Mavs Video Visit With Donnie: Draft & Deron
Yes, Dallas Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson held his annual pre-draft press conference today outside the team locker room with the full intention of trying to say nothing.
He was only mildly successful.
While fielding questions about the upcoming draft, free agency, and vital footwear inquiries, Nelson kinda left the media with new information ... without actually really giving any new information. We call that ‘DonnieSpeak' around here, as every GM around the league is armed with the same tactic.
Still, a few thoughts and quotes stuck out to us. We try to decipher them here. ... and invite you to watch the Video Visit yourself and see what you pick up on:
Maturity: When one media member mentioned to Donnie how the Mavericks "haven't been this high in a while" while referring to draft position, 90 percent of the media giggled like children. All present DallasBasketball.com members included.
D-Will: On another slightly less important note (kidding) Donnie did touch on the current Deron Williams situation.
"Our priority is, when free agency hits, to get the most high-impact player that we can," Nelson said. "We've got a really good supporting cast. You've got Dirk playing at a high level and will for the next three years. You've got Shawn Marion, guards, 1s, 2s and 3s, and if we get the right quarterback I think we're right back in the saddle."
That right QB is Deron (though Steve Nash and others qualify, too, to a lesser degree). Just before Donnie did his thing at the AAC, his competitor, Brooklyn GM Billy King, was conducting a similar presser ... and Deron happened to duck his head into that session.
Jet working out at the AAC is as close as the Mavs can come to something similar. ... for now.
The Mavs would like a quick answer from Deron so they can move on with a skillion other moves (including with people like Jet.)
But, Donnie said, "We'll wait -- for the right answer -- as long as we have to. ... We're in position. That's all you can ask. We're hopeful.''
Donnie also summarized his pitch to Deron and other FA's:
"They understand that we got a guy like Dirk Nowitzki and all the other veteran players that have come through here and have had terrific experiences, winning experiences, Finals experiences, championship experiences,'' he said. "And the quality of life. I would think that we would rank high on a lot of free-agent lists. The tax-free (state), the warm weather ...
"Ain't no place like Texas.''
Lamar Odom: In a twist that those who fail to understand what we've been saying about the LOAF situation, Nelson had some kind words for the likely departing forward Lamar Odom. Despite his tumultuous time in Dallas last season, Nelson discussed how they are attempting to move Odom in a trade by "working with Jeff Schwartz, his agent, to get him to a situation he's comfortable playing with."
Nelson also added, "This I can tell you, he will have a monster year next year."
While we don't want to completely dismiss the gentlemanly demeanor Donnie showed with this quote about the soon-to-be former Maverick, that nod was almost certainly directed toward Schwartz, who also happens to represent Deron Williams.
Hometown Help: During their home game in Arlington last night, the Texas Rangers did their part to recruit Williams back to Texas by displaying "Happy Birthday Deron Williams - Be a Maverick!" on the score board. Donnie made sure to express his appreciation for the gesture.
"That was a very nice touch by our friends up the street," Nelson noted
On other free agents: After our camera was off, Donnie was asked about Steve Nash. He can't answer that specifically, but ... he did talk about "Dirk-like guys'' and "people of character.''
People like Nash.
The Draft: Donnie talked about the "two points guards'' that will be available at No. 17, and the wealth of centers ... but insisted the tea will go BAA.
"We like the area a lot," Nelson said. "I don't think that we're going to come out of this draft with an impact starter next year, but we absolutely will come out of this draft with a player that can be a rotation player for us. ... We're looking at best player (as opposed to position).''
Nelson the Mavs have some deals in place to move up, contingent on who falls to where.
I'm not sitting here and telling you that if the right deal doesn't crop up that we wouldn't look at it hard and maybe even squeeze the trigger,'' he said. "But we like the grouping of players that's gonna be at 17."
The Mavs feel 12-17 offer players of similar talent level. Therefore, a move-up might mean getting above that No. 12 spot.
Final Note: When pressed about his current gut feeling on the upcoming free agency period, Donnie (surely aware of the CBS report claiming the Mavs "fear'' not getting Deron) kept it lighthearted and laughable.
"I'm shaking in my Lucchese's," Nelson said, referring to his fancy cowboy boots. The media laughed, Donnie said some clichés, and we moved on.
Saying something while saying nothing.
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