Two sources said Tuesday that the Mavericks are most concerned with getting quality draft picks back for either or both Bogut and Williams. By “quality,” that means somewhere between the late first round and middle second round.
The Mavericks are talking to everyone, but one deal being rumored Tuesday night that won’t happen, sources said, is Williams returning to the team that drafted him, the Utah Jazz.
What the Mavericks have to make sure of is that they treat this trade deadline like it’s a recruiting process. Williams and Bogut chose the Mavericks. They could have gone elsewhere last summer. Dan Fegan, the agent for Bogut, and Jeff Schwartz, the agent for Williams, are powerful representatives and also potential allies in any future dealings.
It makes sense to do right by their clients.
The Mavericks are one of a handful of teams that can offer relief to other teams when it comes to the salary cap. Teams desperate to get off of long term salary are interested, and owner Mark Cuban has said he is willing to take on long term contracts if draft pick(s) are attached.
But the Mavericks have to make sure it’s in their best interest to do something like that.
The goal is this summer’s draft, which is fertile with a lot of talent but maybe not superstar talent. Perhaps only one or two players from the draft will end up being elite players. But a lot of them may end up being solid starters for 10 plus years.
That’s why picks in the Nos. 20 40 range would be desirable for the Mavericks.
It appears that Bogut or Williams would not fetch a first round draft pick, unless it’s near the bottom end of that round. Numerous second rounders would be more likely, assuming they are attached to a player or players that make the trade work financially.
And the Mavericks have not given up on trying to make a run at the playoffs. The trade of DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans and Denver’s uptick in play before the All Star break suggest that the playoffs are a long shot. But if the Mavericks are healthy coming out of the break, they have reason to believe they can be competitive.
So if they don’t get suitable compensation for Bogut or Williams, it makes sense to keep them and go for the postseason.
Among the teams that have reportedly shown interest in Bogut are the Boston Celtics, who need big man help and have the contracts necessary to make a trade work under the league’s guidelines.
Any team that needs rebounding and defense would have an interest in Bogut.
Those players want to win as much as anybody else in the NBA. And so do the support personnel. The Mavericks have been playing younger players a lot, and that in itself has put them on a course to have a middle ish draft pick come June.
Barnes was clear going into the All Star break that he believed the first two games coming out of the eight day intermission would be a declaration of where the Mavericks are headed.
Win them, and there’s a real shot at making the playoffs.
Lose them, and the lottery countdown begins.
Split them, and the lottery has only been compromised by one victory.
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Mavericks will get back to work after the All Star break hoping to pile up victories when the games resume Friday. But in lieu of that, piling up draft picks is just as desirable.