Shakeup at top of NBA Draft may give Mavs more options at No. 9

DALLAS — Concluding their final evaluations this week prior to Thursday night’s NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks may now find themselves with more options to select from with the ninth overall pick after a shakeup at the top of the board.

Monday, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that they had acquired the first overall pick in this year’s draft from the Boston Celtics. In exchange, the 76ers sent back the third pick in the draft and a future first-round pick to Boston, shaking up the order of the top-three selections. It’s unclear what that trade now means for the Mavericks and the No. 9 pick. However, with two teams already  exchanging picks in the first round, the Mavs figure to have more options to choose from when Thursday’s draft gets underway.

“I’ve already looked at the top 15 prospects, and it’s a great draft,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said following the conclusion of the 2016-17 season. “There’s great opportunity there. I don’t know which player, obviously, at this point we’re going to draft, but we’re going to get a good player. I’m really excited about it.

“If you look at our roster, we do have certain needs,” the coach added. “But at the same time, if there is that player out there that can really be a star, there’s an awful lot of merit in just taking him and figuring it out from there. So, between now and late June we’ll collect a lot of information. We’ll interview guys, we’ll have workouts, we’ll figure out as much as we need to figure out and make the decision.”

Widely rumored to be interested in 18-year-old French lead guard Frank Ntilikina, the Mavericks may now have the opportunity to draft a player higher on their board after the trade between Philadelphia and Boston. The Mavs may also see Ntilikina taken prior to their selection at No. 9 should another team fall in love with his upside. Along those lines, SI.com and NBA.com both have the Mavs looking in another direction in their latest mock drafts, sending North Carolina State freshman standout Dennis Smith Jr. to Dallas to add to the team’s backcourt depth.

The 6-foot-3, do-it-all Smith averaged 18.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.2 assists during his freshman campaign, clocking 34.8 minutes an outing. He also connected on 45.5 percent from the field and 35.9 percent from three-point range, bouncing back from a knee injury that cost him his senior year of high school and showcasing an uncanny ability to score while operating predominantly with the ball in his hands. Smith could now provide a boost to a Dallas offense that ranked 30th in scoring (97.9 ppg), 27th in assists (20.8 apg) and 23rd with an offensive rating of 103.7. He could also take some of the offensive burden off the broad shoulders of leading scorer Harrison Barnes and 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.

While those sites have the Mavericks drafting an explosive combo guard, BasketballInsiders.com sees Dallas looking for an understudy to learn from Nowitzki during his 20th NBA season.

Patenting his game in the mold of Nowitzki, Arizona freshman 7-footer Lauri Markkanen is said to be one of the best stretch big men in this year’s draft class. The 20-year-old averaged 15.6 points and 7.2 rebounds in 37 games, earning All-Pac 12 First Team honors while leading Arizona to the Sweet 16. The 225-pounder and Finland native also connected on 42.3 percent from three-point range this season, earning comparisons to Nowitzki for his ability to stretch the floor. And after meeting with Markkanen briefly following the Mavericks’ 124-111 loss in Phoenix on April 9, Nowitzki praised the budding star’s upside entering the draft.

“I met him when we played Phoenix a couple of weeks right at the end of the season actually, and he’s a good kid,” Nowitzki said of Markkanen while making an appearance at Mavs Basketball Academy hoop camp earlier this month. “He’s got a nice stroke for a big guy, can move, and I think he’s got a future in this league. But I just don’t know if that’s the route we’re going to take with a big guy. … A lot of things can still happen till then. I know they started draft workouts already at our place here the last couple of days, but I have no idea what it’s going to be at the end.”

Game 57: Mavs at Timberwolves

Seth goes for a career-high 31 against Timberwolves

Watch all of Seth's 31 career-high points scored against the Timberwolves Friday night.

Mavs make splash with series of moves to acquire Nerlens Noel at trade deadline

DALLAS — Although a day of wheeling and dealing at Thursday’s NBA trade deadline led to plenty of roster movement, the Dallas Mavericks feel like they set themselves up to compete now and for seasons to come by adding a young and athletic big man.

Thursday, the Mavericks (22-34) announced that they had officially waived The Colony native and three-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams, clearing up a roster spot and more playing time for the team’s young guards. Dallas also acquired 22-year-old Nerlens Noel from the Philadelphia 76ers, sending away veteran center Andrew Bogut, second-year pro Justin Anderson and a protected first-round draft pick in exchange. The Mavs now hope to work Noel into the fold quickly, looking to claw their way into playoff contention in the process. And with another contributor to add to their emerging young core now on the roster, the Mavericks believe they picked up a building block for the future.

“It was great having Deron and his family back home in Dallas for the better part of two seasons,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said in a statement after the team waived Williams. “At this time the decision has been made to focus on playing our young guys, and the organization felt that giving Deron the freedom to choose his next team was the right thing to do. Deron still plays at a high level, and I believe he will be a difference-maker for a contending team down the stretch of this season. We wish him and his family the very best.

“In Justin Anderson, Philadelphia has acquired a high-class person and multiple-position player who has made great strides over his first two years. We thank Justin for his hard work and commitment to the Dallas Mavericks’ culture, and wish him the best. Nerlens Noel gives us something we desperately need — a young big who is a high-level rim protector and lob threat and has a high basketball IQ. We look forward to getting him to Dallas and integrated with our team as soon as possible.”

On the season, the 6-foot-11 Noel is averaging 8.9 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and .9 blocks a game, clocking 19.4 minutes an outing in a mostly reserve role during his 29 appearances. The former Kentucky standout and No. 6 overall pick of New Orleans during the 2013 draft is also shooting a career-high 61.1 percent from the field, giving the Mavericks an above-the-rim option in the interior.

Noel has averaged 10.2 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.6 blocks for his young career, starting 140 of 171 total games. He’ll now join a Dallas frontline that already features 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, adding depth to the center position after the migration of Bogut. And although Nowitzki admits that he had mixed emotions when he first learned of the trade after losing two teammates, the 7-footer looks forward to integrating an athletic big man that can help the Mavs win immediately.

“Well, he’s an athletic big,” Nowitzki said while praising the acquisition of Noel. “He’s young, and he’s  got a lot of potential. You know, he’s a rim protector, he’s long and he can finish around the rim. I think that’s what they were looking for. You obviously always hate to see teammates go. I love Bogut, and I love Justin. [Anderson] is a hard-working kid with a bright future. But in a deal, that’s just how it works. You have to give something to get something, so I wish those guys the best of luck. They gave everything they had here, and we’ll move forward.

“You know, we’re obviously trying to compete,” Nowitzki added. “No matter who wears this jersey, we’re going to go out there and try to win these games. We don’t play to lose. I think no competitor plays to lose, so whoever is out there and whoever is healthy is going to go out there and battle it out to see where we end up towards the end.”

Note: The Mavericks will now begin play after the All-Star break on Friday night in Minnesota, taking on the Timberwolves. The season series is tied at 1-1. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270.

The Mavs return to their home floor on Saturday, hosting the New Orleans Pelicans. The season series is tied at 1-1. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

J.J. Barea (left calf strain) — out

Mavs see new center Andrew Bogut having an immediate impact inside this season

Bedgear Training Camp Practice Report: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki dishes on the Rangers, playing alongside Andrew Bogut, when he expects to play in the preseason and much more.

DALLAS — Although he’s yet to step onto the court for the Dallas Mavericks in game action, newly-acquired center Andrew Bogut has already made a good first impression in the locker room.

Still waiting to make his preseason debut for the Mavericks (1-1) after joining the team via a trade with Golden State this summer, Bogut has quickly impressed coach Rick Carlisle and 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki during training camp and practice, which is presented by Bedgear. The 7-footer has also made a seamless transition into the starting lineup, according to Carlisle, while stepping into the vacated spot at center left open by the free-agent departure of Zaza Pachulia. And while ranking Bogut amongst some of the game’s all-time great big men, Carlisle expects to see the former No. 1 overall draft pick rekindle his elite form this season.

“Very seamless,” Carlisle said while addressing Bogut’s integration into the lineup. “He’s an extremely knowledgable player with a great feel for the game, and as we put things in he always picks up on the nuances right away. You know, the reads, the counters, the things to take advantage of when the defense cheats, and he really is a brilliant player from the standpoint of his basketball intellect and feel for the game at that position.

“Zaza had a lot of the same qualities. You know, I was an assistant coach with (Arvydas) Sabonis back in the ’90s, and he’s one of the best ever. I really think Bogut is one of the best ever in that same kind of elk of playmaking big men. I played with (Bill) Walton, and look, Pachulia was very, very good. He had a very good all-around game, too, so we’ve been fortunate. We’ve had a lot of good players come through here, and I’ve been fortunate in my career to work with a lot of guys that really are some of the very best.”

Traded from Golden State to Dallas on July 7 along with a future second-round pick in exchange for a future conditional second-round pick, the 31-year-old Bogut will certainly be motivated during the upcoming season. Bogut played in 70 games last season, averaging a career-low 5.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in just 20.7 minutes an outing. He also helped the Warriors sprint to an NBA-record 73 wins and a second straight trip to the Finals before suffering a left knee injury in Game 5 of that series as Cleveland claimed the title in seven games. But after joining forces with two-time MVP Stephen Curry to make back-to-back trips to the Finals, the veteran center now comes to Dallas with a chip on his shoulder.

Bogut holds career averages of 10.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks in 644 games during his previous stints with Milwaukee and Golden State. He also showed no lingering signs of the injury that he suffered during the Finals while competing with the Australian national team in the Rio Olympic Games this summer, averaging 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in seven games to lead his home country to a fourth-place finish. With that said, Bogut could have an immediate impact simply by equaling Pachulia’s effectiveness in the middle of the Mavs’ lineup.

Bedgear Training Camp Practice Report: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle weighs in on Andrew Bogut's passing ability, Jonathan Gibson's performance in camp and more.

Pachulia averaged 8.6 points and 9.4 boards a game last season, recording a career-high 26 double-doubles to boot. Vice versa, Bogut averaged a double-double in three consecutive seasons with the Bucks from 2008-11 and posted a career-high 15.9 points to go along with 10.2 rebounds per game during the ’09-10 schedule. Playing alongside Pachulia last season, Nowitzki saw plenty of personal success while becoming the oldest player to lead his respective team in scoring with 18.3 points per game. Nowitzki now hopes to see more success personally and as a team alongside Bogut, looking to lead the Mavericks out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time since capturing the championship in 2011. And with Bogut’s aforementioned all-around ability on display so far in training camp, the twin towers look to form one of the league’s most potent front lines.

“I mean, he’s got to be one of the top passers at the big-man spot that this league has,” Nowitzki said while praising Bogut’s abilities. “He’s smart, he’s patient with it, and he fits it in between defenders. It’s fun to play with him, and that’s a guy who wants to share the ball and wants to make his teammates better on both ends of the floor. And he’s been fun to play with, so hopefully we’re better with him as a group. But I really like what he brings on both ends. I mean, like I said, he’s a great and really smart defender, a rim protector, and on offense he can share the ball. He sets unbelievable screens. I mean, playing with him for the last two weeks, it’s no wonder Steph was always open. I mean, he’s so smart that he just picks the right angles and the right spots to set guys great screens, so he’s one of the smartest players I’ve ever played with.”

Note: The Mavericks will travel to Madison, Wis., to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday night in the third preseason test. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on 103.3 FM ESPN.

The Mavs return home to host the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Center next Tuesday night. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Andrew Bogut (rest) — out

Devin Harris (left great toe surgery) — out

Salah Mejri (right knee surgery) — out

Dirk Nowitzki (rest) — out

Deron Williams (sports hernia surgery) — out

Dirk Nowitzki looks forward to teaming with new Mavs center Andrew Bogut during ’16-17 season

DALLAS — After competing against each other throughout their NBA careers, 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and new Dallas Mavericks center Andrew Bogut figure to make a lethal combination inside together this upcoming season.

Traded from Golden State to Dallas on July 7 along with a future second-round pick in exchange for a future conditional second-round pick, the 31-year-old Bogut will certainly be motivated during the 2016-17 campaign. The 11-year veteran and former Utah standout will also try to lift the Mavericks back to prominence in the Western Conference after helping to lead Golden State to the 2015 title, joining forces with fellow ex-Warrior Harrison Barnes in Dallas following the free-agent migration of Kevin Durant to Oakland from Oklahoma City. And according to Nowitzki, Bogut will immediately help the Mavs compete in the West while sliding into the starting center spot.

“It started slow there on the first couple days in July. All the free agents kind of went quickly. Sometimes you get a little fortunate, and I think with KD going to the Warriors it played in our favor a little bit,” Nowitzki said last week when recapping the Mavs’ moves in free agency. “They had to get rid of Barnes and they couldn’t keep Bogut at that amount of money, so we were able to get those two guys. They’re champions, they’re great players and they’re a part of a championship team, so they know how to play and they know how to win.”

While Barnes is expected to assume a larger role after signing a reported four-year deal worth $94 million, Bogut will also have a chance to fully display his skills at both ends of the floor.

Bogut holds career averages of 10.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks in 644 games, making 630 starts during his stints with Milwaukee and Golden State. He also garnered All-NBA Third Team honors with the Bucks during the ’09-10 season, earning a spot on the NBA All-Defensive Second Team with the Warriors on their way to the title in 2015. The former No. 1 overall pick of Milwaukee in the 2005 draft was the first Australian ever taken with the top selection as well, averaging a double-double in three consecutive seasons with the Bucks from 2008-11 and posting a career-high 15.9 points to go along with 10.2 rebounds per game during the ’09-10 schedule. But after seeing a dip in his production last season with the Warriors, Bogut will try to build on an impressive run with the Australian national team in the Rio Olympic Games this summer.

Last season, Bogut played in 70 games for the Warriors but averaged a career-low 5.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in just 20.7 minutes an outing. That said, he proved to still be an above-average rim protector in reduced time while equaling his career average with 1.6 blocks per game as the Warriors sprinted to an NBA-record 73 wins and a second straight trip to the Finals. Bogut then suffered a left knee injury in Game 5 of the Finals, forcing him out of the remainder of the series as the Warriors eventually fell to Cleveland in seven games. But after seeing Bogut show no lingering signs of the injury during the Olympics while averaging 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists in seven games to lead Australia to a fourth-place finish, Nowitzki says the fellow 7-footer is sure to have a big season in Big D.

“I think Bogut will be a great player for us,” Nowitzki proclaimed while looking forward to teaming with the big man on the Mavs’ front line. “He’s a smart player. He can defend, obviously, and defend the rim. He’s a great passer, and probably one of the best passing big men there is in this league, so it should be fun playing with him.”

Mavs’ trade for veteran Andrew Bogut adds ‘legitimate’ starting center, Rick Carlisle says

DALLAS — Although the summer signing of 24-year-old budding star Harrison Barnes received most of the offseason headlines for the Dallas Mavericks, it was the acquisition of another member of the Golden State Warriors’ 2015 championship squad that figures to have a big impact this upcoming season.

Working out a trade with Golden State for the services of center Andrew Bogut on July 7, the Mavericks also received a future second-round pick in exchange for a future conditional second-round pick. The 31-year-old Bogut is an 11-year veteran with plenty of big-game experience, averaging 10.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 blocks in 644 total outings for his career during stints with Milwaukee and Golden State. The 7-footer and former No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft is now expected to have a major impact on the Dallas defense, which ranked 16th in the league last season with a 104.3 defensive rating. And according to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, the acquisition of Bogut gives the team a solidified force in the middle of the lineup.

“You know, it gives us not only a legitimate starting center, but it gives us one of the best centers in the game,” Carlisle said while addressing the trade for Bogut during a recent interview with NBA TV.

He added: “I’m looking forward to getting to know Andrew. He’s overseas in Australia with their national team. And you know, it will be a lot happening quick.”

Earning All-NBA Third Team honors with the Bucks during the ’09-10 season, Bogut continued to add to his extensive resume when he also was named to the All-Defensive Second Team with the Warriors as they made their championship run during the ’14-15 campaign. Bogut also averaged a double-double during three consecutive seasons with the Bucks from ’08-11, showcasing his offensive versatility and rebounding prowess. He’ll now be asked to step into a role that was manned primarily by fellow veteran Zaza Pachulia in Dallas’ starting lineup last season.

Playing in 70 games for the Warriors during the ’15-16 schedule, Bogut averaged a career-low 5.4 points and 7.0 rebounds while clocking just 20.7 minutes an outing. Vice versa, Pachulia averaged 8.6 points and 9.4 boards a game, recording a career-high 26 double-doubles to boot. But it’s the defensive impact that Bogut figures to have that has the Mavs most excited as he steps into a starting role.

Last season, Bogut proved that he’s still an above-average rim protector while equaling his career average by registering 1.6 blocks per game. Compare that to Pachulia’s .3 blocks an outing, and the Mavs certainly expect an upgrade to their interior defense. Bogut also held a 97.2 personal defensive rating and 111.4 offensive rating when he was on the floor last season, finishing the year with a 14.2 net rating that was ranked 14th in the entire league. All of which should now benefit the Mavericks as Bogut joins a front line that already features 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.

Mavs’ offseason moves set team up for another playoff run, Rick Carlisle says

DALLAS — With the announcement that they had officially re-signed 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki earlier this week, the Dallas Mavericks brought to a close a summer of moving and shaking that figures to make them once again a team to watch in the Western Conference during the upcoming season.

Wednesday, the Mavericks announced that they had re-signed Nowitzki after the 38-year-old led the team in scoring last season while averaging 18.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in 75 games. Nowitzki also became just the sixth player in NBA history to register 29,000 career points, passing Shaquille O’Neal (28,596) for sixth place on the league’s all-time scoring list. And with Nowitzki reportedly inking a two-year deal worth $50 million, the Mavs once again expect to be in playoff contention after a series of summer moves that included a trade for veteran center Andrew Bogut, the free-agent signing of 24-year-old forward Harrison Barnes and the signing of big man Dwight Powell.

“The big things for us were getting Barnes signed, getting Dwight Powell re-signed, obviously getting Dirk back is big, and then the trade for Bogut. You know, it gives us not only a legitimate starting center but it gives us one of the best centers in the game,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said in a recent interview with NBA TV.

Locking up Barnes with a reported four-year deal worth $94 million on July 9, the Mavericks will now integrate a key member of the Golden State Warriors’ 2015 championship team. The same could be said for the acquisition of Bogut, 31, who is expected to fortify the Dallas front line. Meanwhile, the Mavs continued their goal of fostering young talent with the signing of Powell, who showed glimpses of stardom during his second season.

The 25-year-old Powell holds career averages of 5.0 points and 3.3 rebounds in 98 games during stints with Boston and Dallas. He averaged 5.8 points and 4.0 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game last season, making 69 appearances and two starts. And after signing a reported four-year deal worth $37 million, Powell could be featured in a bigger role next season.

The Mavericks didn’t stop there, though, re-signing three-time All-Star point guard Deron Williams. They also signed guard Seth Curry, Argentinian swingman Nicolas Brussino, big man Quincy Acy, second-round pick A.J. Hammons, forward Dorian Finney-Smith, summer-league standout Jonathan Gibson, free-agent guards Kyle Collinsworth and Keith Hornsby and forward Jameel Warney to help round out the roster. But it’s the acquisitions of Barnes — who averaged a career-high 11.7 points and 4.9 rebounds last season — and Bogut — a former All-Defensive Second Team selection — that may have Carlisle most excited for the upcoming season. Seeing the duo help lead Golden State to the title two seasons ago before falling in the NBA Finals to Cleveland following a 73-win campaign last year, Carlisle is now eager to know how much better the two can make a Dallas team that finished with the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

“They’ve obviously established a wonderful culture there,” Carlisle said while praising the Golden State organization. “And the last five days I spent with Harrison, I got to know him. He’s a terrific kid. I’m looking forward to getting to know Andrew. He’s overseas in Australia with their national team. And you know, it will be a lot happening quick.

“You know, there’s a lot going on. We’ve had a lot of turnover, but I always take it as a challenge and try to be one of these guys who can adapt to our personnel, and we try to do our best. But we’re really thrilled to get Harrison Barnes as a free agent and Andrew Bogut on a trade. All the (Kevin) Durant things led to those two pieces coming our way, and it’s exciting because it’s great to add two championship-starting players from a team in the last two years. And we know they’re going to help us.”