Posted: Friday June 29, 2012 12:36 AM

3-for-1: Mavs trade rights of No. 17 pick to Cavs

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DALLAS (AP) - The Dallas Mavericks turned their first-round pick in the NBA draft into three selections Thursday night.

After using the 17th overall pick to get 7-foot North Carolina center Tyler Zeller, the Mavericks traded his draft rights along with guard Kelenna Azubuike to Cleveland for three selections.

Before the deal was formally approved by the NBA, the Cavaliers made three selections for the Mavericks. Cleveland took Oregon State guard Jared Cunningham with the 24th overall pick, then made the Nos. 33 and 34 picks in the second round that were part of the draft-night deal.

Dallas also got the draft rights to Bernard James, a 27-year-old center from Florida State selected 33rd overall, and Marquette forward Jae Crowder, the Big East Player of the Year taken with the next pick.

Dallas also had the 55th overall pick, the second-round selection they got from the Los Angeles Lakers along with Lamar Odom before last season. The Mavs used it for another Marquette player and another Odom, guard Darius Johnson-Odom, and sent his draft rights to the Lakers for cash considerations.

Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson had talked about getting an impact player at No. 17, their highest pick since 2000. They instead got three players in a span of 11 picks.

Cunningham, an early NBA draft entry, led the Pac-12 in steals in his junior and sophomore seasons. As a junior for the Beavers last season, he averaged 17.9 points, which was second in the Pac-12. Cunningham also had 91 steals, matching Gary Payton's mark as a junior, and averaged 3.8 rebounds.

The 6-foot-10 James joined the Air Force in 2003 and did three tours in the Middle East. After leaving the Air Force, he went to Tallahassee Community College, then played the last two years with Florida State, averaging 10.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots a game last season.

Crowder averaged 17.5 points and, 8.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. The 6-foot-6 Crowder scored 20 points or more 13 times, and was in double figures in 31 of 35 games last season.

The Mavericks had the oldest team in the NBA last season, when they were swept in the first round of the playoffs by Oklahoma City a year after winning their only NBA championship. They could undergo significant roster changes around perennial All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki.

Guards Jason Kidd and Jason Terry are among six Dallas players who will become unrestricted free agents Sunday.

Dallas covets the chance to get free agent Deron Williams, the Brooklyn Nets' All-Star guard who is from the Dallas area. Williams is expected to choose between Dallas and Brooklyn.

Williams tweeted Thursday that he had just finished playing golf with Kidd at East Hampton Golf Club in New York. His tweet included a line, "let the speculation begin????'' Kidd later responded to that with a tweet of his own, "Since you won that means we're going to .......'', obviously not finishing that thought.

A person with knowledge of the deal said Thursday night that an agreement was in place for Odom to head back to Los Angeles for a second stint with the Clippers and Mo Williams will be reunited with Utah. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the three-team deal between Dallas Mavericks, Clippers and Jazz was contingent on Williams exercising his $8.5 million player option for next season.

Odom is due $8.2 million next season, and Dallas faced a Friday deadline to a $2.4 million buyout of that contract. The expected deal would instead mean an $8.2 million trade exception for the Mavericks, similar to what they used to get Odom.

 
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