Outside the Box: Feeling a Draft

Posted by Bryan Gutierrez on June 14, 2013 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment


This week, The Two Man Game will start looking at what the Mavs could do as another pivotal summer is upon them. Mark Cuban has said there are different ways or “permutations” to ensure the Mavs won’t have a failure of a summer if they are unable to land a big fish acquisition.

Dirk Nowitzki said Cuban is “all-in” on this summer, and committed to bringing the franchise back to where it belongs. There are traditional ways to do that but there are also outside the box ways of doing that. We’ll look at five potential angles the Mavs could work that would be considered outside the box.

The next important event on the docket is the NBA Draft later this month. The Mavs will hold the 13th pick in the draft. They owe the Oklahoma City Thunder a first-round pick before 2018. That pick is protected through the first 20 picks of the draft. But if the Mavericks don’t convey it by 2017, the Thunder gets the pick no matter when it is in the 2018 draft.

To figure out how the pick ended up being owed to Oklahoma City needs a bit of explaining, so here we go:

After Lamar Odom was going to be part in a three-team trade where the Los Angeles Lakers would have received Chris Paul that was ultimately vetoed by the league, Odom was dealt to Dallas on Dec. 12, 2011 in exchange for a trade exception and a protected first round pick.

Fast forward to Mar. 15, 2012 the pick was sent to the Houston Rockets as a part of a trade with the Lakers. The Lakers got Jordan Hill and the Rockets received Derek Fisher in addition to the pick.

While being unable to come to terms on an extension for James Harden, the Oklahoma City Thunder traded Harden to Houston, in addition to Cole Aldrich, Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward. The Rockets traded Kevin Martin, Jeremy Lame, a second-round pick and two first-round picks. One of those picks was the one that was Dallas.

While this draft is less than appealing, the Mavs could try to draft for Oklahoma City at 13 in order to complete their end of the transaction and no longer owe a pick to the Thunder. What they get in return could be a multitude of options, but the likely option would be a future second-round pick.

The situation isn’t entirely ideal for the Thunder as they have salary cap ramifications to deal with going forward, but it would have to be an idea that they would at least consider. While the Mavs didn’t make the playoffs this season, it’s likely they’ll find a way to get back in over the next four years. If that were to happen, the protection on the pick would likely make it only a pick somewhere in the 20s that the Thunder would receive. If that’s the case, Oklahoma City would have to consider that pick No. 13 is going to be as good as it can get for them in terms of initial quality.

It’s relatively apparent the Mavs are less than enthused about their prospects at No. 13 as multiple reports suggest they’re looking to trade the pick or stash a player they select overseas in order to secure more cap space this summer.

One thing to note with the cap hold for pick No. 13 is that the hold is $1,655,300. If they were able to unload the pick or stash a player, that would still leave them with a roster charge of $490,180. Once you get rid of the cap hold and the roster charge, the Mavs are ultimately only really saving $1,165,120. I guess that could prove to be a value amount when you’re making the most of your cap space.

It’s all about getting creative and making things happen. Dallas has always been known as an organization that can make things happen. They want to put themselves in a position to succeed when it comes to improving their team.

With the draft around the corner, we’ll start looking at realistic options for the Mavs for the draft next week.

Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He also attended Ball So Hard University, studying ideologies of Clark Kent. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.