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Roundtable: Discussing the Mavericks picks in ESPN’s NBA Mock Draft Special

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The staff gives their thoughts on ESPN’s recent NBA Draft predictions.

Duke University v University of Texas Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Recently, there has been a ton of speculation surrounding the Dallas Mavericks and what they might do with the No. 5 overall pick in the NBA Draft. This past Wednesday night, ESPN’s NBA Mock Draft Special aired, and Adrian Wojnarowski, Mike Schmitz and Seth Greenberg made their predictions for where prospects will end up on June 21st. Here’s how the top 5 played out:

  1. DeAndre Ayton - Phoenix Suns
  2. Luka Doncic - Sacramento Kings
  3. Jaren Jackson Jr. - Atlanta Hawks
  4. Marvin Bagley III - Memphis Grizzlies
  5. Mo Bamba - Dallas Mavericks

Here are a couple of interesting nuggets from the show that really caught our attention:

  • Michael Porter Jr., a prospect that has been linked to the Mavs quite a bit here lately, fell all the way outside of the lottery on ESPN’s live mock to the Wizards at No. 15. Not only was his back injury brought up, but also questions about what kind of teammate he was at Missouri, which was new to us.
  • Woj, when asked about the Mavs’ interest in DeMarcus Cousins, didn’t say much, hinting that there could be some significant hesitation there because of the Achilles injury (common knowledge really).
  • Woj also noted that the Nuggets could be interested in giving away it’s No. 14 pick if another team would take on Kenneth Faried.

Roundtable: From a Mavs’ perspective, what all did you take away from ESPN’s live mock draft? Where do you agree or disagree?

Kirk (@KirkSeriousFace): Largely, that for a draft that a year ago seemed so awash in talent, that no one really has any idea what’s going to happen, even with the number one over all selection. That means for Dallas, despite Mo Bamba being the pick in many mock drafts, I just don’t believe that’s anything close to a sure thing. The Mavericks are answering questions when asked of them (like, say trading the 5th pick for Jaylen Brown on DallasBasketball.com), but they usually have either a wait-and-see approach or they have a strategy and plan that none of us can even guess.

I love mock drafts. I love talking about this stuff. But we’re largely pissing into the wind. With another three weeks to go until draft time, I don’t know that I will mentally be able to make it.

Ian (@SmitheeMMB): It’s always nice to have visual proof Mike Schmitz is still alive, but I don’t think there was anything especially significant and new to come out from Tuesday night’s televised mock draft. The top 4 picks went as I think is generally expected, although there is certainly no unanimity there.

Leaving aside my thoughts on Bamba and the Mavs, maybe the big “story” of the mock proceedings was the fall of Michael Porter Jr. to No. 15. I suspect he’ll go top-10 still, but there is no question that his stock is volatile, and if he skips by a couple of teams it wouldn’t shock me if he plunged that far. It also wouldn’t shock me if Dallas took him at No. 5.

Jordan (@Jbrodess): Am I allowed to say I was bored by it? I mean yes, it was fine. And I do enjoy listening to Mike Schmitz and Woj give insight (like Denver possibly moving the pick, because now it’s all I can think about). But overall it’s more of the same.

MPJ slipping that far felt more a product of boredom of looking at the same things over and over. I do agree his stock is on shaky ground, and even though his team has a lot of power with his medicals, he still has so much to prove to maintain any momentum heading in to the draft. Intel on private workouts will be the thing to watch for.

Like what’s been said above, this class is stacked with talent — and because of that, it feels relatively hard to get a sense of which direction teams will go at this point. But there is three weeks left. Plenty of time for twitter scandals, failed medical tests, and 60 different picks getting traded.

Dalton (@dalton_trigg): Like Kirk, I don’t think the Mavs drafting Mo Bamba is a sure thing. I don’t think the Mavs keeping their No. 5 pick is a sure thing. If a trade comes up that they really like, they’ll pull the trigger on something. I don’t know if this would be the case, though, had they landed a top-3 pick, but here we are.

Personally, I would trade the No. 5 pick for Jaylen Brown and the Celtics’ No. 27 pick, if rumors are true that Boston is willing to give that up to move up in the draft. The Mavs could make that trade, then turn right around and take Kenneth Faried and the No. 14 pick from the Denver Nuggets for pretty much nothing, being that Dallas has close to $14M in cap space right now and Faried’s expiring contract is worth $13.7M. It’s nearly a perfect fit, and Denver really needs to unload some salary with Nikola Jokic’s contract extension looming. I don’t think Porter Jr. will fall as far as ESPN projected the other night, but if he did, I’d feel a whole lot better about the Mavs taking a chance on him at No. 14 than I would at No. 5.

Obviously, all of this is just speculation, but it’s fun speculation, and I feel like the scenarios listed above are very plausible and make sense for the Mavs. Dallas very well might decide to stay at No. 5 and take the best player available (probably Bamba), but it’ll be fun discussing all of their options over the next few weeks as we get closer to the draft. This is what happens when your team has a ton of flexibility heading into the offseason. We should be in for a fun summer.

Sam (@SamGuertler): I’m following the trend here and will say I’m not confident the Mavs and Bamba are destined for each other. Whether Bamba gets picked before five or the Mavs choose someone else, I don’t think it’s as sure of a thing as it seems on Twitter. I’ll also disagree with the experts and say there’s no way MPJ slides that far. The Clippers will take him if they haven’t already traded up. Woj mentioning the Nuggets interest in unloading Faried and attaching a pick was interesting. I don’t know if the Mavs will do it, but it further illustrated how there are a lot of teams with cap troubles, and the Mavs are in a prime situation to take advantage. Ultimately, I don’t think Dallas picks 5, 34 and 54. I think they’ll be active, and it could happen before the draft even starts.