DONUT 1: WHO’S WHO REVIEW
Donnie Nelson and four Dallas Mavericks aides were in LA watching pro camps late this week, will be in Las Vegas over the weekend for more look-sees, and then on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, are planning pre-NBA Draft visits to Dallas.
Let’s take a moment in Sunday Mavs Donuts to do a Who’s Who Review:
DONUT 2: SOME FUNDAMENTAL HARD TRUTHS
The Mavs went to the Scouting Combine in Chicago, of course ... but not all of the potential draftees did. Oh, there were interviews done and notes taken ... but as we'll illustrate below, this entire process is more agent-run than ever before, with their clients being put in position to look good only, and with their clients being shielded from being asked tough questions, or performing on-court tasks that don't fit them. The Combine fought through some of that while we at DBcom fought through some Hard Truths about the Dallas roster here.
DONUT 3: TOUR DE EUROPE
After the Scouting Combine in Chicago came Donnie Nelson’s Mother’s Day-started Tour De Europe, where he observed, among others:
*Frank Ntilikina, the 6-5 point guard in France.
*Isaiah Hartenstein, the 7-1 big man who is German-American and playing in Lithuania.
*Rodions Kurucs, the 6-9, 205-pound forward from Latvia playing in Barcelona.
There were more guys, of course. But I was specifically guided to that trio of names. That Euro report is here.
DONUT 4: AGENCIES’ EAST-COAST PRO DAYS
There are others on the Dallas radar, of course. Last week we reported on two more names the Mavs focused on during Eastern pro days. That list includes:
*Kentucky guard Malik Monk
*Gonzaga center Zack Collins
*Texas center Jarrett Allen
*Duke center/forward Harry Giles
*UCLA power forward T.J. Leaf
DONUT 5: AGENCIES WEST-COAST PRO DAYS
In LA, it was a private gym here, a high school gym there … And here is the list I’ve been given of “interesting Mavs-related names”:
*Bam Adebayo, the 6-10, 260-pound center from Kentucky.
*Luke Kennard, the 6-6, 200-pound shooting guard from Duke.
*Isaiah Hicks, the 6-9, 240-pound forward from North Carolina.
*Josh Hart, the 6-6, 204-pound shooting guard from Villanova.
*Semi Olajeye, the 6-6, 240-pound forward from SMU.
*Sterling Brown, the 6-5-225-pound shooting guard from SMU.
*Luke Kornet, the 7-1, 250-pound center from Vanderbilt.
Please note: I have no idea, to be honest, if Brown is an “interesting’’ name because he’s from SMU, or because he’s the younger brother of …, or because it means Dallas sees something in him. Same with Kornet, who is the son of veteran DFW TV anchorwoman Tracy Kornet.
Maybe he’s “interesting’’ because, as I recall, Tracy used to sing the National Anthem once in a while at Mavs games. I really don’t know for sure.
DONUT 5: THE DFW VISITS
Sources have also told DallasBasketball.com that this upcoming Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, the Mavs will host prospects for pre-Draft workouts. While the Mavs (like other teams) will try to lure the biggest names into town, there has been a shift in power in how that works, with the agencies now running their own pre-Draft camps — and putting their clients in positions to succeed.
That’s not ideal … But in the meantime, the names we know are on Dallas’ wish list for upcoming visits include:
*Justin Jackson, the 6-8, 209-pound wing from North Carolina.
*Tony Bradley, the 6-10, 235-pound big man from North Carolina.
*Davon Reed, the 6-6, 208-pound shooting guard from Miami.
*LJ Peak, the 6-5, 215-pound shooting guard from Georgetown.
DONUT 6: WHERE’S 9?
You will note that most of the above names- and I’ve got, what, 19 kids so far — are consideration at No. 9, where Dallas is presently scheduled to pick. Oh, Ntilikina and Monk are up there. Some teams have Collins that high. And Justin Jackson is among the guys who might be a tier below 9.
So Dallas will clamor for more visits, try to “recruit’’ visitors, really, and “recruit’’ their agents, too.
Things have changed, however, in the way these pre-Draft visits are run.
DONUT 7: FISH AND GALATZAN’S 10-POINT LIST
Here, Matt Galatzan offers his thoughts on the top 10 potential draftees as they might fit the Mavs' needs ... and I supplement those thoughts with what I'm told from inside Mavs HQ about each of those 10 players.
DONUT 8: DAVID LORD’S 12-POINT LIST
DONUT 9: USING 9 FOR A TRADE
The Mavericks are on the record as saying they are not inclined to trade that pick at 9. But there is value in at least understanding what the options are… Moving up and moving down … And what the equivalent value might be.
DONUT 10: BEATING THE BUSHES
Nelson and his staff have an everywhere-at-every-time task. can the MVP of an Australian league be a success in Dallas? It says here they are about to give that another try.
DONUT 11: ROSTER-BUILDING AND THE CAP
Central to anything Dallas does this summer and beyond: Not just the signing of Nerlens Noel ... but the specific numbers involved, and the trickle-down impact on the rest of the roster. For parts 1 and 2 on what Dallas can and will do with Nerlens Noel, click here.
DONUT 12: THE FINAL WORD
I cannot stress enough the need for the Mavs to not only “take the NBA Draft seriously’’ because a) it is so rich and deep in talent and b) of the added value of the “Two-Way 16-17th Men’’ rule that means a good second-round pick or a good UDFA can be retained and developed like never before.
But there is a c) to my reasoning and it has to do with The State of The Mavs, and a look in the mirror that I’m not certain they’re completely committed to. This isn’t a franchise that’s earned the right to keep Wesley Matthews as a key piece to a contender, though ownership seems to view Matthews that way, as we reveal in a very specific manner in our scoop on a Mavs-Pistons trade idea. This isn’t a franchise that can wave a magical calculator and make Nerlens Noel and Seth Curry and Wesley Matthews and Dwight Powell all fit into a salary-capped team that needs way more help than those four provide.
No, this is a 33-win team that has, in its recent history, a rare opportunity to help itself with affordable talent from a deep draft. The eyeballing of the above prospects offers some encouragement to me that maybe the Dallas Mavericks truly do, when the dust and the hype settle, get it.