Now that the eventful draft lottery has shaken out, the NBA landscape has changed in ways that could benefit the Mavs in Free Agency.
Draft night has come and gone and your Dallas Mavericks fell into the 74% chance they held to lose their first-round pick. While this was probably expected by teams and fans, many were most likely disheartened to see that the other two teams with the IDENTICAL chances of moving up landed 1 & 2, with the Pelicans and Grizzlies moving up while the Mavs lost their pick and moved down 1.
However, this is not all bad news for the Mavericks and it opens up new possibilities for the team that might not have been there 24 hours ago.
With the Mavs losing their first-round pick to Atlanta, they save between $6M-$9M of their cap by not having a first-round draftee automatically get that money. While getting a player on a rookie scale deal is the best value in the business, it does free up that much additional cap space to go free agency hunting. To put it in perspective, if the Mavs had landed in the top 4, they would not have the space for a max salary player. As of now, they should have that with minimal effort. A small victory, but it will matter come July 1st.
Picks Convey Sooner
Part of why it is good that the Mavs convey their pick is that this is one of the thinner drafts. And what that essentially means is that the players slotted at 2-5 this year, would probably be in the teens or later in last year’s draft. Not that they aren’t valuable, just not AS valuable, so convey this year and get a better pick next year. On top of conveying this year’s pick to Atlanta for Luka, we also gave NY 2 future first round picks in the Porzingis trade. And because you cannot give up picks in back to back years, it will take 4 more years to get those picks traded to NY off the books. However, if we kept this year’s pick, it would take 5 years to fully clear up all the picks that we’ve traded this season. It’s one year sooner we can have full control of our picks again.
Lottery Teams’ Roster Anarchy
It is safe to say that 3 teams moving up to the top 4 and the Knicks falling to 3rd is an outcome no one could have predicted, including their front offices that are already well into their offseason plans. For instance, the Pelicans could not possibly have been banking on landing the #1 pick, and therefore Zion Williamson, when they’ve been making plans. In landing him, they have to be re-evaluating their needs in trade talks for Anthony Davis. They are no longer in a position of weakness and now have a potential star to build around. What does this mean for the Mavericks? Well, if the Pels want to build around him, what does that mean for the future of Julius Randle in NOLA when they just drafted the younger, better version of him? Does Jrue Holiday want to play for a rebuilding team? These are players that the Mavs could have interest in and acquire based on how the Pels’ thinking changed on Tuesday night.
What about the Grizzlies? With them acquiring the #2 pick, do they pick up a player that is redundant to Mike Conley to where he wants out of the rebuild? The Mavs have had interest in the past and could be a destination for a departing Grizz vet. His defense and outside shooting would be a welcome fit in a Luka-led backcourt. These are questions that started being asked at 7:45pm on Tuesday and phones have definitely been ringing off the hook for all of these teams.
Opportunity & Optimism
Mark Cuban regularly talks about being opportunistic in the offseason and has acquired several talents because of situations the Mavs had no control over. Case in point: the Mavs’ signing Harrison Barnes when Golden State got KD. The Mavs knew it was possible, but were only able to get the player who would lead the team in scoring for 2+ years AFTER Golden State made a big move.
On top of chasing down these new leads, the Mavs have more reason than ever to feel like Free Agents will want to come to the Mavs. In the past year, the Mavs have acquired 2 young superstars that other players can’t help but wonder what playing with them would be like. Luka is the assumed rookie of the year and Porzingis is a former All-Star. The Mavs are counting on this drawing talent that might have steered clear of the team during Dirk’s sunset years to revamp their roster.
The chaos that is the NBA offseason really kicked off this week and Mavs Nation will be here to watch and keep you informed how it all shakes out for your Dallas Mavericks. Til next week, intrepid readers.
Featured Image: nba.com