How Does Nick Calathes Fall Into The Dallas Mavericks' Master Plan This Summer?

After spending three years in Greece, Nick Calathes appears set on making his official NBA debut with the Dallas Mavericks, but that all depends on how the Las Vegas Summer League and Calathes' schedule with the Greek National Team plays out this offseason.

When it comes to the Dallas Mavericks' offseason plans, it's debatable where Nick Calathes really falls on their priority list.

But the truth is, Calathes might be higher on the list than some may believe and could be representing Dallas before too much longer.

Certainly getting an All-Star -- insert Deron Williams' name here -- to go alongside Dirk Nowitzki is the main objective in addition to signing a young premiere center (Roy Hibbert if Dwight Howard can't be had?) falls at the top of the to-do list.

But even if those acquisitions resolve the Jason Kidd and Ian Mahinmi unrestricted free-agent equation this summer and is easily an impressive upgrade at both spots, how do the Mavs counter by filling the void left by Jason Terry and Delonte West assuming they leave the Lone Star State?

Terry could be back, but the Mavs don't sound like they will throw big money at West.

And that is where the Calalthes comes into play.

The 2009 second-round pick (45th overall) out of Florida turned Euroleague sure-shot guard for Panathinaikos reportedly had talks with Dallas' brass last week and is officially ready to make the NBA jump after being stashed overseas and watching his three-year deal in Greece expire.

The first step in that quest would be for Calathes to attend the Las Vegas Summer League with the Mavs, which at this point is still up in the air. Apparently a number of European teams have the 23-year old on their radar during these early stages of the offseason. Yet if Calathes and Dallas can come to terms for summer league, it would most likely be a non-guaranteed contract.

There is no word at this point if Calathes representation is seeking a guaranteed deal, but with the Mavs sitting on salary cap space this summer once they also address Brandan Wright, Sean Williams, Vince Carter, Brendan Haywood and Shawn Marion, they'll likely be hesitant to do that deal while a free agency frenzy awaits come July 1

That's when team may begin negotiating with free agents, whereas July 11 is the date when teams may officially sign free agent players to contracts.

Still, that means Calathes will have to battle for a spot and there is also a time crunch to be aware of here.

He's coming off a season where he averaged 7.6 points, 2.4 assists and 2.8 rebounds per game in 23 Euroleague contests, compared to an average of 8 points, 3 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 35 Greek League games.

Calathes was also an integral part in Panathinaikos reaching the Final Four this season.

The other factor involved is Calathes is scheduled to play for the Greek national team at the FIBA Pre-Olympic tournament in Venezuela from July 2-8, not to mention five friendly games Greece is slated to play from June 16-28 in Lithuania and Brazil. Greece is among the favorites to it to the 2012 Olympics in London, although they have tough match-ups against Jordan and Puerto Rico. Lithuania, Nigeria or Venezuela would follow in the quarterfinal if they survive and reach the semifinals.

Summer league in Vegas runs from July 13-22 and if Greece does make the trip to London, those Olympic games would take place from July 29 through August 12, which could all tally a very long and busy offseason for Calathes if it comes to that point.

If or when Calathes makes it to Vegas with Dallas, he is either going to be fresh and ready to go, or straight spent coming off a long season and national team schedule.

But right now, the plan is to get Calathes on board for the summer league and figure out how playing for Dallas can become a reality instead of a far-reaching NBA dream.

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