NBA Draft 2013: Will Dallas Mavericks keep their first-round pick?

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have the No. 13 overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft, but will they trade the pick in order to clear more cap space?

The Dallas Mavericks are in a state of flux when it comes to the 2013 NBA Draft. They are key players in the Dwight Howard sweepstakes and haven't been shy about the fact that they plan on pursuing the polarizing big man. The Mavs' ability to land Howard depends largely on their ability to move the No. 13 overall pick, however -- and even then there's no guarantee Dallas would be able to put together a package attractive enough to entice him to come aboard Big D.

In all likelihood, then, the Mavericks will have to improve their squad organically from the ground up. If they end up using their draft pick, Dallas will have a lot of homework to do as the draft class is spread wide -- and not top-heavy in the least. Let's assume the Mavs hang on to the pick, then, and take a close look at all of their options.

Draft picks

Dallas holds the No. 13 and No. 44 overall picks, which means they'll have the ability to add two young players to an otherwise aging roster. As Dirk Nowitzki nears the end of his career, the Mavs will need to use this year's selections to potentially fill a major scoring void down the road. However, several rumors suggest they are looking to trade the No. 13 pick to clear more cap space for the summer.

Depth chart

Point guard: Mike James (free agent), Darren Collison (restricted free agent), Rodrigue Beaubois (restricted free agent), Josh Akognon (non-guaranteed)

Shooting guard: O.J. Mayo (player option), Anthony Morrow (free agent), Jared Cunningham

Small forward: Shawn Marion (early termination option), Vince Carter, Jae Crowder

Power forward: Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand (free agent)

Center: Chris Kaman (free agent), Brandan Wright (free agent), Bernard James (non-guaranteed)

Biggest need(s)

The first need that jumps out is size, as no centers are presently under contract with Brand, Kaman, Wright and rookie Bernard James all currently scheduled to become free agents. The problem with the draft, though, is that there isn't a lot of NBA-ready size to be had, and that taking someone too early solely because they're big could be a waste of a pick. For that reason, an athletic guard could be the way to go if Mayo isn't in their long-term plans.

The Mavs have a complicated situation that can go in several different directions based on their ability to make a trade. It's unclear what Dallas will do with Marion's $9 million contract. Even though the team is happy with what he brings, they could look to get out from under it before draft night.

Potential targets

Even though center is a glaring need, there are some intriguing prospects at the guard and wing positions. Giannis Adetokunbo (scouting report) could be a good international draft-and-stash prospect.

If the Mavericks select someone for next year, Michael Carter-Williams (scouting report) is a possibility at the point guard position. With his scoring ability, he could instantly start if Collison and Mike James aren't brought back. At 6'6 and possessing impressive 6'7 wingspan, he's a true point guard who can get to the basket and create for others.

There are questions about his jump shot, but it's undeniable that he can defend any opponents who play the one, two or three positions. Carter-Williams may struggle early on when playing almost exclusively in a man-to-man defense, but he has the athleticism and intelligence to adjust quickly.

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