With the 37th overall pick of Thursday’s NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks chose Deividas Sirvydis, a 6-8, 190-pound shooting guard from Lithuania.
However, it was widely reported that later in the draft they traded the draft rights to Sirvydis to the Detroit Pistons for the draft rights to the 45th selection and two future second-round picks. That 45th pick turned out to be Nebraska’s Isaiah Roby, a 6-8, 230-pounder who averaged 11.8 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game this past season for the Cornhuskers.
Roby also made a massive impression at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago in May.
But since Nelson said the trade for Roby won’t be officially announced by the NBA until sometimes next week, the Mavs are forbidden by league rules, from mentioning him by name.
That’s why Donnie Nelson, the Mavs’ general manager and president of basketball operations, started his post-draft press conference by saying: “According to my sources the Mavericks made a trade. I can’t comment on any of the players. Thanks for coming. Have a great night everybody.”
Nelson, of course, was joking. But without mentioning Roby by name, he said: “We’re happy, we’re elated, it was a really good night for us. You guys are going to have to connect the dots.”
The future second-round picks are believed to be in 2020 and 2021.
A glue-type player along the lines of Jae Crowder, Roby is known as a stout defender who can guard multiple positions on the perimeter. He also has a 7-3 wingspan, and his vertical explosion and length makes him a prime-time shot blocker.
As far as trading down eight spots and landing Roby, apparently it didn’t affect who the Mavs eventually wound up with.
“Let’s just say we got the same exact thing that we were looking for — plus, plus,” Nelson said, referring to the pair of second-round choices. “We feel really good about what happened up there tonight and we’re excited.”
At times, Nelson said he was tempted to move into the first-round of the draft. But ultimately the Mavs decided to move down in the draft – and they still got the player they wanted.
“There were some contingencies — some guys we were tracking didn’t really pan out,” Nelson said. “But again, to get the same player you were targeting a little bit later on in the second (round), plus pick up a couple of important assets was good. It was a good night.”
Asked how surprised he was that the player the Mavs widely reportedly traded for was still on the board with the 45th selection, Nelson said: “We were surprised. But there were a lot of surprises. There’s some guys that middle-to-late first-round picks that were taken in that same area.
“It wasn’t shocking. There were just enough kind of surprise picks in the 30s that things kind of dropped a little bit and it ended up really working well for us tonight.”