Mavericks Swap Picks With Blazers: What Is The Mavs' Strategy?

Alex McVeighSenior Analyst IJune 24, 2009

DENVER - MAY 05:  Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks observes the national anthem prior to facing the Denver Nuggets in Game Two of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 5, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 117-105. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

As of approximately 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, the Dallas Mavericks completed a trade with the Portland Trailblazers. The Mavericks sent the Blazers their 22nd pick in exchange for the 24th pick, as well as a second-round pick in 2009 and 2010.

While it's seemingly insignificant, Mark Cuban's take on the trade speaks volumes about the Mavericks' draft strategy.

"The guy we want will still be there at No. 24," said Cuban.

What does that mean? Is there any sure pick that will be there for the Mavs at No. 24?

Will Ty Lawson, Terrance Williams, Earl Clark, Johnny Flynn, or Eric Maynor still be on the board?

Each of the players listed should be expected to be selected within the 17th-25th range.

The trade makes it pretty clear; the Mavs are expecting a point guard to be available late enough in the round, since those are the only sure picks to be around.

There is a chance the Nets could select Williams, while the Bobcats could take Earl Clark. One of the reasons why the trade may have occurred is because of Omri Casspi, who Portland may be interested in taking. Now that they have the 22nd pick, they are one pick ahead of the Sacramento Kings, who are also interested in Casspi.

Before we get into who the Mavs should pick, let's examine what another point guard on the Mavericks' roster means.

If they re-sign Jason Kidd, then the Mavericks will have three point guards on the depth chart, plus Jason Terry.

As much as I like J.J. Barea, he won't be more than a good backup, which leaves the Mavs a project to work with.

But what if they're expecting Kidd to walk? Or better yet, what if the Mavs are letting Portland make their pick for them, and reaping two additional picks from it?

How about the Mavs do a sign-and-trade with the Blazers with Kidd for the No. 22 pick and Travis Outlaw?

All of a sudden, the Mavericks have the same player they wanted, a decent role player in Outlaw (Outlaw Maverick jerseys would sell themselves), plus a young point guard.

If I had it my way, I would select Eric Maynor as their point guard.

Johnny Flynn is rising in stock, and might not even make it past the Knicks at No. 8. Lawson will most likely be selected before the Mavs have a chance to take him. My guess is the 76ers or whoever ends up with Minnesota's No. 18 pick will select him. 

Jeff Teague will probably be there, but the Mavericks should take Eric Maynor, and there is a higher possibility that he will still be on the board.

The combination of his lack-of-star-power and his alma mater not being a major school will probably allow him to slip. Therefore, the Mavs need to take him.

Eric Maynor and Jason Terry could lead the Mavericks' locker room. Maynor can perform well enough to provide the Mavericks a very dangerous offense.

He can create for others and himself. Not to mention he has the quickness to get in front of other point guards such as Chris Paul and Tony Parker. He has the size to bang with Deron Williams and Chauncey Billups.

He's the kind of player that defies predictions in a way that I like. Like Ricky Rubio, teams seem to be talking themselves out of him, and there's something about that that appeals to me.

The Mavs have second-round picks, which will probably be used as trade bait. They've already got a few picks over in Europe (Shan Foster, Renaldus Seibutus) so they don't need that kind of depth.

But the picks will appeal to rebuilding teams that might not be aversed to stashing players overseas in hopes of reaping a finished product somewhere down the line.

But every plan is only as good as its backup, and if Maynor isn't there, the Mavericks need to go after one of the D.J's.

Who are the D.J.'s? I'm talking about DeJuan Blair or Dajuan Summers. Both are poor-man's versions of Jordan Hill, which is who the Mavs toyed with getting at No. 5 via a trade.

But the Mavs need to focus their energies on Maynor, even if it means turning that No. 24 pick right around. They could send Jerry Stackhouse to the Bobcats for the No. 12 pick, where they might even look into Brandon Jennings. Then, they could use Maynor as the backup.

Either way, it's a no-lose move for the Mavs.

Unless, of course, Eric Maynor goes at No. 23, in which I will then delete all traces of this article.