With an exciting NBA Finals in the books, teams are now turning their attention to the upcoming off season. The first event taking place will be Thursday night's NBA Draft.
The draft is important to both the Thunder and the Mavericks, albeit for different reasons. The Mavericks missed the playoffs this year for the first time in over a decade, while the Thunder flamed out in the second round with Russell Westbrook stuck on the bench.
The recent scuttlebutt has the Thunder possibly trying to trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the number one pick in the draft, to potentially take anyone from Nerlens Noel, to Ben McLemore to Alex Len. It's being reported that the Cavaliers are hoping to get an established young player, such a Serge Ibaka. In my opinion, it would be an ill advised move, as this draft is low on talent. But the Thunder could benefit from adding a shooter such as McLemore or Indiana's Victor Oladipo. The Thunder possess the number 12, number 29 and number 32 picks in the first round, and it would make a lot of sense for them to try to package those for a higher pick, if not the number one pick. It remains to be seen whether or not a team around them in the draft is looking for such a deal.
The Dallas Mavericks meanwhile have a low lottery pick, number 13, and have been rumored to be taking a player they can stash in Europe, or trading out of the spot entirely. The European route has worked before (Dirk Nowitzki), but has also flamed out (Rodrique Boubois, so far). In my opinion, the best route would be to see if the Mavs can in fact find a good player out of Europe, see if they can develop him some more, and then add him to a hopefully stacked roster after this summer's free agency period.
Regardless of what both squads do, this draft is going be crucial to both teams success in the coming years.