The Dallas Mavericks entered Thursday's NBA Draft looking to improve a team that missed the playoffs for the first time since 2000. The Mavericks did some wheeling and dealing in an attempt to save money. Initially, they moved from No. 13 to No. 16 with Boston. From there, they swapped spots with the Atlanta Hawks and finally nabbed the point guard they needed at No. 18.
Name: Shane Larkin
Pick: No. 18 overall, First Round (acquired from Atlanta)
Position: Point Guard
Analysis: Dallas may have gotten a little too cute with the wheeling and dealing. In moving down so far, they missed out on German point man Dennis Schroeder (taken a pick ahead of Dallas at No. 17). Larkin fills a need, but he's a bit undersized at 5'11". It remains to be seen whether he's much better than last year's starter, Darren Collison.
The bright side is Larkin shot 40 percent from behind the arc and 14.5 points per game for the Hurricanes this past season. It isn't a terrible pick, but it could have been better. In the end, the ultimate goal was shedding payroll in the hopes of making a run at Dwight Howard. In that regard, Dallas succeeded.
Getting to know Shane Larkin
Overall Analysis: The Mavericks made a ton of trades and, in the end, may have outsmarted themselves. The Larkin pick isn't terrible, but it had the potential to be better. Dennis Schroeder could have helped this team, as well as Russian sharpshooter Sergei Karasev.
In the end, the Mavericks decided that the biggest impact they will make this summer will be rolling the dice on landing a marquee free agent such as Dwight Howard. Ridding themselves of Jared Cunningham's $1.2 million salary as well as second round pick Mike Muscala will save the Mavs some money.
However, everything depends on how Dallas fares in free agency. If they can land a big fish like Howard, it will make up for what was a so-so draft. If they swing and miss, they will have squandered an opportunity to add some cheap talent.