Dallas Mavericks hope to come up big in lottery

Posted Saturday, May. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Lots of luck This year is the 12th time the Dallas Mavericks have been involved in the NBA Draft lottery, which started in 1985. The 11 players they’ve drafted in the 28-year history of the lottery: F Detlef Schrempf, 1985, 8th overall, Washington: Schrempf played for the Mavs from 1985-89 and eventually retired in 2001. He was an All-Star in 1993, ’95 and ’97, and won the Sixth Man Award in 1991 and ’92. He had career averages of 13.9 points per game and 6.2 rebounds per game. Schrempf was third-team All-NBA in 1995. F Roy Tarpley, 7th overall, 1986 , Michigan: Tarpley only played in the NBA for the Mavs, during the 1986-90 and ’94-’95 seasons. Tarpley was the Sixth Man Award winner in ’88 and appeared on the verge of a stellar career, but was banned from the NBA in ’91 due to his drug usage. Tarpley’s basketball career ended after he played for the CBA’s Michigan Mayhem in 2005-’06. F Randy White, 8th overall, 1989, Louisiana Tech: Hailed as the second coming of Karl Malone, White never lived up to his draft selection. White played his entire NBA career for the Mavs — from 1989-94 — before finishing his pro career in Greece in 1999. He averaged 7.4 ppg in 281 career NBA games. F Doug Smith, 6th overall, 1991, Missouri: Smith had career averages of 8 ppg and 4.2 rpg. Smith played for the Mavs from 1991-95 before finishing his NBA career with the Boston Celtics in the 1995-96 season. He did play in other leagues, winding up his career in the 2004-05 campaign with the CBA’s Great Lakes Storm. G Jim Jackson, 4th overall, 1992, Ohio State: Was generally regarded as arguably the second-best shooting guard in the NBA behind Michael Jordan when he averaged 25.7 ppg before injuring an ankle after playing 51 games in the 1994-95 season. Jackson wound up playing for 12 NBA teams, finishing with the Lakers in 2006. F Jamal Mashburn, 4th overall, 1993, Kentucky: Mashburn played for the Mavs from 1993-97, and finished his career in 2004. He has career averages of 19.1 ppg and 5.4 rpg. Mashburn was first-team All-Rookie in the 1993-94 season and played in the 2003 All-Star Game. Averaged 19.2 ppg and 24.1 ppg in his first two seasons with the Mavs. G Jason Kidd, 2nd overall, 1994, California: Headed to the Hall of Fame when his career is over, the 40-year old Kidd has career averages of 12.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 8.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Kidd helped the Mavs win the 2011 NBA title. Kidd, a nine-time All-Star, currently plays for the Knicks in his 19th season. F Cherokee Parks, 12th overall, 1995, Duke: Parks only played the 1995-96 season with the Mavs when he averaged 3.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 13.6 minutes while playing 64 games. His best season was during the 1997-98 campaign when he averaged 7.1 ppg and 5.5 rpg with Minnesota. Averaged 4.4 ppg and 3.6 rpg in his career. F Samaki Walker, 9th overall, 1996, Louisville: Dallas passed up Kobe Bryant for Walker, who played for the Mavs from 1996-99. He won an NBA title with the LA Lakers in 2002 and won the Syrian League championship with Al Jalaa Aleppo in 2008. His best year occurred when he averaged 8.9 ppg and 7.4 rpg in the 1997-98 season. F Robert “Tractor” Traylor, 6th overall, 1998, Michigan: Drafted by Dallas, Traylor never played for the Mavs as his draft rights were immediately traded to Milwaukee for Dirk Nowitzki and Pat Garrity. Traylor’s NBA career ended with Cleveland in 2005. But he played overseas, finishing his career with Puerto Rico in ’11. He died of an apparent heart attack on May 11, 2011. F Etan Thomas, 12th overall, 2000, Syracuse: Thomas never played a game for the Mavs after missing his entire rookie season with a toe injury. Thomas was traded to Washington in 2001. Thomas had open heart surgery on Oct. 11, 2007, and retired after playing the 2010-11 season with Atlanta. He averaged 5.7 ppg and 4.8 rpg in his career. Lottery starting five The following is the Mavs’ all-time draft lottery team as selected by staff writer Dwain Price:
Pos.PlayerYear draftedLottery pickCollege
FJamal Mashburn19934thKentucky
FDetlef Schrempf19858thWashington
CRoy Tarpley19867thMichigan
GJim Jackson19924thOhio State
GJason Kidd19942ndCalifornia

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There’s no doubt in Kevin Johnson’s mind that a quality lottery pick can turn around the fortunes of an NBA franchise.

A three-time All-Star who is now the mayor of Sacramento, Johnson saw Shaquille O’Neal do it with Orlando when the 7- footer was the Magic’s lottery pick in 1992. He also saw Tim Duncan do it with San Antonio Spurs when he was the Spurs’ lottery pick in 1997, and LeBron James do it as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ lottery pick in 2003.

And, as Johnson acknowledged, there were many others.

That’s why Johnson believes it’s imperative that teams do their homework and be meticulous when drafting a player who not only could become the face of the franchise, but could also shape that team’s fortunes for many years to come.

“If you pick the right pick it can make it a big deal,” said Johnson, who was the seventh overall pick by the Cavs in the 1987 draft. “You cannot have a lottery pick like Golden State and get Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry and it doesn’t work out well.

“So it all depends on the pick you get.”

Elton Brand couldn’t agree more.

Brand was the No.1 overall pick of the Chicago Bulls in 1999 and has been around to see Duncan turn around the fortunes of the Spurs, and witness O’Neal and James do the same for the Magic and Cavs, respectively.

“We’ve had some special players [in the NBA lottery] over the years,” said Brand, now a free-agent center for the Dallas Mavericks. “You saw what Tim Duncan did in San Antonio, you saw what LeBron James did for the Cleveland franchise, and Derrick Rose [2008] in Chicago.

“Also, Kevin Durant [drafted No. 2 overall in 2007] changed that franchise around in Seattle [before they moved to Oklahoma City]. They didn’t win a lot, and then they got another lottery pick with [Russell] Westbrook, and then another lottery pick with James Harden, and they’re off to the races.”

The Mavericks are hoping to be off to the races with a quality lottery pick this year. But first they must determine when they’ll pick in this summer’s draft.

That process will unfold at 7 p.m. Tuesday when the NBA holds its draft lottery at the ABC Times Square Studios in New York City.

The Mavericks are in the draft lottery for the first time since 2000, and for the 12th time in franchise history. They are set to pick 13th in the draft, unless they get lucky and move up during Tuesday’s pingpong ball ceremony.

In the meantime, behind Duncan, the Spurs used the lottery system to win four NBA titles during a nine-year span from 1999-’07; O’Neal guided Orlando to the 1995 NBA Finals.

James led the Cavs to the 2007 NBA Finals before taking his talents to Miami. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City advanced to the 2012 NBA Finals behind Durant, Westbrook and Harden.

The highest lottery pick the Mavericks have had is point guard Jason Kidd, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 1994 draft behind Milwaukee’s Glenn Robinson.

With the NBA’s weighted lottery system, the Mavericks only have a 6 percent chance of securing the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. And even if they’re able to defeat the odds and obtain the No. 1 overall pick, does that necessarily mean the Mavericks will be able to draft an impact player who can help them before Dirk Nowitzki retires?

“It depends on who it is,” owner Mark Cuban said. “We’ll find out. It’s going to be an interesting draft and we’re working hard right now to evaluate all the talent.”

Several mock drafts have Kentucky forward/center Nerlens Noel (6-foot-11) slated to be the top pick in the June 27 draft. Noel declared for the draft after playing just one, abbreviated season with the Wildcats, who didn’t make the NCAA Tournament after Noel suffered a torn knee ligament in mid-February.

In other words, there are no dominant, superstar players such as O’Neal, Duncan, James or Durant in this year’s draft. And Brand knows why.

“You can get some game-changers, but guys can definitely benefit from playing more years of college ball,” Brand said. “If you’re getting out of high school and are one year removed from high school, for most guys your mom is still making your bed.”

With no immediate, clear-cut game-changer available, Brand believes this may be a season where patience is better exercised. In essence, this might be the year in which players in the lottery are a work in progress.

“I see some [past lottery players], had they developed in college a little bit, I think they would have started off their career a lot different,” Brand said. “In the pros the coaches will work with you, but you’re employed, you’re paid to go to work.

“It might not be right away, but in a few years you’ll see the real talent. And it can pay some dividends.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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