Will the Dallas Mavericks hold on to the No. 5 draft pick?
Maybe, said owner Mark Cuban. But maybe not, too.
“We are never content,” Cuban told 247 Sports. “We will be open to any and all options.”
The Mavericks are coming off the worst season of the Cuban and Dirk Nowitzki eras, finishing 24-58 with a rebuild on the way. Today, the team is centered around small forward Harrison Barnes and point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who dazzled for the majority of his rookie season.
More help could be on the way via the NBA draft in June — either with an actual draft pick, or a veteran player acquired with the pick, as Cuban suggested.
The Mavs could also be active in free agency, but as beat writer Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News suggested, should take care not to overspend. As an aside, they have been linked as a potential suitor for New Orleans Pelicans free agent center DeMarcus Cousins.
“What they need is a smart game plan and the patience to execute it,” Sefko wrote. “They won’t get the immediate impact player they were hoping for at No. 5, most likely. But that doesn’t mean they suddenly become Cousins fans and shoot their salary cap for years to come by signing him. I still see them playing the free agent game with an eye on value, not a marquee splash.”
As for the draft and potentially keeping the pick, Sefko listed Missouri forward Michael Porter, Oklahoma guard Trae Young, Texas center Mo Bamba and Duke big man Wendell Carter among the possible options.
“Take your pick among those,” Sefko wrote. “But if you are absolutely convinced the kid’s back issues are not going to be a long-term problem, I’d roll the dice with Porter.”