The offseason is upon us…already.
Just one month ago Lebron James and the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA championship, and here were are now, already preparing for the busiest week in NBA offseason history.
The NBA players voted and decided to have the season begin on December 22, which meant there would only be two months of offseason. That is not a lot of time to do everything that has to be done, so they crammed most of it into this week. On Monday at 12 PM EST, teams were allowed to officially make trades. On Wednesday, the NBA draft takes place, and on Friday, free agency begins — a dream for any NBA fan.
Right now we will be talking about what could happen on Wednesday for the Dallas Mavericks. They will have the 18th pick and the 31st pick barring any trades. Now, we all know that this franchise is not afraid to make moves on draft night, as two of the franchise’s biggest moves were made during the draft.
In 1998, they traded with the Bucks and acquired Dirk Nowitzki and in 2018 they swapped Trae Young for Luka Doncic. Dallas is in need of a consistent wing presence. Dorian Finney-Smith has become a great role player but behind him, it gets pretty thin. This article will focus on 3-and-D players that could help Dallas right away.
Assuming the Mavs stays put in this draft, here are some guys they could target.
Saddiq Bey // Villanova University // 6’8″/216lbs
Saddiq Bey is one of the better 3-and-D wing players in this year’s draft. The Villanova forward averaged 16.1 PPG last year, shooting 45.7% from three. Bey seems like a perfect prospect for the Mavs. He will come into the league with an already established jump shot and great defensive instincts that should transfer over to the league.
He is a long-player with a 6’10” wingspan, so he has the POTENTIAL to get into passing lanes and block shots at the rim. He can immediately come in and be the team’s number one defender which is something they desperately need next to Luka. Bey will also provide points from behind the arc.
While he is a fundamentally sound defender, he is not much of a defensive playmaker. He averaged less than a steal last season. Most people would look at that and question how good of an on-ball defender he really is.
He does have the defensive mindset down so I have a lot of confidence that Rick Carlisle would have little trouble making him an elite defensive disruptor. It is likely that Bey will have to slip a little bit if the Mavs wanted a chance to grab him but he is one of my favorite options nonetheless.
Aaron Nesmith // Vanderbilt University // 6’6″/215lbs
Aaron Nesmith will almost certainly be off the board by 18, but if he does fall or the Mavs make a move up in the draft, Nesmith seems like the perfect prospect. He has a chance to go in the top 10, but I have seen him mocked to Dallas a few times. The Vandy forward averaged 23 points last season as a sophomore, shooting an incredible 52.2% from three before suffering a season-ending foot injury. Before his foot fracture, he was second nationally in three-pointers made per game with 4.29. He is certainly a skilled offensive scorer but Nesmith’s build could help him become an elite on-ball defender.
As a sophomore, he did average 1.43 SPG, but, with the help of his size and his physicality, Nesmith could become an elite on-ball defender for the Mavericks. His impressive three-point numbers should translate to the professional level, especially if he is playing with a point guard like Luka Doncic.
Desmond Bane // Texas Christian University // 6’6″/215lbs
Despite everything I just said about Aaron Nesmith, I think that Desmond Bane is the best shooter in this draft. Bane scored 16 PPG on 44.2% shooting from three making 4.1 threes per game. Desmond Bane is a four-year contributor for the Horned Frogs team and kind of did everything for them.
Along with his impressive offensive numbers, he also averaged almost four APG, six RPG, and 1.5 SPG. He has a rare negative wing-span which is one of the biggest knocks on him but if you watched any TCU games in the last four years, you know that the short arms did not hinder him too much on defense. He makes up for his 6’4″ wingspan by being one of the smartest players on the court at all times. He was rarely ever in the wrong place on defense, but if he was, he was not there for long. He’s got a high motor and plays hard the whole time he is on the court. His spot-up three is a strength but he is also capable of creating his own space off the dribble. He might not be the potent defender that the other options are, but his elite three-point ability will pair nicely with this Mavs team.
Bane was projected to go in the second round when the season ended but has been a fast climber on most mock drafts since then due to his workouts and interviews. He is currently projected to be picked in the mid-first round range, so if the Mavs want him, they will be able to get him.
Josh Green // University of Arizona // 6’6″/201lbs
Josh Green is somebody who will almost certainly be there when Dallas picks at 18. The Arizona off-guard averaged 12 PPG, but his impact was far greater than that. He was only a freshman last year but his game was complete on both sides of the ball.
His 3P% was only average but his game displayed he was more of a slasher, off-ball guy who was often found finishing at the rim. His real strength is his ability to guard multiple positions using his length and ball instincts. Green only shot 35% from three as a freshman, but his jump shot will almost certainly improve if he is playing alongside Luka.
If his jump shot does not improve and it does not get any better he can still be a consistent piece on defense and an explosive finisher in transition, which are two things that would benefit the Mavs.
My Prediction: Desmond Bane
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