Mavericks’ Trade for Star Big Man Fell Through Before Draft: Report

Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks drives past Clint Capela.

Getty Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks drives past Clint Capela.

The Dallas Mavericks made some moves at the NBA Draft last week. They used their No. 10 overall pick to trade away Dāvis Bertāns and his massive $17 million salary in exchange for the No. 12 overall pick. Dallas selected Duke big man Dereck Liveley at 12, and then proceeded to move for the Sacramento Kings‘ No. 24 overall selection — which they used to pick Marquette’s Olivier-Maxence Prosper — and center Richaun Holmes.

However, the night almost went completely different.

On Saturday, NBA Insider Marc Stein reported that the Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks had been discussing trades leading up to the NBA Draft, centered around their respective first-round selections. The talks broke down because Dallas didn’t want to include Josh Green in a trade for Clint Capela.

“League sources say that the Hawks and Mavericks continued to hold dialogue this week on a potential trade featuring their first-round picks (No. 15 and No. 10, respectively) but the talks perished for good during the last 24 hours before the draft,” Stein revealed. “Sources say that Hawks, who tried in vain to trade No. 15 and John Collins to Dallas for No. 10 and Dāvis Bertāns, told the Mavericks they would surrender Capela only if the Mavericks added swingman Josh Green to the trade. The Mavericks, sources say, rejected that idea like they did all proposals involving Collins.”

Dallas not wanting to include Green in a deal makes sense. The 22-year-old wing put together a solid season in his third year. He averaged 9.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 60 appearances for the Mavs. Green was efficient in his scoring as well, knocking down 53.7% of his attempts from the field and 40.2% of those from beyond the arc.

With the new CBA set to kick in next summer, keeping a solid player who is on a rookie deal is a smart move. By relying on Green, who has proven he can fill minutes for the Mavericks, the front office is able to spend money elsewhere without climbing past the dreaded second-apron, which severely punishes teams who overspend.

Mavericks’ Interest in Clint Capela was Known

Stein’s report of the two sides discussing a swap shouldn’t come as a surprise. Dallas’ interest in the Swiss big man was reported earlier in the week by Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.

“In Atlanta, the Hawks will continue to explore trade scenarios for Collins. That has so far included preliminary talks with Dallas about swapping Collins and the No. 15 pick in the draft with the Mavericks for the No. 10 pick and Dāvis Bertāns,” Fischer wrote. “Those talks did not develop very far, sources said, and Dallas indicated it would be more willing to consider that deal if Hawks center Clint Capela was the returning player from Atlanta.”

Dereck Lively Excited to Join Mavericks

Instead of Capela, the Mavs wound up bringing in Lively through the draft to fill the void at center.

The former Duke star spoke with Heavy Sports’ Sean Deveney and discussed joining Dallas’ roster. He explained that he hopes to be able to bring a “floor spacer’s mentality” to the position.

“That’s definitely something that’s going to be able to grow,” Lively told Deveney. “It’s something I’ve always had. Just because I wasn’t able to excel at it or show it as much as I wanted to, that doesn’t mean I never had it. I’m just excited to hit the ground running and show everybody what I can do.”

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