Calathes a Maverick - potentially

It took longer than anticipated, but Nick Calathes eventually was selected during the NBA draft. The Minnesota Timberwolves, one of the teams that had been considered a possibility to chose Calathes late in round one, instead made him the 45th pick overall and number No. 15 in the second round.

They then dealt his rights to the Dallas Mavericks, another team which he had been linked to prior to the draft, for the 56th draft pick and cash.

Minnesota made four first round choices and selected point guards with three of them. They dealt one of those, North Carolina's Ty Lawson, away immediately to Denver but many NBA observers wonder if they'll trade either fifth pick Ricky Rubio or sixth pick Jonny Flynn as well at some point. David Kahn, general manager of the Timberwolves, stated after the draft that they intend to keep both and play them together. Regardless, they had no need for Calathes but were able to work a deal with Dallas to send his rights to them. The Mavericks can follow his career in Europe to see if they'll eventually want to sign him.

Most speculation leading up to the draft had Calathes going late in the first round, primarily because he would not require a guaranteed contract. The Los Angeles Lakers, one of the teams believed to have been strongly interested in him should they have kept their choice, opted to sell their pick to the New York Knicks instead. Dallas and Cleveland opted to pick foreign players who would likewise not get a guaranteed deal.

Once Calathes wasn't selected by the Cavaliers at pick 30, he lost the advantage which had been anticipated to move him into the first round since no one after that is assured of even being offered a deal. Since they knew he was unavailable, teams with early picks in the round who were still looking for immediate help had no incentive to select him. Calathes will spend at least one season playing for Panathinaikos in Athens, Greece and should make considerably more than he would have by going through the draft process without having signed a deal previously.

Most of the SEC players who had been evaluated by the NBA opted to return to school, and the league clearly didn't think much of this year's senior class. No players from the conference were selected before Jodie Meeks was chosen by Milwaukee with the eleventh choice in round two. LSU's Marcus Thornton went to Miami two picks later, and no other players besides Calathes were drafted.

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