Draft dealings deliver Dominique Jones to Big D
Nelson was referring to Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who entered Thursday night's NBA Draft armed with just the 50th overall selection. After a deal here and a deal there, Cuban and the organization exited the league's signature event with perhaps the steal of the draft and a future second-round pick.
The Mavericks announced Thursday night that they had acquired the draft rights to Dominique Jones, the 25th overall selection, from the Memphis Grizzlies for cash considerations.
"I didn't know (about the trade to Dallas). I thought was going to Memphis," Jones said. "I just feel like I'm in the best situation...(The fact that the Mavs made the trade) makes me feel like I need to work harder and I don't want to let them down."
The three-year standout at South Florida -- where he led the team in scoring all three seasons -- ranked fifth in school history in career scoring (1,797 points), first in free throws attempted (615) and fifth in field goals made (592) and attempted (1,339). In his junior season, he earned First Team All-Big East honors after averaging 21.4 points (15th in the nation), 6.1 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals per game.
Named an honorable mention for All-American honors, Jones was also a finalist for both the Wooden Award and Naismith Award. In 2009-10, he was the only player in the nation to average at least 21 points, six rebounds and three assists an outing.
"I can score. I can get baskets. I'm good in the halfcourt and I'm good in transition -- just getting in the lane," Jones said.
"We're very pleased to have the opportunity to move into the first round," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Dominique Jones is a guy that we had as a top two or three (shooting guard) in the draft. He has a pro ability to get his own shot. We feel like he's a unique guy. He'd probably be classified more as a scorer than a shooter...We obviously feel he is a guy that could help us next year."
Later in the night, the Mavericks announced that they had turned the 50th pick into a second-round spot in the 2013 Draft, taking Florida State center Solomon Alabi and sending his rights to the Toronto Raptors in exchange for the future pick.
The two moves accomplished just what the team's front office had in mind, according to Nelson -- allowing the organization to bring in a building block for the future, while not sending away assets that could be used in a trade or to attract a free agent this offseason.
"We accomplished a couple of things. We kept our powder dry...We get someone with (Jones') skill set and maintain flexibility for this summer."
But while that flexibility figures to play a role at some point this offseason, Jones is expected to make an impact in 2010-11 and beyond. The 6-4, 215-pound guard with a 6-9 wingspan could provide a new face to the team's depth chart in the backcourt.
"He has an NBA body. We're lucky to get him where we did. Dominique is a powerful two guard that can get to the free throw line. He can do a little bit of everything," Nelson said.
He is also expected to team with first-year sensation Rodrigue Beaubois on the squad's Summer League roster, starting the gelling process for what the organization sees as the "backcourt of the future."
"We're excited about that backcourt...Those are two young guns that will take the baton," Nelson said.
Before taking that baton and running with it, Jones plans to work on his game this offseason.
A self-described mixture of Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade and Detroit Pistons point guard Rodney Stuckey, the newest Mav understands that attacking the basket is his deadliest offensive strength. This summer, he intends to work on his ability to stretch the court by connecting on perimeter jumpers.
"I know what my weaknesses are and I feel that I'm ready to work on them. Basically, just spot-up shooting," Jones said.
With a goal of contributing to the team right away, Jones -- soon to be No. 20 in a Dallas uniform -- says the work starts now.
For all of your coverage of the Dallas Mavericks this offseason, visit Mavs.com. Follow Earl K. Sneed on Twitter at www.twitter.com/EarlKSneed.