27 days until the 2010 NBA Draft!
Alas, we've cleared the dead zone of the three teams with no draft picks (the Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, and Charlotte Bobcats). Finally, a team with an actual draft pick!
At first, I was going to profile the draft possibilities of the Phoenix Suns, but being that they're in the thick of a gripping Game 6 Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers tonight, I thought I'd save their draft profile for another day or two, just in case they get bonked and such a discussion becomes instantly more relevant.
I've also skipped the Orlando Magic (and Lakers) for the time being. Orlando has the 59th and 29th picks in the Draft, but a lot is riding on the qualifying offer status of J.J. Redick, so let's let our blog buddies at Orlando Pinstriped Post recover a bit from the blow from the Boston Celtics, then they will attack the Redick problem passionately, I'm sure.
Thus, let us skip to the 57th pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, which belongs to the Dallas Mavericks...
Please note that the Mavs' 57th pick could get conveyed to the Indiana Pacers as a result of the Eddie Jones trade. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but if I'm guessing correctly, the Pacers get to sit back and see who the Mavs pick at #57, then decide if they want that pick or wait until the 2011 Draft.
Curiously, DraftExpress already notes the pick as Indiana's. I believe the presumption is that this is a draft deep in solid rotation players, therefore, the Pacers are more likely to keep the pick, rather than take their chances next year. I could be wrong, though.
There are three major issues for the Mavs:
- Re-sign Dirk Nowitzki, who opted out of a $21 million contract year (wow, the rich do get richer!).
- Re-sign Brendan Haywood, who is an unrestricted free agent, but likes playing in Dallas.
- Get rid of Erick Dampier and his non-guaranteed $13 million for 2010-11.
The Dampier situation is discussed in this article by ESPNDallas.com...
It's uncertain whether the 6-foot-11, 265-pound center will remain with the Mavericks. His $13 million contract for next season is not guaranteed and could be attractive as a trade chip.
If a team trades for Dampier, it could waive the 14-year veteran to gain salary cap space, allowing him to become a free agent.
Incidentally, back at the beginning of this past 2009-10 season, the question was asked about Dampier: overpaid or under-appreciated? That article is now comedy..
Graphically, we have this:
Assuming Dirk gets re-signed, it's a pretty stable roster for the upcoming season.
Now, let's take a look at what the two most popular NBA draft boards have the Mavericks picking at the #50 and #57 slots: [NOTE: it would've been three, but -- lest we forget -- ESPN's Chad Ford doesn't do a mock draft past the first round. Bourgeois!!!]
Pick No. 50
- NBAdraft.net: Art Parakhouski (center, 6'11", 268, Radford, senior)
- DraftExpress: Greivis Vasquez (pg/sg, 6'5", 195, Maryland, senior)
Pick No. 57
- NBAdraft.net: Latavious Williams (pf, 6'8", 205, NBADL)
- DraftExpress: Brian Zoubek (center, 7'1", 250, Duke, senior)
I don't agree with DraftExpress's Vasquez prediction, especially on a team that already has Kidd, Barea, and Beaubois at the 1, and Terry at the combo 1-2, and Butler a 2 posing as a 3. Parakhouski and Zoubek foretell a penchant for a Dampier replacement, assuming both Haywood and Nowitzki return.
I do feel that the Mavs need a backup for Butler, a young athlete with energy who can come in and knock down a few shots, maybe slash to the hole a couple times, pickup a few rebounds, because Stevenson is not a reliable outside threat and Carroll hasn't stepped up to the plate.
The Mavs could use inexpensive 2nd-round backup help at every position except point guard.
Perhaps a Ryan Thompson can fit the bill as a late-2nd-round poor man's shooter and occasional slasher. I wrote about Thompson's nice Portsmouth performance on my blog.
NEXT: either Orlando or Atlanta
CHA - S-Jax stuck (no draft picks)
DEN - Just need Coach Karl back? (no draft picks)
CLE - If you leave (no draft picks)