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History Shows the Mavericks can Get a Good Player at Pick 17

The 17th pick has a recent history of delivering good NBA player.
The 17th pick has a recent history of delivering good NBA player.

Yesterday, I talked about how the 2012 draft is the most important draft for the Mavericks in 12 years. That being because Dallas picks at 17 this year, its highest since 2000.

The Mavericks desperately need to get a quality player out of this draft after so many busts in the last decade. Luckily, recent history shows that the 17th pick (or even lower) yields some quality players. Here's the short rundown on players taken at 17 since the 2003 draft.


  • Shumpert was a somewhat questionable pick by the New York fan base, but most writers and those in the know knew Shumpert would add athleticism and defense to a team that desperately needed it. His shot was inconsistent at best, but that wasn't what the Knicks needed him for. Shumpert was their perimeter stopper and part time point guard. He endeared himself so much to Knicks fans and basketball watchers with his hard play and strong defense that his injury in Game 1 in New York's first round series with the Heat was met with almost as much attention as if Carmelo Anthony or Tyson Chandler went down. Certainly a player the Mavericks would love to have and fit right in as the starting two guard.
  • This forward from France didn't truly make his mark till his sophomore season with the Wizards. Absolutely in-love with this guy's game. Once Seraphin got playing time in the final month of the season, he showcased his excellent low-post game and quality jumper from 15 feet out, averaging 15.5 points, seven rebounds, 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 52.7 percent from the field. He's also very athletic and a decent weak side shot blocker. Not sure how he'd fit on the Mavs, playing the same position as Dirk Nowitzki, but still, a starting power forward at pick 17 is pretty damn good. Especially one as seemingly polished and skilled as Seraphin.
  • Holiday is an excellent shooter from deep, a good athlete and decent defender. His assist and turnover numbers aren't too great, but playing in Doug Collins system didn't always call for Holiday to be the primary playmaker. He stepped up big in the playoffs and showed off the kind of game that you could only hope Rodrigue Beaubois could emulate. The Mavericks are desperate for a young point guard to replace Jason Kidd. If that isn't Deron Williams, finding a talent comparable to Holiday would be a huge win for Dallas.
  • Hibbert started slow but once he worked himself into NBA shape he finally started to shine as a franchise big man. There are still some question marks to Hibbert's game: he disappears too much from someone with his size and skill, he drifts outside the paint and isn't a good enough pick and roll defender. But many of those problems can be directed toward a young Indiana team with a sometimes dreadful backcourt that failed to grasp even the simplest of post entry passes. The Mavericks might not need to draft a player like Hibbert -- he's a restricted free agent and could be targeted by Dallas. But all signs point to Dallas using its amnesty on Brendan Haywood and grabbing a center of Hibbert's talent at 17 would be another big win.
  • The first bust on this list. Williams never really panned out in New Jersey and now sits at the end of the Boston bench. The 2007 draft class isn't one of the strongest in the last decade, but consider this: even in a weak class, Wilson Chandler, Aaron Afflalo and Tiago Spliter were taken after 17, all players the Mavericks could certainly use.
  • Another bust. But at least this one played with Dallas for a bit. Williams never fully realized his talents in Indiana and Dallas, often with off the court issues. He had one semi-successful season in New York, hitting over 40 percent of his threes but it's looking like a one-year wonder after a bad year after signing with New Jersey.
  • An absolute steal at number 17, especially considering some of the players taken in the lottery in 2005 (Martell Webster, Channing Frye, Charlie Villanueva and more.) Granger had a bad year and playoffs this season but he's still a very capable outside shooter and defender at the small forward position. As a first-option guy, Granger looks overpaid and valued. But he would fit right in on the Mavericks, playing piggy-back to Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas could use a wing scorer of Granger's talents desperately at this pick.
  • Funny enough, Smith is a target of Mavs fans for the use of trading Lamar Odom. That isn't necessarily because of Smith's play. Sure, the high-flying forward from Atlanta takes one too many outside jumpers and sometimes isn't always in the game, but he's a force on the defensive end, he can rebound and score down low with some decent moves. A great value pick at 17 for Atlanta. Dallas would throw a parade to get a player like Smith in this year's draft (don't count on it.)
  • Yes, this seems like a good stopping point. The Mavericks got Josh Howard 12 picks later and lets just say they came away with the better player.
So, see, the draft this year isn't entirely pointless for the Mavericks. The 2012 draft class isn't too highly regarded compared to recent drafts, but that doesn't mean a player can't emerge past the lottery (many of these draft classes weren't that highly touted before draft day.)

That also doesn't mean Dallas could potentially trade up. Perhaps packaging Odom with some of Dallas younger players (Jones, Beaubois and Wright) could bump the Mavericks up into the lottery or perhaps the top 10.

SIDE NOTE: If Andre Drummond gets to the Kings at number five and the Kings are scared of taking another big man with non-basketball issues, Dallas could offer Odom + Wright + either Jones or Beaubois + 17th pick + future first round picks for the number five pick and some salary dump (John Salmons or Marcus Thornton). Dallas could amnesty Haywood and still sign Deron Williams and now you have a core of Dirk, Williams, Marion, Drummond, Salmons/Thornton, Jones/Beaubois, plus low cost free agents (maybe bring Terry back on a discount.) You could definitely win a title with that group and still have a Williams/Drummond core for the future. This is shaky for the Kings because trading down in the NBA draft and especially trading out of the lottery AND trading out of the top five are pretty shitty things to do BUT: The Maloof brothers could use the potential salary relief of getting rid of Salmons/Thornton plus the savings of dumping Odom while also picking up a nice frontcourt mate for DeMarcus Cousins (Wright). The Kings also get a cheaper backcourt option (Jones or Beaubois), and maybe get something decent at 17 plus another first rounder next year. And even if they keep Odom, he'd only be on the books for this season and a pairing of Odom/Cousins with Wright coming off the bench could actually be spectacular if Odom is motivated (which a return trip to California should bring. Even though I know Sacramento is NOT LA.) This could work. END OF EXTREMELY LONG SIDE NOTE