The Dallas Mavericks moved out of the 13th pick in the NBA draft, but it didn’t stop them from getting a point guard they wanted. According to Mark Cuban, Dallas had Shane Larkin ranked ninth overall entering into the draft on Thursday night. The son of MLB Hall-of-Famer Barry Larkin led the Miami Hurricanes to the ACC title last year and an appearance in the Sweet 16.
Larkin helps fill a hole in the Mavericks line up. Last season, the point guard position was very iffy to say the least. After Jason Kidd left for the New York Knicks, Dallas was left without a “quarterback” for their offense. Darren Collison was brought in to help fill the void but never performed to expectations. Larkin averaged 14.5 points per game for the Hurricanes last season and 4.6 assists. With Dirk Nowitzki on the downside of his career, it’s important to have a point guard that can create opportunities for him.
Larkin brings something else to the table, however. He also brings the ability to run a pick-and-roll successfully; a play Rick Carlisle loves to run in his offense. During the Mavericks championship season of 2011, Jason Terry and Nowitzki operated it to perfection night in and night out. Carlisle will hope Larkin can bring some of that with him from Miami.
Dallas could also be using this as a ploy to try and bring Dwight Howard to Dallas from the Los Angeles Lakers. Rumors are swirling that Dallas and the Houston Rockets are the front-runners to land the center. If Dallas can surround Howard with some perimeter shooters to spread the defense, and Dirk’s ability to shoot from the outside, Larkin’s ability to execute the pick-and-roll might be what draws Howard to Dallas. Cuban has pointed out Dallas will be major players in the free agent market this season and this may be one tactic used to lure the biggest name out there to town.