Armed with their highest draft pick in more than a decade, the Mavericks are thinking strongly about trading the asset. And “strongly” means it is a virtual certainty. One source put the chances of the Mavericks having the 13th overall draft pick on their opening-day roster next season at 0 percent.
There is an 80-percent chance that the pick is traded before or, more likely, during the draft, the source said. There is at least a 15-percent chance that the pick is a foreign player who is under contract and can be left overseas for a year and not count against the Mavericks’ salary cap. There is less than a 5 percent chance that one of the top five or six players in the draft slips to No. 13 and the Mavericks take him, knowing fully that they can jettison that valuable chip easily for future considerations.
In every scenario, the No. 13 pick would not be a Maverick next season and, therefore, not count against the Mavericks’ cap, which would free up needed money to pursue a max-contract free agent like Dwight Howard.