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With the 26th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, the Dallas Mavericks select...

The Dallas Mavericks have the fifth best record in the 2010-2011 NBA season, behind the Chicago Bulls, San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat, and Los Angeles Lakers. This nets the team the 26th pick overall within the draft. The team also possesses the 54th pick in this draft. The Dallas Mavericks no longer owe any draft picks in this draft or in the future. However, the Dallas Mavericks will receive Minnesota's 2012 2nd round pick (top-55 protected) for the Nathan Jawai trade on October 20, 2009. The team also holds the rights of various players that currently are working their trade in international leagues, the most notable player is Nick Calathes. In 2010-2011, Calathes has played in 27 games with 19.4 minutes per game on average. He scored 7.5 PPG, had 3.2 RPG, and gained 3 APG in those 19.4 minutes. Due to Nick having 1 more year on his Greek deal, it is unlikely he comes stateside, due to Panathinaikos, the Greek team that hires Calathes, pays him 2.4 million euros. There are some holes in the bench of the Dallas Mavericks, most notably at PF, and this draft may either fill up the holes or be a quick band aid to the team's age.

Draftexpress has the Dallas Mavericks taking Justin Harper of Richmond with the 1st round pick. Harper played 31.8 minutes per game on average, and scored 17.9 PPG and had 6.9 RPG. Harper is a sharpshooter, scoring 59% from two point range and 47% from beyond the arc. However, the low rebound rate raises up a red flag, due to his style of play being more like Lamar Odom's (minus the dirty plays) than to Dirk Nowitzki's. Another alert is what type of competition Harper faced, which was the A-10 conference. While the conference has been doing well in getting teams to the NCAA Tourney, it doesn't have the talent level a conference such as the Pac-12 or ACC contains, which could lead to a substantial drop off in PPG.

If the Mavs do target a PF, the one to set the sights on is Kenneth Faried from Morehead State (Giggity). He was the offensive spark which drove his team to lead a dramtic upset of Louisville. In 34.7 minutes of play, Faried scored 17.3 PPG and had 14.5 RPG. His shooting average is 62.3% from two point range, and Kenneth never took a three point shot in his college career. He would be considered a lightning in a bottle guy due to his extreme hustle. Howeverm, just like Harper, the weak conference turns on the alarm in which Faried may have benefitted from weaker opponents.

The Mavericks deciding to draft a small forward has also been mentioned, with the main player being focused on is Tyler Honeycutt. Honeycutt, at 6'8, has a long wingspan to cover most SF's. Tyler, on average, plays 35 minutes per game, and shoots 12.8 PPG, and averages a 40.6% FG. His two point shots are a bit better than his average percentage, at 43.8%, while his three point percentage is at 36.2%. Several red flags come up with Honeycutt, however, with a low shooting percentage being a big one. Another involves the fact Tyler is poor at stealing the ball, with less than one steal averaged per game, even with him being one of the most used players at UCLA. Honeycutt does make up the lack of steals with above average rebounding.

The team may take one last approach with the pick that does not involves trading or selling it: drafting a player to stash away overseas, akin to what the Spurs did with Tiago Splitter a few years ago. Such a player to draft would be Lucas Nogueira. Lucas plays for a Spanish team, Aesefa Estudiantes, in the 5th division. In comparision, it would be like he spent time in the D-League that paid better money. At only 18, he already has a 7'6 wingspan, and with a year or two developing in the ACB, or the Spanish 1st division, he can rapidly develop. While he may have the largest chance by far to be a bust, he also has the largest chance to develop into a 6th man team needs for its' second unit.

While these are not all the prospects the Dallas Mavericks currently have on their radar, they constitute the biggest chunk receiving attention. I would like to give credit to Draftexpress and for their marvelous information on all prospects, as well as to stats expert Cynthia Lippstreu from Cal, who helped me analyze how to dissect such numbers.