After an unfortunate bounce on lottery night, the Mavericks are left with only one pick to work with, number 37 overall, but what will they do with it?
With only a second round pick, many Mavericks fans may be quick to write off this draft as meaningless for us, but impact players fall into the second round each and every year, with the Mavericks just last season being able to land former National Player of The Year Jalen Brunson. Obviously, Brunson had an impact during his rookie year, and it is very possible that we can find another rotation piece with our selection this year. So what direction will they go with the pick?
The most unlikely direction in my personal opinion, mostly because of the spark that Jalen Brunson provided last season, and the rumors linking the Mavericks to some of the elite point guard free agents this summer, the Mavericks are unlikely to address this position on Thursday. But even with that being said, the Mavericks could choose to go BPA, and there are a couple intriguing players that may still be on the board when the Mavericks are on the clock.
Edwards emerged as one of the nations top scorers last season, averaging 24.3 points per game, and also had some absolutely electric performances in the NCAA tournament. Edwards is a bit of a questionable fit alongside Luka Doncic, due to the fact that he does his best work with the ball in his hands, but in Dallas, he would probably play the bulk of his minutes as the primary scoring option off of the bench. Carson’s draft stock is a bit tough to project, with some projecting him as a mid-first round talent, and others predicting him to be a second round pick, but whoever he lands with will have added a microwave scorer to their roster.
Jerome is listed as a point guard, but playing in a multiple guard system with the National Champion Virginia Cavaliers, Jerome is better described as a combo guard. Of the players in this section, Jerome is the most intriguing to me because he has already shown the ability to produce playing off of the ball. Jerome also excels on the less glamorous end of the court and would provide the Mavericks with a solid perimeter defender that the roster is currently lacking. Most major mock drafts currently pencil Jerome in near the end of the first round, but Mocks are a very inexact science, and if Jerome is available at 37, Dallas will be sure to take a long hard look at him.
The first of the players discussed who the Mavericks have actually brought in for a workout, this St. John’s product seems to have caught the eye of the Mavericks brass. Ponds has a knack for creating shots for himself and has shown off an ability to hit some very difficult looks off of the bounce. The lefty has proven to be a more than capable scorer, but similar to Carson Edwards, Ponds does the majority of his damage as the primary ball handler, which makes him a questionable fit next to Luka Doncic. Ponds is projected to fall into the second round and is the most likely of the three mentioned guards to be available when Dallas is on the clock Thursday.
With the current trends in the NBA, it is hard to imagine that a team could have too many talented wing players, so it is very likely that this is a position the Mavericks look to address. Also, the Mavericks really are not stacked with talent on the wings, so there is potential for a guy to see early minutes here. Behind Luka, the Mavericks have a slew of wings with an unclear pecking order, with guys like Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, Justin Jackson, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Ryan Broekhoff all likely to be battling for minutes, and none of those guys stand out as surefire impact players at this point. Mavs fans should be sure to follow which 2’s and 3’a are still on the board late in round one, as there are quite a few who could provide a potential upgrade in Dallas at pick 37.
This Belmont product played in an NBA style offense, a four out one in a system that saw him and the rest of his team hoist up a lot of three-point shots. Windler was extremely efficient from that range, shooting over 42% from out there, making him one of the drafts deadliest shooters. Dylan does not project as a plus defender, but with a skill set that is sure to translate to the next level, Windler will get looks from just about every team with a late first or early second round pick. Most major mock drafts project Dylan to be off the board when Dallas is on the clock, and he is likely to be picked in the mid-twenties on Thursday night, however, if he is available than the Mavericks will strongly consider bringing this sharpshooter into the equation.
Thybulle has made a name for himself as one of the nations best defenders, using his extreme length (seven-foot wingspan) to be a nuisance on that end of the court for the past four seasons at Washington. However, on the offensive end, Thybulle struggled shooting from the perimeter in his senior season. However, Matisse has a promising stroke and shoots a high enough clip from the free throw line for there to be believers in his jump shot coming around. Similar to Windler before him, there is little question as to whether or not he has an NBA skill set, with his ferocious defense almost a lock to carry over, so he is projected to be a safe pick in this years draft class. Most mock drafts have him slated to be a late first-round pick, likely in the 22-30 range, but it would not be a total shock if he fell to the Mavericks at 37. Thybulle would provide Dallas with a defensive stalwart who could provide spot minutes from day one.
A long and explosive athlete, King has shown the ability to impact the game in a variety of ways. King has all of the tools to be a problem on both ends of the floor, but projects to do most of his early damage as a transition threat. He has shown an improved ability to create off of the bounce, and his stroke from the perimeter is also quickly improving. Just based off of physical ability, King looks the part of a lottery pick, but he did not have eye-opening production during his time at Oregon, and that may cause him to fall quite a ways in this draft. King is likely to be one of the first names called in the second rounder and would provide the Mavericks with a high upside wing to work with. King would likely see a bit of time with the Legends in year one, but the athleticism and upside make him well worth the gamble at 37.
Photo: Wesley Hitt
While Kristaps Porzingis is going to occupy one of the two big men spots, it is unclear as of now which spot Carlisle plans to have KP occupy. Currently, I would bet on Porzingis spending the majority of his time at the Power Forward slot, with Dwight Powell slotting in as our starting Center. But even if that is who we bring out as our starters, we are currently lacking depth in the frontcourt, specifically with the impending free agency of fan favorite Maxi Kleber. The Mavericks could very well look to add some depth in the frontcourt on Thursday.
Now I want to kick this off by saying I am NOT buying that Bol will be available when Dallas selects on Thursday night, however, a couple major sports outlets have mocked him as a second rounder, and they may know something I don’t. One of the most highly touted prospects coming into the season, health kept Bol from being able to showcase what made him a 5-star recruit. Health is also the reason that there is even a sliver of a chance that he falls into the second round because when Bol was on the court he was special.
Standing 7’2, and possessing a skill set seen by few others his size, including three-point range and a surprisingly strong handle, Bol has arguably the highest upside of any player in the draft, but many people fear that his health could hinder him from ever reaching that immense potential. I fully expect someone to take a chance on him early on Thursday night, potentially as high as the Hawks at number 10, but on the off chance that he slides all the way to 37, expect Dallas to end that slide without blinking an eye.
A relative unknown due to him playing overseas, Samanic looks to have a very wide draft range. He projects as a stretch four, and he moves really well for his size, so he has some very intriguing upside. Samanic was impressive at the combine, and may have seen his stock rise because of it and is currently projected to be selected late in the first round. Questions about his motor and his consistency persist, and he may slide because of them, but at 37 he provides about as much upside as you could hope for from a second rounder.
Another guy who’s upside outweighs his production, the former five-star recruit struggled to find a consistent role at LSU. Reid has all the tools to be a successful NBA big man, a wide body, good athleticism, and the ability to stretch the floor, but for whatever reason, he was just not very productive in his lone season of college. Reid also has great ball handling and passing ability that sets him apart from the other big men in this class. Reid is an interesting case because he is a guy I could realistically see developing into the steal of the draft and a great NBA player, or a guy who could just as reasonably be out of the league in 2-3 years. A true Boom or Bust, prospect, Reid is definitely intriguing, but far from a sure thing.
This time last year, many expected Gafford to be a lottery pick in the 2018 class, but Gafford opted to spend a second season at Arkansas and saw his draft stock plummet because of it. Gafford was not bad this season by any means, as he actually improved across the board statistically, but he did not have quite the jump that many scouts expected of him. Still very raw on the offensive end, Gafford likely translates as a rim runner and pick and roll lob threat at the next level. He should also provide solid rim protection and above average rebounding ability. Gafford fits the mold of a Clint Capela type player, that will play his role well but is unlikely to provide much individual offense. Would likely see the bulk of his minutes with the G league Legends early on, but looks like a great fit in the frontcourt along Porzingis down the line.
Fernando gets very similar grades to Gafford athletically and excels as a rim protector and lob threat just as Gafford has, but Fernando has separated himself as a much more polished scorer. Bruno has developed a wide array of post moves, finding lots of success finishing over either shoulder. His shooting range improved over his sophomore season, and he has a great touch at the free throw line, so there is the hope of him developing an outside jumper. He showed a lot of promise at Maryland and had spirited where he was nothing short of dominant, and is a guy I expect to be selected before Dallas gets a chance to make our selection.
Projected by most as a mid to late first round talent, I see a team taking Fernando earlier than most would expect, but some major outlets have also mocked him falling out of the first and into Dallas’ lap. Similar to Bol Bol, if he does happen to be there, I would fully expect Dallas to pull the trigger on him, so Mavericks faithful should be closely monitoring his standing on Thursday.
Ultimately, with mock drafting being a very inexact science, it is possible that the Mavericks are locked in on someone not mentioned here, or that none of these guys are even available when Dallas is on the clock. Also, it is very possible that Dallas trades the pick. However, for now, we have the pick, and these are multiple intriguing prospects that have been linked to Dallas, and/or are projected to come off the board in the range that Dallas is picking.
It will be interesting to follow Mavericks rumors as the draft approaches and to see what Dallas chooses to do at this year’s Draft.