Mavericks Rumors

Draft Notes: Mavericks, Robinson, Smith

The Mavericks hold the No. 33 pick in the upcoming draft and the team feels there will be players available who provide great value at that spot, as Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News passes along.

“It’s a really good area,” president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. “If you look at the area from 15 to 40, you may be getting the same guy.

“You may not be able to draft for a position, but you can get a good player. And there’s a number of point forwards. You may be looking at an athlete or a shooter or a point guard. At that spot, you take the best player on the board. The difference is not that much honestly.”

Here’s more on the upcoming draft:

  • There’s a growing belief that Boston College’s Jerome Robinson will be selected in the middle of the first round, multiple league sources tell Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. The scribe adds that organizations are impressed by Robinson’s scoring skills as well as his character.
  • It will be hard for the Mavericks to pass up on Michael Porter Jr. if he falls to No. 5, especially if the forward checks out medically, Sefko writes in a separate piece. Sefko adds that Porter is seen as one of the biggest risk/reward prospects in the draft.
  • Rafael Uehara of Real GM breaks down the game of Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith, speculating that the combo forward could be versatile enough to play center at the next level. Smith sits at No. 16 on ESPN’s latest top 100 rankings.

Draft-Day Deal With Bulls Could Make Sense

  • DeMarcus Cousins will most likely stay put with the Pelicans but there are three other Western Conference teams where the big man would be a good fit, HoopsHype tweets. The Mavericks, Lakers and Spurs are the most likely landing spots for Cousins if he leaves New Orleans, HoopsHype adds.
  • A draft night trade with the Bulls might make sense for the Mavericks, Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News speculates. Dallas owns the No. 5 pick with Chicago slotted at No. 7. If Michael Porter Jr. and Trae Young go a little higher than anticipated, the Mavs could move down and either Mohamed Bamba, Wendell Carter or Jaren Jackson would still be on the board, Cowlishaw points out.

Brandon McCoy To Work Out For Mavs

  • UNLV’s Brandon McCoy has a workout on tap with the Mavericks and still intends to work out with four or five other teams before draft night, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington.

Strained Hip Caused Porter To Cancel Workout

1:11pm: Porter’s representatives sent out a statement this afternoon to teams planning to attend his workout, Givony tweets. “Porter will be evaluated again tonight and if the doctor feels Michael is moving well enough to go through the medical evaluation tomorrow, then we are going to proceed with the evaluation at 3pm CST tomorrow,” it read.

Also from Porter’s camp: “After being shut down to do strengthening/core stabilization work for his first 4 weeks in Chicago, and then being ramped up as hard as he was the last 3 weeks, Michael developed some inflammation that wrapped around his nerve and caused massive spasms. After being shut down to do strengthening/core stabilization work for his first 4 weeks in Chicago, and then being ramped up as hard as he was the last 3 weeks, Michael developed some inflammation that wrapped around his nerve and caused massive spasms.” (Twitter links)

12:21pm: Porter underwent an MRI that showed no physical problem and he is feeling better, tweets Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. A decision is expected later today on whether his workout will be rescheduled.

JUNE 14, 10:40am: Michael Porter Jr. called off Friday’s scheduled pro day in Chicago after suffering a strained hip, reports Jonathan Givony of ESPN. Porter was experiencing muscle spasms yesterday and was unable to get out of bed.

The planned workout could be rescheduled, depending how Porter responds to treatment, but Givony notes that time is running short with just a week left before the draft. Several lottery teams that planned to attend the event were notified of the cancellation Wednesday afternoon. They were going to bring their own medical staffs to examine Porter, which is an unusual move for a pro day.

Porter has been zooming up draft boards lately and now appears likely to be taken in the top seven, according to Givony. The Kings, Grizzlies and Mavericks appear to be the most interested teams, and the Bulls appear ready to grab him at No. 7 if he falls that far.

Medical concerns have haunted Porter since the college season began in November. He injured his back in his first game with Missouri, prompting microdiscectomy surgery that sidelined him until the SEC tournament. He refused to undergo medical examinations at the draft combine, and his first pro day was delayed a week to give him more time to heal.

Porter stopped all basketball activity once the season ended, Givony adds, and concentrated on rehab. He lost strength due to the injury, especially in his left leg, and received medical clearance to play just two weeks before the first pro day on June 8. He reportedly felt just “50%” physically for that session, but impressed scouts with his shooting and overall performance.

The Bulls conducted a medical exam on Porter, with the results released to all 30 NBA teams. Givony relays that multiple team representatives have said there are no major causes for concern in the report.

“There doesn’t appear to be anything wrong with him right now,” an unidentified executive said. “But a conservative doctor could still [be concerned about] what might happen down the road.”

Mavs Notes: J. Jackson, Ferrell, G League, Barea

The Mavericks will face a tough decision this summer, ESPN’s Bobby Marks writes in his offseason preview for the team. While the franchise typically hasn’t had to be patient when it comes to rebuilding, the conservative play would be to do just that, since it’s better for the team’s long-term health, Marks argues.

Dallas has the cap space make a splash in free agency, but the club might be better off viewing 2018/19 as a bridge year in which to continue developing its young players before entering the 2018 free agent period with even more room available.

As we wait to see which direction the Mavs go, let’s round up more items out of Dallas…

  • Michigan State big man Jaren Jackson Jr. will be among the prospects who works out for the Mavericks before the draft, according to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News, who notes that Deandre Ayton is the only top college prospect known not to be working out for the club.
  • Yogi Ferrell will be a free agent for the first time in his NBA career this summer and said recently that he’d like to remain with the Mavericks, as Sefko writes in a separate Dallas Morning News article. “I want to be here,” Farrell said. “And I think they want me to be here. I’m just going to wait and see how it works out.” If the two sides both want to work something out, there shouldn’t be many roadblocks, since Farrell is a restricted free agent.
  • In his latest newsletter, Marc Stein of The New York Times reports that Mavs owner Mark Cuban has secured majority control of the Texas Legends, the Mavericks’ G League affiliate. Cuban has since officially named longtime equipment manager Al Whitley the owner’s liaison to the Legends. “He reports directly to me,” Cuban said of Whitley.
  • Veteran guard J.J. Barea has received the 2017/18 J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award from the Pro Basketball Writers Association, per a press release. Barea earned the award, which is given for community service work, after spending much of the year assisting with disaster relief in Puerto Rico.

Kings, Mavs Open To Trading Down In Draft?

The Kings and Mavericks are open to the possibility of moving down in the draft, multiple NBA front-office executives tell Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer. Sacramento holds the No. 2 pick, while Dallas owns the No. 5 overall selection.

As O’Connor observes, the Kings are in the “asset-stacking business,” so if they can still nab a player they like with a later pick and acquire an extra asset or two in the process, that could appeal to them. Sacramento has shown a willingness to move down in each of the last two drafts, trading the No. 8 pick in 2016 and the No. 10 pick in 2017. The Kings have also reportedly shown “significant interest” in Michael Porter Jr. over the past year, and Porter isn’t expected to go as high as No. 2.

As for the Mavericks, they’ll be trying to compete for the playoffs next season, according to O’Connor. I get the sense that Dallas would be happy to keep that No. 5 pick to pair Dennis Smith Jr. with another potential franchise cornerstone, and GM Donnie Nelson has suggested as much. However, it sounds like the Mavs wouldn’t rule out trading down if the right offer came along.

We’ve now heard rumors that all five teams picking in the top five might be open to moving down. A May report indicated that the Grizzlies would listen to offers for the No. 4 pick, and the general managers in Phoenix and Atlanta have both left the door open to potential deals for No. 1 and No. 3, respectively.

As ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz wrote today, while Deandre Ayton is the strong frontrunner to be picked first overall, there are several prospects at the top of this year’s draft class that certain teams are very high on. Givony notes that some clubs love Luka Doncic, for instance, while others only have him sixth and seventh on their boards. “You hear similar things about [Mohamed] Bamba, [Jaren] Jackson, [Marvin] Bagley, Porter and even Ayton at times,” Givony writes.

[RELATED: Teams angling to move up, grab Jaren Jackson]

In other words, the possibility that a team picking in the top five might view a top prospect much differently than a team outside the top five could create some interesting trade opportunities next week.

Draft Updates: Porter, Young, Simons, Sexton

Michael Porter Jr. was impressive at Friday’s pro day in Chicago, tweets Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. Although there’s no question about his talent, several teams are concerned about Porter’s physical condition in the wake of back surgery that cost him nearly his entire freshman season at Missouri. Porter’s representatives will decide over the next few days which teams they plan to hold meetings with and who will receive his medical records.

Kyler adds that most scouts view Porter as a top three to five talent in the draft (Twitter link), but the back problems may scare some teams away. Even so, Kyler speculates that he won’t fall lower than the Bulls at No. 7 (Twitter link).

There’s more news as the draft draws closer:

  • The Knicks are among several lottery teams that will travel to Chicago next week to meet with Porter, a league source tells Adam Zagoria of ZagsBlog (Twitter link).
  • The Suns are trying to arrange a workout with Oklahoma’s Trae Young, tweets Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report. Team officials are expected to meet with Young before the draft, but scheduling conflicts may prevent the Suns from working him out. Because Phoenix holds the No. 1 pick and Young is unlikely to be taken that high, Wasserman cites the report as evidence that the team is trying to acquire a second top 10 selection.
  • Anfernee Simons, who worked out today for the Magic, has been among the most active pre-draft prospects, tweets Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. Simons has already been to sessions with the Bulls, Suns, Trail Blazers, Lakers and Jazz and has upcoming workouts scheduled with the Knicks, Cavaliers, Grizzlies and Bucks.
  • The Cavaliers brought in Alabama’s Collin Sexton for a workout today, tweets ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
  • The Nuggets have six players scheduled for a session on Monday, according to a story on the team’s website. Expected to attend are Idaho’s Brayon Blake, Georgetown’s Marcus Derrickson, UNLV’s Brandon McCoy, USC’s Jordan McLaughlin, Wake Forest’s Doral Moore and Northern Colorado’s Andre Spight.
  • Seton Hall’s Desi Rodriguez will work out tomorrow for the Spurs, Zagoria writes. The Mavericks will see him Tuesday, followed by the Raptors, then then Lakers on June 20. Rodriguez has also worked out for the Knicks, Nets, Suns, Thunder, Celtics, Bucks and Kings.
  • The Nets have already held sessions with about 60 players, roughly the same amount the team saw through the entire pre-draft process last year, according to a story on NetsDaily.

Mo Bamba Working Out For Suns, Mavs

10:50pm: Bamba will work out Saturday for the Suns, who hold the top pick, according to the team’s website.

5:11pm: The Mavericks will work out Texas center Mohamed Bamba on Monday, Jake Fischer of Sports Illustrated tweets.

Bamba has been linked to Dallas in some mock drafts — if he falls to No. 5. He’s zoomed up the draft board and is currently ranked No. 3 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony. Bamba’s offensive game is a work in progress but he’s expected to be a defensive force at the next level, in part because of his imposing 7’9″ wingspan.

In his lone college season, Bamba averaged 12.9 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 3.7 BPG for the Longhorns.

Bamba has already worked out for the Bulls, who own the No. 7 selection, and is scheduled to work out for the Hawks on Thursday.

Duke big man Wendell Carter will work out for the Mavericks on Wednesday, Fischer adds. Carter has workouts lined up with six lottery teams.

Draft Notes: Doncic, Bridges, Holiday, Diallo, Rodriguez

Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and general manager Vlade Divac are both in Madrid, Spain, to watch Luka Doncic in the ACB Playoffs, tweets basketball journalist David Pick. Doncic, widely expected to be a top-three selection in the draft, has already secured numerous accolades, including the EuroLeague MVP, Rising Star, and Final Four MVP.

While there has been talk of Doncic going No. 1 overall to the Suns, it’s more likely he ends up with either the Kings or Hawks, who own the second and third picks, respectively. Doncic has said that it’s not certain that he will come stateside next season despite the expectation that he will be a top draftee. Just recently, a report suggested that both the Hawks and Kings may pass on Doncic and instead focus on frontcourt players.

[The Kings] have a real hole there in the frontcourt. I don’t think that they’re in love with Willie Cauley-Stein by any means. They started Zach Randolph at the four all year long,” ESPN’s Jonathan Givony said“What do they do there? Do they go with Marvin Bagley who is going to be a compelling prospect for them? 

Check out more draft news below:

  • Michigan State’s Miles Bridges is set to work out for the Knicks this Saturday, reports ESPN’s Ian Begley. The Knicks own the ninth overall pick and Bridges, along with Villanova’s Mikal Bridges have been reported as possible targets for New York.
  • UCLA’s Aaron Holiday had his second workout with the Suns on Thursday, the team announced. Five other prospects were part of the workout, with Troy Brown (Oregon), Jalen Brunson (Villanova), Marcus Derrickson (Georgetown), Amine Noua (France), and Desi Rodriguez (Seton Hall) also participating.
  • Seton Hall’s Desi Rodriguez also worked out for the Thunder on Wednesday, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.
  • Kentucky’s Hamidou Diallo has scheduled workouts with the Lakers and Mavericks, Sean Deveney of Sporting News tweets. Diallo will have also worked out for the Bulls, Wizards, Suns, Blazers, Kings, Nets, Knicks, and Bucks.

Does Bagley Fit With Mavericks?

Duke’s Marvin Bagley III has consistently been mentioned as a top-three draft pick who may drop a spot or two further. If he does slip, the Mavericks could have interest in Bagley as the team wields the fifth overall pick. However, The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks spoke to the Dallas Morning News about why Bagley may not be the ideal pick for the Mavericks.

As it stands, Bagley is unlikely to even be available when the Mavericks’ turn to pick comes up. Luka Doncic, Deandre Ayton, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Bagley are expected to round out the top four picks.

  • Coming off a devastating torn Achilles, DeMarcus Cousins‘ monetary hopes in free agency this summer took a massive blow. He will have a hard time securing the max deal he was once expected to receive, but he should still be a popular target. In a separate story, Urbina writes that in addition to the incumbent Pelicans, the Lakers, Mavericks, and Spurs are possible destinations.