Mavs + Draft: Full Rd-2 Prospect Medical List
In the second part of this series, we will examine the health concerns of prospects the Dallas Mavericks could draft in the first round of Thursday's NBA Draft. But let’s work our way up to that, first taking a look at those players DB.com knows the team has brought in for a workout and potential consideration with the 52nd pick. ... trying to get you as up-to-date as Mavs trainer Casey Smith, who is very astute in this area ...
As we write this, nothing is set in stone about Nos. 21 or 52. Fish has written that Dallas is less likely than before to dump the picks to "cap-carve.'' But how about trading these picks for a veteran starting guard? How about using assets to move up in the first round?
We sense all of this might be on the table ... but first, to the second ...
Injury has already ruled out one prospective option after Arkansas guard Michael Qualls suffered a torn ACL during a recent workout with the Suns. He will spend the next nine to 12 months recovering.
The majority of second-round-level players Dallas brought in were backcourt players. Multiple players including Harvard’s Wesley Saunders, Stanford‘s Chasson Randle, Murray State’s TJ Sapp, and Incarnate Word’s Denzel Livingston have no or very minimal injury concerns outside the occasional minor ankle sprain. VCU guard Treveon Graham’s inherent risk is slightly elevated after missing one game last season with a high ankle sprain and another pair of games after aggravating the same ankle. Darrun Hillard II missed just one game during his collegiate career after sustaining a concussion in his final year at Villanova.
Terrean Petteway doesn’t have an extensive list of injuries though he did undergo wrist surgery during his one season at Texas Tech. He didn’t miss any time after transferring to Nebraska though he did sprain his right ankle last year.
Like Petteway, DJ Newbill lost a season while sitting out to NCAA transfer rules. After starting his collegiate career at Southern Miss, Newbill elected to transfer to Penn State and was required to redshirt the 2011-12 season. During his off year, Newbill sustained a left shoulder injury that prevented him from practicing for two months. However he showed no signs of limitation the following season and did not miss a game to injury over the next three seasons.
Corey Hawkins, son of former All-Star Hersey Hawkins, also split time between two schools. A nagging ankle injury slowed his productivity at Arizona State and he ultimately opted for a transfer to UC Davis. He played three seasons with the Aggies, missing time with mild strains to his neck and Achilles as well as an undisclosed lower leg injury last year. Assuming the leg injury poses no long-term ramifications, Hawkins has a minimal amount of risk.
Michigan State’s Travis Trice has the highest pedigree of any guard brought in but also comes with a complex injury history. During his time in East Lansing, Trice endured a back injury, groin strain, turf toe, multiple ankle sprains, and infected blisters on his feet. However the most noteworthy injuries occurred during his sophomore season. In the summer of 2012 Trice began experiencing extreme fatigue and substantial weight loss. Multiple rounds of testing couldn’t determine the cause of the mysterious brain infection that would later be attributed to a parasite. To make matters worse, Trice suffered not one but two concussions during the regular season. Fortunately Trice was able to most past his head issues and played in every game in the 2014-15 season. Still, given the previous infection, the cumulative effects of concussions, and Trice’s laundry list of injuries, the Mavericks would be wise to do extensive research on his current level of health.
BYU guard Tyler Haws presents another unique situation. Haws suffered an orbital fracture during his freshman season, an injury Dallas witnessed first hand this year with Rajon Rondo. Though he missed just one game due to the injury, he wouldn’t play for the next two seasons as he completed mission work in the Philippines. Haws returned to action in 2012 and completed his four years of eligibility, suffering a minor abdominal strain and ankle sprain along the way. None of these injuries pose any long-term issues though Haws’ slightly advanced age should be considered.
Former Louisville guard Chris Jones had injury problems before his dismissal from the team. He suffered a wrist sprain and missed time with an oblique strain during the 2013-14 season. He was slowed in the offseason by a stress fracture in his tibia but was able to play in 26 games before being kicked off the team for disciplinary reasons.
Jordan Sibert split his time between Ohio State and Dayton and while he experienced a minor left knee injury last season, his most significant injury occurred in high school. In April of 2008 Sibert needed surgery after he broke his tibia and fibula while playing AAU. A tib-fib fracture is the same injury Pacers forward Paul George suffered last summer and could pose long-term complications for Sibert. The fact that Sibert hasn’t displayed any issues up this point is a good sign and a comprehensive exam of the area would alleviate any concerns.
The final guard with injury concerns is Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth “Speedy” Smith. As his nickname suggests the 6’3” point guard is a blur on the court though a Grade 2 left ankle sprain suffered in his final college game has lingered into the workout process. Smith admitted the ankle and his Achilles remain sore though he has been able to work out for at least four NBA teams.
The prospects at small forward carry the least amount of injury risk. Julian Washburn missed just one game with a sore shoulder on his way to becoming the all-time leader in minutes played for UTEP. Sir’Dominic Pointer missed one game to suspension while at St. John’s but never missed a game due to injury, despite suffering a hip pointer last year. Forwards Mike Myers and Royce O’Neale came in for workouts with clean bills of health.
Three power forwards came to the AAC, as far as DB.com is told, each with a distinct injury profile. Northern Iowa senior Seth Tuttle didn’t loss a game to injury during his collegiate career but did suffer a minor wrist injury during the 2012-13 season. Arizona’s Brandon Ashley suffered a minor left knee contusion as high school junior and a substantial injury as college sophomore. In February of 2014, Ashley tore a ligament in his right foot that prematurely ended his season and required surgery to fix. He bounced back last year starting all 38 of the Wildcats’ games.
The Mavericks did bring in several big men for consideration, though each comes with varying degrees of concern. UC Santa Barbara’s Alan Williams is the highest ranked of the group but was consistently nixed up during his college career. He missed three games as a sophomore with a left hamstring strain and played through an ankle sprain. He missed two more games the following season battling back spasms. Last season he missed seven games and needed nearly a month to recover from an undisclosed left shoulder injury. Each of these injuries can be problematic for bigs and may be a reason why Williams could be available in the second round.
Minnesota’s Mo Walker has a similar profile after suffered hamstring, shoulder, and ankle injuries as well. However the biggest red flag on Walker is his right knee. During his freshman season, the 6’10” center suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and meniscus that required surgery. He took a medical redshirt for the entire 2011-12 campaign as he recovered. Meniscus problems can be particularly detrimental for big guys and regular maintenance may be necessary.
UMass product Cady Lalanne came on strong in his final two seasons after injuries slowed his early progression. Lalanne underwent surgery on his right foot to repair a stress fracture prior to his freshman campaign. His return would last just 14 games, as a second surgery would be needed on the area. Foot injuries for centers are especially troublesome as Philadelphia is currently learning with Joel Embiid. Lalanne would go on to experience tibia inflammation in both shins the following season but finish his time as a Minuteman relatively unscathed.
Georgetown’s Joshua Smith doesn’t have any injury problems to report but concerns about his conditioning have followed him throughout his career. Smith battled weight issues at UCLA and tipped the scale at 370 pounds after transferring to Georgetown. He’s shed some weight but it’s still likely to cause the Mavs to pause before fully investing.
Stay tuned ... coming on Thursday, our Injury Report on First-Round Prospects on the Mavs' Wish List from DB.com's Certified Athletic Trainer Jeff Stotts, here on Twitter and also writing for Rotowire and at InStreetClothes.com.
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