Ford: Mavericks A Potential Trade Partner?
In his newest mock draft, ESPN.com's Chad Ford has the Trail Blazers selecting Lehigh guard C.J. McCollum, but also notes that Portland selecting Croatian small forward Dario Saric
is a "strong possibility."
And according to Ford, even if the Trail Blazers don't draft Saric, that doesn't necessarily mean that the team won't try to acquire the 19-year old international via trade ...
As we reported on the night of the draft lottery, the Mavs are likely to trade this pick at some point in an effort to clear more cap space for a run at Dwight Howard/Chris Paul.
Given NBA rules, Dallas technically can't trade the pick until after the draft, but it can reach a deal in principle before it. Sources say the Mavs have been making calls gauging interest. However, the other option is taking Saric. Dallas can get him off the cap with an agreement from Saric that he won't come to the NBA this season. The Mavs actually love Saric, so it might work for both parties. And even if they trade the pick, Saric appears to be a hot name right now. The Pelicans, Blazers, and Sixers all have significant interest in him as well and might be great trade partners.
To be honest, I know very little about Saric, but his positives/negatives
sure sound a lot like Victor Claver's. Saric's averages in his fifth season
with Cibona Zagreb (7.7 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists while shooting just 40 percent from the field, 30 percent from 3 and 50 percent from the free throw line) are not impressive, but that's not all that uncommon for young players in Europe. And he did finish the 2012 Hoop Summit
with 13 points, 14 rebounds and five assists in the (he also played in the 2011 Hoop Summit).
Even if you're not a huge Saric fan, if the Mavs are looking at trades solely to clear cap space, it's possible you get a great deal on a young talent.