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NBA Draft 2012: The Newest Member of the Mavericks, Jared Cunningham

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 08:  Jared Cunningham #1 of the Oregon State Beavers shoots the ball in the first half while taking on the Washington Huskies during the quarterfinals of the 2012 Pacific Life Pac-12 basketball tournament at Staples Center on March 8, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIJune 29, 2012

At first, it was supposed to be Tyler Zeller becoming the newest member of the Dallas Mavericks after they selected the North Carolina big man with the 17th pick.

Moments later, Dallas made a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the 24th, 33rd and 34th pick. And with that 24th pick, the Mavs got a player that not many people have heard of but could be an early contributor for Dallas going forward.

With the 24th pick, the Mavs selected Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham.

You're probably thinking, "Who is that?"

With guys like Perry Jones III still on the board, one area of need that the Mavs needed was an athletic wing player who could drive to the basket and make outside shots.

But don't sell Cunningham short.

Before comparisons of Dominique Jones begin running around everyone's mind, Cunningham is more well-built than Jones at 6'5" and can be argued as a better attacker of the rim than the former first-round pick from South Florida.

A junior for the Beavers, Cunningham averaged close to 18 points per game in his third year playing under head coach Craig Robinson. He was also named first team All-PAC-12 and led the team in steals with 2.5 per game.

Cunningham is a pure ball thief and seems like a great choice to bring in for either point guard or shooting guard, and if he can improve his offensive game a little bit, Dallas may have found a diamond in the rough with this unknown prospect.

Dallas does have the 33rd and 34th pick in the second round, so it'll be interesting to see where Dallas goes with those picks, or if they'll trade them.

Stay tuned for more coverage of Dallas' draft day.

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