The Mavericks are reportedly talking about a major NBA draft trade.
Sean Devveny of Sporting News reported that the Celtics would trade the No. 27 overall pick, one of the team's first-round picks in the 2019 and a young talent like forward Jaylen Brown or guard Terry Rozier to Dallas in exchange for the No. 5 overall pick.
Regardless of whether that trade becomes a reality, Mark Cuban's franchise still needs to shape a strategy for this offseason, one that will allow the front office to juggle the NBA draft and free agency concurrently.
One major cog in those plans is DeMarcus Cousins.
So, how do the Mavericks and Cousins feel about one another?
Dallas has reportedly inquired several times about Cousins' services, which the player once called flattering.
But the Kings' front office ultimately shipped him to the Pelicans at the NBA trade deadline in February of 2017.
This past season, the Cousins and Anthony Davis experiment came to an end when "Boogie" went down with a ruptured Achilles on Jan. 26. Davis then went on to put together an MVP-caliber stretch run and led the Pelicans to the second round of the NBA playoffs.
Multiple reports have said that Dallas interest in Cousins has not waned despite the injury.
In an interview with Marc J. Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated, Cousins said that he wants to be ready for training camp and didn't rule out resigning in New Orleans.
The Pelicans would surely like to bring him back, just not at $30 million per season.
The Mavericks certainly have the cap room to make a highly competitive offer for the big man and Cuban has repeatedly stated that he wants to spend this off-season. Like the Pelicans, the Mavericks are hoping that Cousin's most recent injury and sometimes volatile personality will drive his cost down.
But just how firm a grasp do the Mavericks have on Cousin's decision-making process?
If the team received a pre-draft verbal commitment from Cousins and still drafted a big man, then you'd have a crowded front-court in Cousins, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwight Powell and Max Kleber. Plus, an elite prospect such as Mohamed Bamba or Jaren Jackson III.
If the Mavericks knew Cousins or any of the other top-tier big men weren't going to come to Dallas, would they still ignore their most significant position of need by drafting a small forward or a shooting guard?
The front office would still need to select a prospect (big man or not) whose game meshed with everyone around him.
And if the team moves its No. 5 pick to Boston, the need for a front-court piece like Cousins will be greater than ever.
The NBA draft is scheduled to take place in Chicago on June 21st.
Technically, NBA's 2018-19 league year doesn't officially begin until July 1. And no free agent can begin reaching verbal agreements with teams until then.
But most free agents aren't as indecisive as DeAndre Jordan. If recent history is any indication, most of them already have a pretty good, if not positive idea about where they want to play next season and beyond.
Teams across the league, including the Mavericks, do, too.
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