DALLAS -- After a draft day trade, the Dallas Mavericks came away with three players in their draft class: Jared Cunningham (guard, Oregon State) 24th overall, Bernard James (center, Florida State) 33rd overall and Jae Crowder (forward, Marquette) 34th overall.
Coach Rick Carlisle said they put an emphasis on athletic, hard-working players who play good defense and was pleased with the results of the draft.
Here's what he had to say about each player:
Jared Cunningham, 6'5" 188: "He's a premium athlete and a playmaker that we feel can make plays at both ends of the floor. The way games are being played now, you've got to have quickness, dynamic athleticism and the ability to get by people and make shots and make basketball plays. We feel like Jared's a guy that's very good and going to get better. We feel he has a chance to be exceptional here. He's a terrific kid and loves to play. Athletically, he's similar to a Westbrook-type athlete."
Bernard James, 6'10" 230: "We're very proud to have a guy that served in Iraq and served our country. He seems like a terrific kid. He's an athletic shot blocker who played on the best defensive team in college basketball at Florida State. He's a guy that can protect the rim and protect the paint."
Jae Crowder, 6'7" 241: "Crowder was the Player of the Year in the Big East. That's a big deal. We feel he's a multi-position player. He's rugged, tough-minded, hard-nosed. We wanted to get some hard-playing, energetic guys in this draft to continue to work that culture here. High character kids who play hard and want to do things the right way."
Carlisle mentioned how the Mavs freed up some cap space by sending Kelenna Azubuike to Cleveland and their 55th pick to the Lakers. He said that the Mavs would definitely be active in free agency.
"It's a time of change right now," Carlisle said. "From a culture standpoint, these are the type of guys you want. Guys that are energetic, have a high motor, high character and high skill. We're going to field a team that our city can be proud of."