DALLAS — Maverick fans following Thursday’s 2013 NBA Draft definitely needed to break out the dry erase board and the colored markers to fully comprehend how the Mavs eventually ended up with former Miami point guard Shane Larkin at No. 18.
“Some different things happened during the draft. There was a lot of activity, a lot of trades all over the place,” Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said after the draft’s conclusion. “We knew it was going to be a bit of an unpredictable night. We started with 13 and we moved down a couple times and we got to 18. And we’re pleased to have the opportunity to draft Shane Larkin from University of Miami.”
Of course, the Mavs held the No. 13 pick, which they used on ex-Gonzaga big man Kelly Olnyk. However, the rights to Olnyk were sent to Boston in a deal that netted Dallas the No. 16 pick as well as a pair of second-round picks in the 2014 draft, the Celtics’ natural pick as well as another choice obtained from Brooklyn.
So, at No. 16, it appeared that the Mavs took Brazilian big man Lucas Nogueira. However, once again Dallas pulled the trigger on a trade, sending the rights to Nogueira as well as Jared Cunningham, the former Oregon State guard who the Mavs took with the 24th pick in last June’s draft and the No. 44 pick to Atlanta in exchange for the rights to the No. 18 pick in this year’s draft, Larkin.
Getting Larkin, son of former Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Miami, at the No. 18 pick saved the Mavericks some money — about $380,000 to be exact — by moving down five spots from No. 13 to 18 through two different moves and getting a solid player at a definite position of need, point guard.
And seeing them deal Cunningham, who was underwhelming to say the least last season as a rookie, wasn’t at all a surprise. The former Oregon State standout looked lost in the NBA and appeared in just eight games for the Mavs last season. In fact, he spent the bulk of last season with the Texas Legends of the NBA Development League, appearing in 15 games for the Legends and averaging 15.3 points, three assists and nearly three rebounds there.
“There are other things involved with that move as well. But Jared’s a young, dynamic player with a very good future,” Carlisle said. “He’s healthy now and he’s got a great chance to prove himself in a different situation that’s going to have a lot of openings on the roster.”
But now the burning questions: Will the Mavs hang onto Larkin, who at No. 18 carries a price tag of $1.4 million, money that the team would likely rather use to put toward their pursuit of Dwight Howard? Or will they in turn deal him and free up that money for what they see as their chosen cause of landing the biggest fish in free agency this summer?
In the second round, Dallas did end up taking 6-foot-6 off guard Ricky Ledo at No. 43 after acquiring that pick in a trade with the Bucks. But since that trade wasn’t yet official, Carlisle couldn’t comment on Ledo or the deal.
“I can’t talk about that I don’t think. Yeah, it’s going to be a while before that conversation, whenever it was, can happen,” Carlisle said of the proposed trade that acquired Ledo. “I don’t know when other things will be announced but we liked things that happened in the draft.”
And even though he couldn’t discuss the possible acquisition of Ledo, the Mavs head coach did somewhat describe what was a very busy night in the Dallas draft room.
“We have an eye on a lot of different things right now. We’re trying to create the best possible scenarios to get younger but also be opportunistic,” Carlisle said.
He added: “The phones were active tonight, they really were. There was a lot going on. We got who we got and you’re going to find out that there’s a little bit more to this draft, too, in time. We’re happy with the way it went and there’s a lot more work to be done.”