The Dallas Mavericks have traded the draft rights to guard Nick Calathes to Memphis in exchange for a 2016 second-round draft pick. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein first reported over the weekend that the two teams were in advanced discussions on the trade.
Memphis originally owed Dallas a 2016 second-round pick, but it was protected for selections 31-55. With this trade, the protection has been lifted and Dallas will receive Memphis’ pick no matter where they are slated in the second round.
With the signing and emergence of Israeli point guard Gal Mekel in the Las Vegas Summer League, the Mavericks acknowledged they were likely to deal Calathes.
The 6-foot-6 point guard, now 24, was the 45th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and was acquired from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the future second-round pick of the Portland Trail Blazers that the Mavericks obtained in a trade on June 24, 2009.
He posted averages of 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.2 assists on .547 shooting in 14 games for Lokomotiv Kuban of the Russian Professional Basketball League (PBL) and averaged 13.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists on .555 shooting in 30 games in the VTB United League.
Calathes was named the 2012-13 EuroCup MVP after recording 12.9 points, 5.9 rebounds and 6.7 assists on .521 shooting in 17 games during the EuroCup competition.
With a positive season behind him, Calathes felt the time was right to make the jump to the NBA.
Calathes visited Dallas in June to meet with team officials and audition for Mavs coach Rick Carlisle. It certainly appeared that his status was still in limbo.
Back in June after the NBA draft, Carlisle said that Calathes was “an asset for the franchise and a very good player.”
Later that night, president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson added: “We’re in communication with his people. We’re talking to him about his potential here or if it’s not a fit, to work closely with his agent to where we can get him to a situation elsewhere where he can step in and play because he does belong in the league.”
Calathes is under contract to Lokomotiv Kazan in 2013-14 but has an NBA out in the deal that allows him to finally pursue his NBA career.