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About the pick the Dallas Mavericks owe the Celtics

How valuable will it be? That's debatable.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It has only been a few months since the trade, but early results indicate that the Celtics "won" the trade with the Mavericks.  In theory, they got the most talented player, but Rajon Rondo was a complete bust in Dallas and sent packing even before the playoffs completed.

The Celtics, meanwhile, got Jae Crowder (re-signed to an extension), Brandan Wright (traded for a heavily protected pick - likely to turn into 2 second rounders), cap filler, a protected 1st from Dallas, and a conditional 2nd rounder from Dallas (plus a TPE that will likely be renounced).

Got all that?  If you are visual, here's a chart.

trade chart

Forgive my handwriting.

Just getting Crowder out of that deal is a big win for the Celtics.  The question is just how valuable is that protected 1st rounder that Dallas owes us next year?  The answer is complicated.

Signing DeAndre Jordan doesn't make the Mavericks a contender ... yet -

The Celtics are less screwed, but not looking great either. As part of the return for trading Rajon Rondo, the C's received a future first round pick that's top-7 protected through the year 2020, at which point it becomes unprotected. Had the Mavs failed to sign Jordan, owner Mark Cuban suggested his team would have gone into a full tank/rebuild mode, which would have made that pick more valuable.

If Cuban is telling the truth, that pick could have been worth more if it fell in the 8 to early teens range.  However, it might have been kicked down the road another year or more if they fell into the top 7 picks.  Now that they've added Jordan and other pieces, will they become a contender?  On the surface, they got better, but there's still not a lot of depth on that team.

Flannery goes into detail about the Mavericks roster but concludes with this:

Much still depends on filling out the rest of the roster, and that will involve some creative cap-solving to find a point guard. It seems that much of their supporting cast will be drawn from the same roster that won 50 games and lost in the first round of the playoffs last year.

Between the takes, both hot and cold, is a lukewarm assessment: The Mavericks will continue to be a factor, but that doesn't guarantee much in the loaded Western Conference.

So there's still a chance that things could go wrong for the Mavs and that pick could end up being a late-lottery pick. It joins the Nets unprotected 2016 pick as one to watch this coming season.  Neither one is a sure thing, but rooting for other team's to fail beats tanking in my book.

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