The Dallas Mavericks will have better luck finding a long-term answer at the point guard spot on the trade market than the upcoming NBA Draft, per Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. Sefko thinks it’s too risky for the Mavs to keep the lottery pick because none of the prospects available in the mid first-round are ready to take the starting point guard job right away.

Trading for Ricky Rubio

Sefko argues the best way for the Mavericks to get a reliable playmaker is to explore the trade market, where Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio is available.

He also mentioned Kemba Walker as a target, but it’s very unlikely the Charlotte Hornets will deal away their point guard who is coming off an All-Star season.

"Neither. I'd trade the pick and whatever asset you have to that isn't named Harrison Barnes in order to find an NBA-proven point guard like Ricky Rubio or Kemba Walker or whoever,” Sefko writes.

The Timberwolves have made many attempts to trade Rubio the past two seasons, but they tend to back off from trade negotiations at the last minute every time. This is largely because Rubio is still the best playmaker on the roster, with prospect Kris Dunn pretty much raw at this point.

However, many NBA insiders – including Sefko – think the T-Wolves will eventually pull the trigger on the Rubio trade, and the Mavericks are closely monitoring the situation.

Averaging 11.1 points and 9.1 assists last season, Rubio has never been an explosive scorer, with his outside shooting still a suspect. However, the 26-year old Spaniard can run an offense, especially if it is a pace-and-space system like Rick Carlisle is employing in Dallas.

Free-Agency Market

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report also pointed out that the free-agency market has something to offer for the Mavericks this offseason.

While the Mavs had struck out on key free agents in recent years, Favale believes Mark Cuban team has an opportunity of signing All-Star playmaker Jeff Teague, Jrue Holiday and George Hill this time around.

The Mavericks enter the offseason with a projected starting salary of $22MM. Restricted free-agent Nerlens Noel is expected to get a big percentage of the Mavs’ free-agent money, giving them a little wiggle room actually to snag their target playmaker.

However, the Mavs could always convince Dirk Nowitzki (team option on a 2nd year worth $25MM) to take another pay-cut so that they can avail Teague or even Holiday.

"If we find somebody that we can send the money to that he likes, we all like, then let's do it and if not, let's give the money to Dirk again which I'm fine with too," Cuban said of Nowitzki taking another pay cut for the sake of the team.