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Countdown to the Draft: Draft Visits for Dallas

Rounding up the latest reports on which 2013 NBA Draft Prospects have visited with the Dallas Mavericks,

Rudy Gobert is so long, he couldn't fit in the picture
Rudy Gobert is so long, he couldn't fit in the picture

The 2013 NBA Draft, live June 27th from the Barclays Center, is less than a month away, and the Dallas Mavericks pick 13th, the highest draft slot they've owned in over a decade(discounting the 2004 draft, when they traded with the Washington Wizards to get the 5th pick).

Buzz from around the league continues to indicate that the Mavericks are interested in trading the pick, to save as much cap space as possible in the pursuit of a big name free agent like Dwight Howard or Chris Paul. Why, exactly, they would do this, when there are so many other ways to clear the requisite space(like dumping Jared Cunningham's $1.2 million contract, or executing the patented "Euro draft and stash"), is unclear. Frankly, and I don't think I'm alone here, I hope this is an overblown rumor.

Even with all this noise, we'd like to try and give readers a breakdown of the prospects reportedly being brought in for predraft visits by the Mavericks.

Rudy Gobert

Gobert is a 7'2 Frenchman who has been training in Dallas(with Roddy B, apparently), which likely means the Mavericks have a pretty good feel for his game. Gobert recently set records at the draft combine, with 7'8.5 wingspan and a 9'7 standing reach. That means he can very nearly dunk flatfooted.

As you can see from Gobert's video, he is extremely raw, and definitely a "projection" player at this point. However, when looking at the way Roy Hibbert's sheer size was, at times, the equalizer for the star-less Indiana Pacer team against Miami, it's not too hard to dream on Gobert's impossibly long frame and imagine a defensive havoc-wreaker.

To become that, Gobert will need to greatly improve his lower body strength, and his defensive positioning. That statement normally goes without saying for a rookie, but in Gobert's case, he may be at least a couple of years away from such improvements. In this sense, he may be the perfect "draft and stash" prospect, as Dallas can monitor him and get him the necessary strength training before bringing him stateside to bang inside with the monsters of the NBA.

Dennis Schroeder

Continuing the Euro theme, Dennis Schroeder is the 19 year old German wunderkind who had his coming out party at the Nike Hoops Summit and has been called "Rajon Rondo with a jumpshot". That sort of praise may be a bit too lofty, but the physical comparisons do seem warranted. Schroeder is 6'2 with long arms and a wiry frame. Like Rondo, he has a lightning quick first step and a competitiveness and intensity that shines through when playing defense. Unlike Rondo, he does appear to have the makings of a quality jumpshot. At the risk of cursing him, there are definitely surface-level similarities to Rodrigue Beaubois.

The idea of Dirk and Schroeder sharing strategies in German during games and then blitzing teams on the pick and pop is, for lack of a better word, incredibawesome. It had been reported that Schroeder had a promise from a mid-first round team, but Dennis has, himself, denied this.

At the start of the draft process, it was Schroeder's level of competition that seemed to hold him back. After more than holding his own in practices and the game during the Nike Hoops Summit, Schroeder's stock has soared. For Dallas, you just wonder recent failures with scoring point guards won't turn them off. Schroeder is young and will undoubtedly experience growing pains. It is unclear if Dallas has the patience or the inclination to develop a player like this at what they consider "the quarterback" position.

Jamaal Franklin

The success of Kawhi Leonard has helped to legitimize the San Diego State program, and Franklin may be the next athletic wing to emerge. Like Leonard, Franklin enters the draft billed as an explosive, swiss army knife player with a shaky jumpshot(something Kawhi corrected in San Antonio). Franklin's athletic markers are superb: he leads all two-guard prospects in rebound and blocked shot rate, though this may be partly because Franklin, again like Leonard, was playing out of position for the Aztecs.

You see in the video a near-complete game from Franklin. Though he lacks a consistent jumpshot, his motor and creativity allow to score in a variety of ways.

The real issue with Franklin may be that he is not healthy right now, and, infact, may not have been able to work out with Dallas as planned. Chad Ford tweeted on May 31st that Franklin was still gimpy from an ankle injury, and was not able to perform all the drills at the combine, or in personal workouts.

Ford's tweet does indicate that Franklin is able to do other skill drills, like shooting, so perhaps Dallas was able to glean something.

Zeke Marshall

Marshall is the 7 footer from the University of Akron. Not much has been made of Marshall yet, which indicates he may be a potential target with Dallas' second round pick, at #44. Marshall was a four year player at Akron, averaging 13 points, 7 rebounds and nearly 4 blocks a game his senior year. Marshall's Akron team took on Shaka Smart's VCU squad in the NCAA tournament as the 12th seed, and were completely obliterated by the Rams' press defense and Juvonte Reddic, who lit up Marshall for 21 points on 9-12 shooting.

You do see some polish to Marshall's post game in this video, but his general movement doesn't appear very fluid or quick. That does mesh with the data: Marshall's rebound rate was fairly pedestrian given his size and competition level. One can assume he'll face a lot more 7 footers in the NBA than he did in the Mid-American conference.

That's all for now. Next week we'll continue to update you on who the Mavericks are looking at in this draft, including a guy who may not technically be working out, but that Dallas has clearly been keeping an eye(or 20) on.