Mavs Very Likely To Trade First-Rounder

WEDNESDAY, 1:59pm: Asked in a chat which teams might be in play for the Mavs' first-rounder,'s Chad Ford says he's heard the Knicks, Cavs, and Thunder connected to the pick. The price for the 13th overall selection, according to Ford, is a 2014 first-round pick or taking Marion in the deal. I'm guessing that 2014 first-rounder would be at least lottery-protected, though that's just my speculation.

Ford adds that some teams believe the Mavs may already have a deal in place, since trade talk out of Dallas has quieted down in recent days.

TUESDAY, 5:33pm: The Mavericks will almost certainly trade their first-round pick in this year's draft to clear cap room to pursue Dwight Howard, reports Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. The Mavs don't quite have enough space to offer Howard a max deal, so removing the $1.66MM cap hold associated with the 13th overall pick would help clear a little more room.

According to Sefko's source, there's a 0% chance that the player selected 13th overall ends up on Dallas' roster next season. The most likely outcome involves trading the pick, while there's about a 15% chance the Mavs could take a player who could be stashed overseas for a year, meaning he wouldn't count against the team's cap. Sergey Karasev may be the best possibility for that scenario.

Given how aggressively the Mavs seem to be shopping the pick, the club doesn't figure to have a whole lot of leverage in trade talks, but it doesn't sound like the asking price is too high either. Even if other teams are reluctant to help out a potential suitor for Howard, it'll be hard for a rebuilding franchise to pass up on a lottery pick if it comes cheap.

Previous reports have suggested the Mavs would like to package Shawn Marion and his $9MM+ salary with their first-rounder, but it sounds as if Dallas is a good bet to move the pick with or without Marion attached to it.

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