After leaving the turmoil that the Washington Wizards season became, landing with the Dallas Mavericks had to feel like Nirvana for Caron Butler and Brendan Haywood. Stable organization, playoff team, fans in love with the team, what more could you want?
Butler doesn’t want to leave. Can’t say I blame him. However, as they always do, the Mavericks are considering roster shakeups this summer and with just one year left on his deal Butler is a tradable asset.
So in his Hoopshype blog, Butler made his pitch.
We’ll have an interesting summer now. I would like to continue to play for a winning franchise like the Mavericks. I have no more years to waste on rebuilding or something like that. I look forward to being in a great situation and that’s what Dallas has been to me. The fans have been awesome. They welcomed me with open arms and I had a great time out there.
All that said, I’m aware that it’s all going to depend on what Dirk Nowitzki decides. You kind of feel what he wants is to stay a Maverick for life, but you can never know for sure. You just have to wait and see what happens during free agency. If you ask me, I would like this team to stay together. We’re not that far off. We could return next season with the exact same squad and compete for the title. We have the experience, leadership and everything else in place to make it happen.
Actually, you need another piece or two to get past the Lakers — and maybe others — in the West. Hence the trade talk. But Butler gets that; if anybody understands this is a business it’s him. The man was once traded for Kwame Brown. Reality doesn’t slap you in the face much more than that.
Wherever he lands, Butler will be a good, professional player. That is who he is.
DeAndre Ayton will go No. 1 to the Phoenix Suns Thursday night. Marvin Bagley III probably goes second to Sacramento (but that’s not a lock).
After that, things get wide open in the 2018 NBA Draft. Teams value different players at very different levels this year, and there are going to be a number of trades.
Which makes putting together a mock draft for this year more random than a roulette wheel. Not that it stopped me. Here is my final mock draft for the 14 lottery picks. I present it without much confidence, but I’m throwing it out there anyway.
The Hawks’ rebuild got going with big John Collins. Though they’re reportedly eying Luka Doncic with the No. 3 pick, they could easily draft another big – Jaren Jackson Jr., Mohamed Bamba, Marvin Bagley or Wendell Carter.
And then there’s veteran center Dewayne Dedmon.
He no longer fits in Atlanta (never did, really). But he’s not bypassing a chance to earn $6.3 million.
Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:
There just wasn’t going to be that much money for the 28-year-old Dedmon in a tight market this summer.
Dedmon is a good defender, and he developed his ball skills – as a 3-point shooter and passer – in Atlanta last season. The Hawks could look to trade him. Maybe, in a deal primarily about his expiring contract, he adds extra value to the other team due to his playing ability.
If Atlanta doesn’t move him, Dedmon will be a fine player on a likely tanking team. At least he’s not good enough to subvert the Hawks’ tank, especially with the new lottery format.
Nick Young will say and do nearly anything for attention.
Empowered by the Warriors’ championship, he swung for the fences when asked about Canada passing marijuana legalization.
Young, via TMZ:
“I want people to pass cocaine,” the NBA star told TMZ Sports outside 1 OAK on Tuesday night … “Everybody needs to do cocaine!”
Predictably, that caused a bit of an uproar. Then, Young backtracked:
Too late, Nick. People are already asking questions you don’t want asked.
The 76ers have too many 2018 draft picks – Nos. 10, 26, 38, 39, 56 and 60.
Philadelphia already has 11 players under contract for next season. Plus, the 76ers have the space to add premier players. There just isn’t room for everyone on the roster.
So, Philadelphia unloaded one of those selections.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:
This is good return for the 76ers, who everyone knew had to trade a draft pick. The rebuilding Bulls could easily land a higher second-round pick than No. 39 next year.
Why do the Lakers want an extra second-rounder this year? Second-round picks don’t count against the cap until signed, and they can always slightly sweeten a trade offer. They’re helpful for a team with big plans and little wiggle room.