The Mavericks are already gearing up to defend their title, trading both their draft picks Thursday night to get Trail Blazers guard Rudy Fernandez. Fernandez has spent his three NBA seasons in Portland. Only 26, he's also been a standout in international play. He could step in as Dallas' starting shooting guard or become another piece in a deep, versatile rotation. "We're in a playoff-championship push mode," said Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks' president of basketball operations. "We think the player we acquired is going to help us more than the pick would." Dallas spent the 26th pick on Jordan Hamilton and the 57th pick on Tanguy Ngombo. Hamilton went to Denver and Ngombo to Portland in a deal that also involved a swap of point guards for the Nuggets and Trail Blazers. Fernandez has been a backup most of his NBA career. He's averaged 9.1 points over 24.1 minutes in 218 games.
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