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Rick Carlisle praises Justin Anderson's defensive abilities, more

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle spoke to the media briefly after Dallas took Virginia's Justin Anderson with the 21st pick of the draft.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The Mavericks kept their draft pick. THE MAVERICKS KEPT THEIR DRAFT PICK! And hey, they took someone who can play basketball! That's Justin Anderson from Virginia, the defensive minded forward who can also shoot it. Here's what Mavs coach Rick Carlisle had to say about the newest Mav.

Hey Rick, who's this Justin kid anyway?

"Justin is a unique kid, a three year guy. He's gotten better each year. He's very psychically strong and he can play either the two or the three. We believe he has a NBA body. He's the strongest kid in the draft, positionally. He's in a good position coming here. We have to fill roster spots. We need to get younger.

"He makes a lot of sense for us and we need to improve our defense and his shooting has gotten better this past year."

Sounds like you like this guy a lot. What was the scouting process like?

"We spent quite a bit of time with him, we interviewed him in Chicago, watched him work out there."

"He was in here (Dallas) a couple weeks ago for a workout and we had more of a chance to spend time with him. He's a terrific kid and he'll represent this franchise well."

This is a big forward, kind of reminds me of...

"There's some similarities to (Jae) Crowder, talking about size and position. He's a guy that can play some stretch-four when you go small and he's got a rugged enough body to bang with big guys."

Adapting to the league

"The league is going the direction of guys with flexibility that can guard multiple positions. Switching has become a bigger part of the game defensively. He's got the foot speed to guard smaller guys and he's got the strength to hang with bigger guys around the basket.

"He's got a lot of tools you look for in the NBA. He's a quality kid."

How NBA ready is he?

"The AAC is one of the premiere basketball conferences in the country. It's a hard conference and the guys that get better each year adapt and adjust. In order to get better stats your game has to get better. There's gotta be work put into it.

"The coaching is phenomenal at Virginia, Tony Bennett did a tremendous job in the years that he's been there.

"It's a program built on defense first, efficiency on offense. They play a very physical brand of basketball. We're a team that needs to become more psychical at every position. This move gets us in that direction."

"He's demonstrated his strength in workouts. He hasn't played a NBA game, so there's always gonna be some kind of learning curve.

"it's really a quantum leap in terms of competition."

"His strength as a player translates well along the three point line. He has the strength to elevate from a long distance and get the ball to the basket and in the basket."

"What we're seeing more and more of these days is guys like (Steph) Curry and Klay Thompson and (J.J.) Redick, they're running off screens for 26, 27-foot shots.

"That has not been a big part of Justin's game but he has the phsycial tools to get there. That's a possibility too."

"We have a lot of prooving to do shooting it and guarding it. This move is a strong move in addressing both of those needs."

Talk about his physical attributes

"The wingspan has become a more important thing to look at analytically at prospects in the draft."

"The guys with significant wingspan beyond their height, they get great consideration."

"He has the ability to use length on smaller guys and ability to elevate when they have to check guys under the basket. He checks a lot of boxes."

How the draft played out

"We're excited, hes excited. He was pretty emotional about it.

"The draft, it went almost exactly how Donnie (Nelson) and the scouting staff rated it and predicted it. There were three guys we really liked and Justin was one of them."

"I know the coach well and he's a great guy, he's an honest guy. I dont know if there was an advantage there (Carlisle went to Virginia) but I've known of Justin for a long time, but we met him the first time in Chicago then in here.

"He'll be a kid that will impress you on the court and he'll impress you with his personality and demeanor. He's a sincere kid."