Originally written on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 5/22/13
A report came out just after the draft lottery was completed that the Dallas Mavericks are interested in trading out of their lottery pick. Dallas missed the playoffs for the first time in a decade plus, but want to save the salary cap space that the 13th pick in the draft would get in order to pursue Dwight Howard. Hearing from multiple sources that Mavs likely to trade the No. 13 pick. Want to save cap space for Dwight Howard run … — Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) May 22, 2013 “Multiple sources told ESPN.com’s Chad Ford that the Mavs are likely to trade the pick to help create the cap space necessary to make a run at Dwight Howard in free agency. The 13th overall pick has a cap hold of $1,655,300.” [ESPN Dallas] The first round draft picks come with a cap hold. That means that any player the Mavericks draft at number 13 would count $1.66 million against the cap. If they were to trade that pick for any pick in the first round, they would have at least an $880K hit against the cap. (The Cavaliers’ 19th pick has a cap hold of $1.22 million.) However, in the second round they could draft any player they wanted from Europe, keep their draft rights and it wouldn’t count a dime against the cap until they came over to the states to play. Here’s why that is particularly interesting to the Cavaliers- Cleveland owns the 1st and 3rd picks in the second round. Truth be told, these picks might hold the most value to a club looking to take a chance on a European, letting them develop overseas. And the Cavaliers have two of the first three. Could anyone offer Dallas a better deal for pick number 13 that wouldn’t include a player counting against the cap? Maybe. But then again the Cavs could also offer a future draft pick, which they have plenty of. There is the infamous Sacramento pick in the Hickson/Casspi trade. The protections on that pick might make it worth flipping now. They also have extra first round picks in 2015 from Memphis and Miami. What’s the big deal about getting the #13 pick? That’s a good question. First, if the Cavaliers choose to use the pick on a player, Chad Ford’s updated mock draft has UCLA swingman Shabazz Muhammad going in that range. Actually number 14 to Utah. The Cavs could add whoever they want at #1 and potentially get a dynamic wing scorer of the future at #13. Then they still have the 19th pick. Of course, they could always package the 13th pick with the 19th in order to move up, possibly into the top 5-8? Then they get 2 of the top say 6 players in the draft. Sound familiar? Who knows what Chris Grant could do with picks #1, 13 and 19? He also has a few trade chips. Varejao and the first pick for an established young player? Zeller and number 13? Endless possibilities. But they all start with a phone call to Dallas.
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