We're so close to draft time and with each passing hour, the various draft boards around the league get more and more chaotic. The Mavericks are generally set to draft a range of 5-7 players, depending on who is doing the talking. While that may seem like a lot of players, there seem to be some actual rotation players which could drop to Dallas. After years of questionable picks, the hope of a player who can dribble without looking down at the ball seems pretty exciting.
With so many roster needs, draft experts are all over the map as far as which player the Mavericks should draft Thursday. We suggest buckling up because Thursday could get wild.
SB Nation's Kevin O'Connor: Terry Rozier, PG, Louisville
With Rajon Rondo walking the plank of free agency, the Mavericks should look for a point guard on draft night. Rozier seems like a fine possibility. He brings the tenacity they wanted from Rondo on the defensive end, and is developing into a very solid distributor who can penetrate at will on offense. Playing on a loaded roster could also teach him how to play with discipline, an important factor in his development.
"Loaded roster" is a bit much, but it's safe to say the Mavericks will be a veteran-laden squad come fall. Rozier seems like a reach here, with potential better options on the table. He's not the best finisher or shooter and both skills are key with how point guard is currently played in the NBA. Let's hope the Mavs take a hard pass here.
Chad Ford (ESPN Insider): Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame
Just about everyone in the league is penciling in a point guard for the Mavs. Rajon Rondo is likely leaving and J.J. Barea is a free agent. They need help. Grant is one of the most NBA-ready point guards in the draft, is terrific in the pick-and-roll, can swing to the 2 when you need him and plays with incredible fire. He could go as high as 14 to the Thunder, and if he's here, he'll be tough to pass on. Rashad Vaughn, R.J. Hunter and Delon Wright are other options for Dallas.
Grant has the kind of shooting ability and size at the point guard position that would allow him to play next to Monta Ellis in the event the Mavs' leading scorer from last season actually remains with the team. Rick Carlisle isn't exactly known for handing big minutes to rookies but at 22 years old with three full seasons at Notre Dame, Grant is as likely as any potential prospect to make an impact in his first year. The last Dallas rookie to get serious burn, Jae Crowder, was the same age when he entered the league.
Chris Mannix (Sports Illustrated), Tyus Jones, G, Duke
The Mavericks are point guard shopping (again) and Jones is one of the best prospects. Jones isn't especially big or athletic but he's an intelligent playmaker—a quality Rick Carlisle would love to cultivate.
This is not making us excited. He's a small point guard lacking athleticism. Did we just watch the NBA playoffs? What ruled the day? Shooting and athleticism. Playing under control is nice but at a certain point, Dallas needs to take a shot with someone, not play it safe with a guard who doesn't move the needle.
Scott Howard-Cooper (NBA.com), Tyus Jones, G, Duke
The lack of physical gifts teams prefer -- athleticism, size -- is a hit to the draft stock. But what a gifted distributor. Jones has great instincts, especially for a freshman, sees the court, plays at different speeds, and had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.16-1 through Jan. 21. This is from the Tyler Ennis-Kendall Marshall book of playing with control, not flash. The starring role in the championship game was just a chance for more people to see it. The other reason Dallas would like Jones: He's not Rajon Rondo.
NBADraft.net, Jerian Grant, PG, Notre Dame
In addition to our previous thoughts, it's nice that he's not 6 feet tall.
Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report: Kelly Oubre, F, Kansas
Someone slides every year. Without the production to show for the upside, it could be Kelly Oubre in 2015. But the Dallas Mavericks shouldn't let Oubre slip past them at No. 21.
He didn't have the most convincing season at Kansas, having averaged just 9.3 points, totaling 28 assists in 36 games and disappearing in key spots.
However, Oubre possesses an NBA-friendly blend of athleticism and shot-making ability. He's smooth in the open floor and threatening from downtown. In addition, he's flashed promising defensive potential fueled by lateral quickness and a 7'2 ¼" wingspan.
If Oubre is available at 21 he's the type of player Dallas has to consider, regardless of position need. He's a high upside prospect that's an excellent defender right now.
We're more than a little nervous, but we're also excited. The draft, as much as it's collectively frustrated the Maverick fan base, is really one of the best times of year for the NBA. It's about what's possible, and if the chips fall the right way, Dallas might walk away with a steal.