Mavericks have options in draft, but they can’t afford to miss

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The Dallas Mavericks will have several important decisions to make Thursday that will shape their immediate future when the NBA holds its annual draft at 6 p.m. from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Mavericks own the 13th selection of the first round of the draft, and top management is in constant talks about what it wants to do with the pick. Because the Mavericks — who also have the No. 44th pick — haven’t drafted any players lately who have had a strong impact in the NBA, some believe they might be better served by trading the pick.

Still, a slew of players made their way to American Airlines Center for pre-draft workouts, including Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams, German point guard Dennis Schroeder and Gonzaga center Kelly Olynyk. They are hoping to be around to help Dirk Nowitzki win a second NBA title before he retires.

Here are three things the Mavericks can do with the No. 13th pick:

1Keep the pick

There’s nothing wrong with keeping this pick, especially because it’s a lottery selection and normally a player who could be involved in the Mavericks’ rotation. But the coach, system and whether that team is on a NBA championship fast track, all could play a role in how many minutes that player is able to secure early in his career. The No. 13 picks over the past five years are Kendall Marshall, Markieff Morris, Ed Davis, Tyler Hansbrough and Brandon Rush.

2Trade the pick

The Mavericks are open about possibly trading at No. 13. That way they could use the extra funds to have more salary cap space to pursue soon-to-be Los Angeles Lakers free agent center Dwight Howard. The most the Mavericks can offer Howard is a four-year, $88 million contract, while he can fetch a five-year, $118 million deal only if he re-signs with the Lakers. The Lakers could help Howard leave town with a sign and trade deal, but why would they do that?

3Think foreign

If the Mavericks don’t want to have the No. 13 pick count against their salary cap this season, they should draft a foreign player and let him play a few years overseas until his game progresses. The best of the foreign players include German point guard Dennis Schroeder (6-2, 19 years old), Russian small forward Sergey Karasev (6-7, 19 years old), Brazilian center Lucas Nogueira (7-foot, 20 years old), Greece small forward Giannis Adetokunbo (6-9, 18 years old), and French center Rudy Gobert (7-2, 20 years old).

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