Mavs Swap Picks To Get Blazers' Rudy

The Mavs executed what GM Donnie Nelson calls "our A scenario'' by swapping both of their picks in Thursday's NBA Draft to Portland for rotation-level player Rudy Fernandez and Euro-stash point guard Petteri Kopenen. And joining Donnie in his glee is Rudy himself. Fernandez tweeted. 'So happy to be in the best team in the NBA,' Rudy says. 'Dallas!'

"Thanks all Blazers fans for your support this three years,'' Fernandez tweeted. "So happy to be in the best team in the NBA!! Dallas!!''

The trade, which means the Dallas Mavericks give up the No. 26 and No. 57 overall picks in the draft, provides Dallas with "a chance to have our cake and eat it, too,'' Nelson said.

Nelson is referring specifically to the acquisition of Fernandez, the 6-6 shooting guard who is 26 but has three years of NBA experience.

The deal is actually a three-team swap that also involves Denver giving up Raymond Felton to get Portland's Andre Miller. Technically, the Mavs gave the picks to Denver to move to Portland.

Fernandez, from Spain, has shown terrific athleticism at points in his career. He averages 9.1 points per game and was labeled by Nelson as a "potential'' starter.

That seems unlikely given Dallas' wish to retain free agent Caron Butler and the return to health of premium prospect Roddy Beaubois, both of whom can play the 2-guard. Fernandez' acquisition would seem to serve as insurance should the Mavs lose DeShawn Stevenson and Peja Stojakovic (and maybe J.J. Barea) from their world championship roster.

"The balance,'' said Nelson, is that the Mavs pass on a draftee who "is a young one versus one that's been around the league for a few years and can help us win right away.

The specific draftee Dallas moved in the swap is Jordan Hamilton of Texas.

Nelson said the 57th pick will be made by Dallas for Portland and that the deal is essentially finalized. The pickup in exchange for that pick is the 6-4 Koponen from Finland who was selected by Portland in 2007 and has starred in Italy while waiting his big-league turn.

Fernandez has experienced some dubious moments in Portland, more than once publicly announcing his desire to break his contract (he has one guaranteed year left on his deal at $2.18 million (and then a $3.2 mil qualifying-offer deal for 2012-1387,807).

The move once again frames Dallas as a team in a win-now mindset.

"We're in a championship-push mode,'' Nelson said, just weeks after using "championship-push mode'' to win one.

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