D-Lord Desires For Mavs Draft Day
As I offer my personal thoughts on Dallas' top options in the second round, I'll freely offer one disclaimer in advance: scouting potential draft picks is definitely not my area of expertise. I know what I like when I see it, and what I don't like, but I don't have any idea what the NBA actually prioritizes so no way to know if any of my likes can translate to success in the NBA. Take all of this with a grain of salt (or maybe even a shaker full).
At 34 I think there are any number of intriguing "1st rounders" that could still be available. So I'm hoping and expecting that the Mavs' selection there is likely to determined mostly by "who's left" among their own top 30. Since we don't know the answer to that, I'm mostly ignoring the possibilities for that slot and focusing on players that should be clear 2nd round types, looking for a possible keeper among those projects with lots of holes.
Here are my current notes on a few players of interest.
Walter Tavares - I don't know what to think of him, frankly. But he's more of a consideration at 34 and very unlikely to be available at 51. He's tall (7-3) and super-long (7-9 wingspan) and said to be mobile, and isn't super-skinny like most guys that tall, yet he's raw and there are question marks everywhere. He's relatively new to the game and plays in a league where there's no defensive 3-second restriction, allowing his length to be maximized in both defense and rebounding, but impeding his ability to learn how to deal with that impediment. Will he ever develop into a starting-caliber NBA center? Even with the impressive size, it's hard to say, because he has so far to go to get to that level of play. It seems like there are one or more of these types every year, who never turn into anything.
He has signed to play the next 3 years in Europe, so he has the opportunity to play and develop more before he's ever signed to an NBA deal. However, the wait and further development is more likely to be seen by some teams as a plus than a minus, and could even interest some team drafting late in round 1 to go ahead and draft him, knowing they don't have to worry about offering that guaranteed deal to him for another 3 years. Some days I think I'd pass on him at 34, especially if there was ANY other promising option to choose, and other days I think I'd have to pull the trigger if he was there, because of the size and the ability to wait a few years before seeing him here.
Much more info here on Tavares.
Deandre Daniels – He's now "ranked" in the very late 30s, so also may not be available at 51. I actually wouldn't mind him at 34, and love him at 51. He's a long 3 who just won an NCAA title at UConn. His game is a mixed bag offensively, really rough around the edges, but he's long and can defend (he had an aptitude for it in college, would still need to improve considerably to be a lockdown guy in the pros, but I think he could have that upside.) He also showed an ability to hit the 3 successfully in college, though his stroke would need some work to translate to the pros.
I see him as potentially a D-and-3 guy in the NBA, and perhaps in time he can even do more. That's a type of draftee that works for me for the Mavs.
Damien Inglis - At 51 I like him (but not at all at 34). Unfortunately his "ranking" among the so-called gurus has risen to the late 30s in the last few weeks, so he may not be available at 51. He's a very athletic 3 whose game needs lots of work, but whose athleticism has the scouts intrigued. I've mentioned him before on the Insider discussion boards. I see him as a stash project who might develop in a few years into someone useful. But his lack of offense probably makes him not viable in the NBA at this point, even as a backup.
Alec Brown - NBAD has him at 57 and DE has him 71 (undrafted) but I like him a lot for 51. He's from a mid-major college C, 7-1, neither long nor strong, listed as a potential C or C-PF in the NBA.
He set a school record for blocked shots, but I don't really care. His weakness is he's been incredibly poor as a rebounder (especially for his size), and he's thin and lacks strength (which will get him killed trying to defend on the blocks in the NBA). To me, that makes him undraftable and unusable as a center.
But what intrigues me is that he's superior, especially for a guy who's 7-1, in his ability to move, handle the ball, and especially in shooting. He's lights out in that area, as his range goes well beyond the NBA arc. So if I'm in the draft room, I'd ignore the blocked shots and label that as a function of him being 7-1 rather than as potential for him to be an NBA center, and instead look at him solely as a stretch 4. And then, if I drafted him, I'd still plan to get him in the weight room and in the buffet line every day.
As a stretch 4, the release point on his shot probably needs to be raised a bit, but that's fixable, and he already has shown the aptitude to handle the ball superbly and put the ball in the basket. Can he be taught to rebound and to defend as well as he shoots? I'd take that chance.
At 51 I like him. A lot. (Worth noting: Fish broke the story of Brown being on Dallas' visitors list. So he's on their radar.) Even though he's "ranked" way lower than the others, I'd have a hard time passing him up if all of Tavares, Inglis, Daniels, and he were on the board at 51, so in that event I'd try to buy another pick or two, frankly. I bet he'll be playing in some pro league next year, and to my untrained eye he already looks skilled enough to start in Euro ball.
Workout, game mix, and interview videos here.
That's one man's view. What's yours?
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