Things started out relatively quiet in Dallas since the NBA’s trade moratorium was lifted on Monday.
Some expected the Mavs to make some noise and acquire an all-star level third star, and others expected the silence, which is ultimately what happened.
Wednesday was different.
Wednesday afternoon Twitter began speculating that Dallas was going to trade its first-round pick to Oklahoma City for proven forward Danillo Gallinari (more on him later). Obviously, those rumors meant nothing, and Dallas held on to the 18th pick.
As Dallas’ selection got closer, many of the ideal wings that the front office met with were still on the board but the team ended up selecting Arizona forward, Josh Green. So let’s talk a little bit about Josh Green. Green is a 20-year-old forward from Australia who played one year of collegiate basketball at Arizona. During his lone season, he averaged 12 PPG, 2.6 APG, 4.6 RPG, and 1.5 SPG and was one of the best freshman defenders in the country. While he is not on the same level of shooting as someone like Saddiq Bey or Desmond Bane, who were still on the board for this pick, he had solid shooting splits of 42/36/78.
His three-point shooting is promising and likely to improve with Luka as his point guard, but his real strengths are his defense and his athleticism. In addition to that, he is added to the Mavs’ impressive collection of foreign-born players, so that is another plus. I will do an in-depth piece looking at Josh Green specifically soon but for now, let’s move on.
After the successful first-round selection, Dallas looked ahead to its second-round pick, which was the first of the new round. Mavs’ fans on Twitter watched nervously and hopefully as Desmond Bane continued to fall and as soon as everybody’s hopes were at an all-time high, the division rival Memphis Grizzlies swooped traded with the Boston Celtics who had the pick before the Mavs, and selected Bane.
Mavs’ fans (myself included) were disappointed, but Dallas then took Stanford point guard, Tyrell Terry. Terry is a shooter. And a steal. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor’s had Tyrell Terry as the eighth-best overall prospect in the draft comparing him to players such as Mark Price, CJ McCollum, and Dallas’ own Jason Terry. As a freshman at Stanford, Terry averaged 14.6 PPG, 3.2 APG with 44/40/89 shooting splits. Tyrell Terry is a player who benefited from the basketball shut down. He was committed to working on his body. When he began the process, Terry weighed 155 lbs. This was one of the biggest concerns for scouts and Terry recognized that and worked to fix it. He now weighs 170 lbs. and he hopes to grow even more by the start of the season.
Again, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer wrote a pretty fascinating piece on Tyrell Terry’s transformation which I would recommend reading. Tyrell also got Donnie Nelson’s stamp of approval after the draft when Nelson claimed Terry could “shoot the piss out of the ball.”
Trading Seth Curry for Josh Richardson
As soon as we thought the night was over, the Mavericks made their first trade of the offseason. They traded fan-favorite Seth Curry to Philadelphia in exchange for Josh Richardson and the 36th pick in the draft. So it seems like even if Desmond Bane was on the board, they probably would have still taken Tyrell Terry to come in and be Seth Curry’s replacement in this offense.
Seth Curry was a huge part of Dallas’ historic offense last season, but the Mavericks decided to sacrifice some offense for some defense. Richardson struggled a little bit with the 76’ers last year but was great in his last season with Miami. He averaged 16.6 points for the Heat and shot the ball well, but his strength was/is defense. Last year in Philly, Richardson seemed to struggle a bit. The 76ers asked him to do too much offensively, possibly stretching him too thin, and they didn’t ask him to do enough defensively. Dallas is somewhere where he can slide back into a similar role that he had in Miami and become an important player on both ends for the Mavericks.
The 76ers offense had zero spacing which was obviously not beneficial for a guy like Josh Richardson. But playing with Luka will almost certainly boost his percentages, a great example being Tim Hardaway Jr. During his final season in New York, Hardaway Jr. averaged 15.5 PPG and shot 32% from three. Last season, his first full year in Dallas, he averaged 15.8 PPG and shot 40% from three. That is a dramatic improvement that could be seen in Josh Richardson’s game.
Lastly, using the 36th pick that Philly traded them, Dallas picked Tyler Bey from Colorado. He averaged 14 PPG, 9 RPG, and blocked 1.2 shots per game. Tyler Bey is the real deal on defense. He’s 6’7″ with a wingspan of 7’1″ and was the PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Offensively there is room to improve but has the potential to be a good spot-up shooter. It is quite clear to see what the Mavs were trying to do tonight… get longer and get better defensively. They certainly did that.
It is hard to really examine this roster and predict lineups and whatnot because there is a good chance that Dallas is not done dealing. Some of these guys I just talked about may not be on the team in a couple of days. Tonight was only the beginning of the craziness. This team is set up to make more moves. The Mavs will have trade options once Tim Hardaway Jr. presumably signs his player option.
The Mavs could try to execute sign-and-trade deals for restricted free agents like Danillo Gallinari or Bogdan Bogdanovich. They could use their MLE (mid-level exception) on a veteran, like Serge Ibaka or Jae Crowder. They have options and when asked about it on Wednesday night after the draft, Donnie Nelson said, “we aren’t done yet.”
Overall, this was a solid draft night for the Mavs.
There are things that could have gone different here and there but all around, they did what they needed to do to improve. That’s exactly what draft night is for.
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