The Dallas Mavericks get one selection in this week’s NBA Draft to add a young player to next season’s roster. And even though that pick is in the early second round, the Mavericks still have a solid opportunity to get a player that could contribute to a growing team. As a reminder, there’s value in this window of the draft.
Over the last week we’ve been touching quickly on a handful of players the Mavericks should be looking at. Donnie Nelson will have options at guard, as well as big men, but the hope here is that the front office will have their eyes set on a wing player. The Mavericks badly need quality players off the bench in those roles, guys that can come in and hit a three and play versatile defense.
When the Mavericks are on the clock, this is who they should looking for:
Chuma Okeke (Auburn)
Sophomore, 6’8 230 lbs
Before tearing his ACL in the Elite Eight back in the spring, sophomore wing Chuma Okeke was a first round lock. A true Three-and-D forward with one of the best steal and block rates in the country, while connecting on 39 percent from three, Okeke projects easily into the league. Teams looking for a solid and reliable role playing wing, though maybe lacking much dynamic playmaking off the dribble, Okeke would have been near the top of many draft boards in the middle of the first round. Now while in recovery he has fallen some in projections, though it’s likely a team late in the first or early in the second has already promised him he’ll be selected if available.
For the Mavericks, a team looking to make a big jump in competitive play in the upcoming season, they likely aren’t expecting much from a second rounder immediately. This would allow for Dallas to be patient with Okeke’s rehab, while perhaps getting the steal of this draft when he eventually hits the floor. Okeke would be a great counterpart to Luka Doncic. Playing either forward position, being a reliable three point shooter (though he has a slow release), and then taking on the tougher defensive role on the other end. If Chuma Okeke is still on the board, this is who they should be picking, no matter the position.
Dylan Windler (Belmont)
Senior, 6’8 196 lbs
Knockdown shooter Dylan Windler put on quite a show in his final college game, in the tournament against the Maryland Terrapins, when he put up 35 points, 11 rebounds, and was 7-of-14 from three. It represented much of what’s so alluring about the lethal shooter. He’s savvy coming off screens, and has tight handles when he’s playmaking. He makes quick reads as a shooter and passer and can get hot fast. He’s also deceivingly athletic and efficient.
Windler fits an obvious offensive role in Dallas, an ideal forward fit next to Luka Doncic. Coming off screens as a shooter, and stretching the floor while Doncic and Porzingis run their sets, the offensive skill set Windler has is exactly what the Mavericks are missing on their current roster. There have been calls from MMB staff that the Mavericks try and field the best offensive team possible and worry about the rest later. Windler may be the perfect second round addition to realize that goal.
Freshman, 6’4 235 lbs
The Iowa State wing has slipped in draft projections just recently, but on paper, THT seems like a first round lock. He has the defensive ability to take on bigger players, using both his mass and 7’1+ wingspan, while also having the ball skills to be a playmaker and distributor. It wouldn’t be surprising to see an NBA team try and use him as a guard on offense, while guarding power forwards defensively. I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure what kind of player I was watching the first few times I saw him. He has unique skills and raw talent, and probably requires a creative NBA team to develop him.
For the Mavericks, Horton-Tucker could fill a number of roles. THT slots in nicely as a switchable wing off the bench. Though his three point shot needs to develop, he could slot in as a shooting guard or small forward, while also defending down to power forwards in small lineups. If he already had a proven outside shot, these are the sort of players the Mavericks need to surround Luka Doncic with. Still, it’s more likely he isn’t available when the Mavericks are on the clock.
Admiral Schofield (Tennessee)
Senior, 6’5 241 lbs
I’ve written this before, but outside of having the best name in the draft, Admiral Schofield is one of the more interesting four-year prospects in this draft. He’s made entirely of muscle, and has proven to be a unique three-and-D type wing. After shooting 30 percent from three his freshman year, Schofield made a 180, hitting 40 percent from three his final three seasons. He plays with a toughness on both ends, and could likely defend multiple wing positions. Though he’s not a fluid athlete, he has a high motor.
Schofield could be a nice wing compliment to Brunson off the bench. He does a lot of things the Mavericks need their bench to do: bring energy, hit threes. He doesn’t have outstanding length, but makes up for that in mass and effort. Dallas could use him at both the two and three position, with an ability to switch along the perimeter defensively. Schofield should be available when the Mavericks are picking, and he has the veteran college experience the Mavs value. He’d be a nice addition.
Louis King (Oregon)
Freshman, 6’8 195 lbs
On the other end of the experience spectrum is Louis King: an ideal NBA wing in terms of size, length and athleticism with a solid outside shot (39 percent from three), but a lot of raw talent that needs time to develop. After performing well in the postseason (50 percent from three in seven games), it’s surprising he’s still projected in the second round. Most of that is due to his inconsistency on the defensive side. He lacks sound fundamentals and needs to boost his effort to boost his value at the next level.
For the Mavericks, King would have time to grow and develop and eventually be a valuable small forward-power forward off the bench. Because of his length he should be able to play multiple positions offensively, leveraging that same versatility on defense (if he can improve technique). If the Mavericks want a slow approach from a wing draft pick, King provides the most interesting trajectory.