Mavs prefer known commodity Fernandez to a draftee

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Fernandez’s excitement is a plus considering he was fined twice last summer for comments detrimental to the league _ $25,000 in August, then $50,000 in October, all over talk about being traded, including threats of leaving the NBA and returning to Spain.

“I think young guys sometimes take a while to figure things out, certainly guys from Europe,” Nelson said. “You’ve got the American way or NBA way of doing things. So I think there’s some learning curve there. Sometimes it’s just opportunity. … We’re hopeful that it’s another case of that.”

The bottom line for Dallas was improving its roster without giving up any of the players who helped them knock off the Miami Heat in the finals. Of course, Fernandez will take up a roster spot, which could mean waving goodbye to Stevenson or Peja Stojakovic.

“Again, it’s a combination of getting our backcourt a little bit more athletic, a little bit more scoring punch,” Nelson said. “He’s an underrated defender _ he’s better than you think. He’s a big-time athlete. He’s able to break defenses down. We like this over taking a young guy that might pan out and might not.”

He has a friendly contract, too.

Fernandez is signed for the upcoming season, plus there’s a team option for the following year. With Terry going into the final year of his deal, Fernandez has a year to show whether he can become a big piece of the Mavericks‘ future.

Dallas also has its last two draft-day acquisitions to consider at shooting guard: Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones.

Beaubois was thought to be a key to the team’s future before being injured and ineffective this past season. Jones saw more action in the D-League than in the NBA, and wasn’t active in the playoffs.

Although the Trail Blazers recently fired their general manager, guys in the front office knew the Mavs liked Fernandez. Talks heated up in recent days, culminating in an intricate draft-day swap.

Dallas spent both its picks on players Portland said to take: Hamilton at No. 26 and Tanguy Ngombo at No. 57. However, the Blazers immediately included Hamilton in a deal with Denver, and Ngombo was believed to be on the move, too.

The Mavs also came away with the rights to Finnish guard Petteri Koponen, who is expected to play a fourth straight year in Italy. Nelson said the Mavs will ask him next summer about coming to the NBA.

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AP Sports Writer Stephen Hawkins in Arlington, Texas, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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