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A final look at some prospects for the Mavericks on Draft Day 2019

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Draft day is here, and the Mavericks have one pick to make count. Who will it be?

NCAA Basketball: SEC Conference Tournament-Tennessee vs Auburn Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Draft Day is finally upon us! While there’s understandably less anticipation this June around Dallas about which young prospect the Mavericks will add compared to last June, the Mavericks have a great opportunity to add a piece of future depth.

In this mega-edition, MMB Draft Analysts Ian and Jordan have done brief breakdowns of quality options the Mavericks front office will have tonight, looking at guards, wings, and big men, with some crossover of “wait and see” prospects if the Mavericks are willing to be patient.

Now, with the draft hours away, they each give their top four prospects they’d like the Mavericks to draft, plus the guy they’d want if he happens to fall all the way to their spot.

Ian’s Picks

CHUMA OKEKE

6’8 230, PF/SF Auburn

The Sophomore from Atlanta was leading Auburn on an incredible tournament run before tearing his ACL in the Sweet 16 (a game where he was on fire and led the Tigers to an upset over the top seeded UNC Tar Heels), and that is the only reason there’s even a sliver of a chance he’ll be available at pick #37. Okeke is a long, athletic forward who plays very intelligently, and if healthy profiles as an ideal defensive minded role player who can move the ball and hit enough shots to contribute offensively. A playoff caliber complimentary piece is exactly the kind of guy I believe Dallas should be targeting with this pick, and Okeke is one of the few who might slip out of the top 25 in what is considered a weak draft.

JONTAY PORTER

6’11 240, C Missouri

The early draft buzz on Porter makes it fairly clear that he’ll be available in Dallas’ range, so the question is has Dallas looked at his medical, and did they get a satisfactory answer? If so, Jontay is a potential steal here, even if he doesn’t profile as a perfect fit next to Kristaps Porzingis. Porter’s combination of shooting, passing, and shot-blocking is simply not matched by any other prospect in this draft, and whatever he lacks in traditional athleticism he makes up for in smarts and positioning, which should make him exactly the type of big man who can earn the trust of the brilliant and grouchy Rick Carlisle.

DEIVIDAS SIRVYDIS

6’8 190, SF Rytas Vilnius (Lithuania)

Sirvydis is a bit of a wild card, as the just-turned 19 year old from Lithuania is probably at least a year or two away from coming to the NBA. Given the roster situation for Dallas, I’m intrigued by the idea of taking a draft-and-stash prospect, and Sirvydis is probably my favorite of those options. With good positional size, Sirvydis will likely make his money professionally as a shooter, which the lefty does quite well both off the catch and (in rare opportunities thus far) off the dribble. With added strength and some extra seasoning, I like the potential with Sirvydis filling what is clearly the biggest area of need for the Mavs: shooting to surround premiere playmaker Luka Doncic.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Maryland vs Belmont John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

DYLAN WINDLER

6’8 200, SF Belmont

Another 6’8 lefty shooter, Windler capped off a terrific college career with a 35-point performance against Maryland in an early tournament loss. Windler had struggled mightily prior to that when facing power conference opponents, so it was an important development for him and his draft stock. Small school or not, what is almost equally impressive to me about Windler as his shooting is the way he helps on the glass: he averaged nearly 11 rebounds per game as a senior. No-one should expect him to be a leading rebounder at the next level, but it does at least suggest that he has the athleticism and anticipation required to succeed against bigger, stronger players.

If he falls: GRANT WILLIAMS

6’7 235, PF Tennessee

I have seen Grant Williams’ name fall to the second round in a few mock drafts, and while I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around that, I’ll include him as my “if he falls” guy in this ranking. Simply put, there’s absolutely no way there are 30 players in this draft better than Grant Williams. He is a tad undersized if his future position is at the 4 (there are some who think he could end up playing wing), but in this era I don’t think he’ll have much trouble making up for a lack of length, as he’s one of the smartest and most skilled players not currently in the NBA. Williams is tremendously efficient -- he was the engine of the best offense in college basketball -- and contributes in every facet of the game. He’s a terrific passer and excellent defensive playmaker as well, and although he hasn’t quite demonstrated a reliable three point shot yet, his shooting form and free throw success make me believe that part of his game will come in time. Grant Williams can play basketball. The league should be ashamed if they let him fall to the second round.

Jordan’s Picks

CHUMA OKEKE

6’8 230, PF/SF Auburn

For me, Chuma’s the guy. Like Ian has mentioned, the Mavericks may already have only a few roster spots to fill when July wraps up, so letting a guy like Okeke take his time in rehab isn’t a problem. And if the two-way wing bounces back from injury, he could be the steal of this draft. Whether it’s toward the end of next season, or a full season from now, Okeke is the ideal forward compliment to Luka Doncic. He can play both forward positions on both ends, allowing Carlisle to leverage the matchups he wants along the perimeter. I’m confident Okeke can be a key role player on a playoff team, and you can’t ask for a better ceiling for the 37th pick.

DYLAN WINDLER

6’8 200, SF Belmont

The concerns about Windler not performing great against stiffer competition in college are valid. It could be a tough transition for Windler initially — from length to physicality. But Dallas and Rick Carlisle seem like such a great fit for Windler’s game. Carlisle loves players that do the things Windler does well, and the Mavericks have an immediate need for a player with this skillset. Defensively I have some questions, but the bottom line is Carlisle knows how to utilize players that play along the perimeter and rebound like him, and the front office needs to make those additions (something they may have trouble with in free agency).

NCAA Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament-Arizona State vs Oregon Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

LOUIS KING

6’8 195, SF Oregon

I’ll admit I’m ignoring some defensive red flags, but that’s because a lot of intangibles are in King’s game. His athleticism, length, and shot-making ability doesn’t exist much in this window of the draft. He’s a second round development project, sure, but the ceiling to what he could provide a few years down the line doesn’t exist much from the players projected around him. Give me his 39 percent from three, ability to rebound, plus playmaking off the dribble, and I’ll hope time in development brings around his defensive fundamentals. King feels like a boom or bust, but I think he’s worth the gamble.

ADMIRAL SCHOFIELD

6’5 241, SG/SF Tennessee

I initially had Jontay Porter in this spot. And while I believe Porter has the game to be a big time stretch five in the league, I worry about his health setbacks. So give me Schofield, who does not have nearly as high a ceiling as someone like Porter, but I like his three point shot, his hustle and his work ethic. The Mavs need versatile guard-forwards that can stretch a defense, while also being willing to body up opposing playmakers. Schofield may never be more than a bench role player, but the Mavs could use his energy off the bench if they want to take a big step toward the playoffs.

If he falls: GRANT WILLIAMS

6’7 235, PF Tennessee

I also had Ty Jerome in this spot, because I believe he’s a first round level guard that the Mavs simply can’t pass up if he’s there at 37 (he could start for the Mavs next season). But it’s just too unrealistic. A few weeks ago I would have said similar things about Williams, but he’s continued to slip in projections. So if he really does slip — and it’s probably due to his size and questions about his three point shot — the Mavs need to grab him and run. Wiliams is just flat out a gamer. He’s versatile on both ends, and the league is essentially turning into playmakers and everyone else...being “undersized” doesn’t matter. Carlisle will love Williams, and will use him in creative sets, both with starters and the bench crew. In the post or cleaning up around the post, Williams would be a steal.

Now the question is: who would you take, and who do you predict the Mavs taking tonight?