DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) — The Dallas Mavericks head into Thursday’s NBA draft armed with two second round picks.
General Manager Donnie Nelson expects a lot of “jostling” towards the end of the first round — and the Mavericks, who hold picks 34 and 51, could be in the middle of it.
“We really like 34 — it’s as good as 24, unless there’s some surprise slide guy, and you don’t have the same commitment financially,” said Nelson to the G-Bag Nation on 105.3 The Fan. “For the reasons you’re laying out, we potentially could take 34 and 51 and package and move up. There’s certainly those opportunities. It’d have to be for the right situation. Otherwise, we’ll just sit back and see who comes to us.”
The Mavs could take advantage of teams looking to shed salary space — whether that be players or picks. Alternatively, Dallas could draft and stash European players overseas to avoid the cap hit.
“Every penny counts. If you have the chance to get out there and land a special someone or someones, you just want to be very protective of that cap.”
The first priority this offseason will of course be re-signing All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, a move Nelson calls the team’s “first, second, and third” priorities.
Once the team has taken care of its in-house free agents — which could include Shawn Marion and Vince Carter — they will then look outside of the organization for help.
At the center of the free agent pitch will be head coach Rick Carlisle, who Nelson describes as “one of the top coaches in our league.”
“He is a huge part of everything that we do — not just the on-court stuff. Free agents want to come here and play for him,” said Nelson.
But Dallas has played the free agent market before, reaching for the big fish and missing in consecutive off-seasons. Is Dallas a desirable destination?
“We’re definitely in the mix in terms of players wanting to come here,” said Nelson. “We’ve got cap room. We’ll be circled in as a destination now.”
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