.