The Portland Trail Blazers and Dallas Mavericks are connected for a few reasons these days. One, Portland’s head coach, Terry Stotts, was an assistant with the Finals-winning 2011 Mavs. Also, Wesley Matthews left Portland for Dallas in the 2016 offseason. And now, Portland’s record impacts where the Mavs select this summer in the second round.
Dallas acquired a second-round pick from Denver at the trade deadline — specifically, the less-favorable pick of the 44-28 Blazers or the 24-49 Sacramento Kings. The Blazers were only 29-25 at the time, and the pick looked like a mid-40s selection. After Portland’s win streak, the pick stands at No. 56, way above expectations, Isaac Harris of the Smoking Cuban relays:
When Mavericks GM, Donnie Nelson, addressed the media following the trade deadline, he talked about the two new assets.
“These two new additions. There is opportunity for flexibility there,” Nelson said on acquiring McDermott and the 2018 second round pick. “Grabbing another young asset there or packaging and moving up. When you are in the mode that we are, those things are important. Young players that have upside and picks.”
Nelson even went as far to say that the Portland pick could be a middle second round pick.
“The Portland pick will probably be a middle second round pick,” Nelson said.
The Blazers are in the midst of a two-game losing streak with some injury troubles popping up as well. Meanwhile the No. 4 seed Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t going away, and neither are the Spurs, Pelicans and every other team fighting for playoff seeding.
Portland (44-28) and Oklahoma City (44-30) face off in a huge game Sunday evening.