The Mavericks went the route of young veteran over newly drafted players Thursday when they dealt their first (No. 26 overall) and second (No. 57 overall) round picks for Rudy Fernandez and Virtus Bologna's combo guard Petteri Koponen. With six impending free agents and four unproven prospects on Dallas' championship roster, the Mavericks liked the opportunity to plug in a more established guard in Fernandez.
Donnie Nelson said in multiple interviews that he sees Fernandez as someone who can add offensive elements for Dallas and who can provide a longer contrast at the two position to Jason Terry. He said that the club won't be bringing Koponen in for the 2011-12 season, but that he and Nick Calathes can the Mavs' summer league team in 2012 and show whether the club should bring them over.
Tim McMahon notes that Mark Cuban's statistical guru(s) regard Fernandez as one of the premier advanced plus/minus players in the league.
According to Cuban's calculations, Rudy Fernandez ranks among the NBA's top 20 players in advanced plus-minus. That made him a long-time Mavs target.
"He's a guy that we've had our eye on for a while," Donnie Nelson said, "and it was just kind of right place, right time."
That adds up to what the Mavericks perceive as a value deal for a young player who might just be their starting shooting guard.