On October 16th, 2019, the NBA season officially started. Fast forward to now, I’m being told that the Lakers have only just won the NBA title a mere week ago (I’m also being told “loud wet fart noise”), and the league is only now looking in earnest at the typical slate of off-season intrigue.
With that, many publications have revisited their initial mock drafts, and there’s been a significant bit of movement among who might be available for Dallas at the 18th pick. For what it’s worth, there seems to be much more of a concession by draft mockers that the Mavericks are, more than anything else, in need of help outside of the guard position.
Below are picks and links to the full article for each, if you’re interested in reading through their reasoning.
Bleacher Report: RJ Hampton, G NZ Breakers (Formerly: Tyrese Maxey SG, Kentucky):
The Bleacher Report Mock has RJ Hampton jumping up from pick 24 to the Mavericks at 18. Maxey, their former pick, has slid down to 23.
The Ringer: Josh Green, Wing, Arizona (Formerly: Saddiq Bey, SF/PF Villanova):
The Ringer is sticking with a wing prospect for Dallas. However in their latest mock Bey has slid out of Dallas’ grasp up to 16. Instead, the team is taking Josh Green, who was bumped back one from 17 in their previous mock.
ESPN: Theo Maledon, PG Villeurbanne:
ESPN’s mock draft has not been updated since the last roundup.
CBS Sports: Desmond Bane, SG TCU (Unchanged):
CBS remains steadfast in their initial pick with Bane going to Dallas at 18 — his highest ranking among all the mocks covered. By all accounts, he could make a great addition, but the real dream is that Bane is still available when the Mavs pick at 31. It’s not entirely out of the question but it’s equally likely that Bane starts to work his way up many boards as draft day approaches.
Rotoworld: Cole Anthony, PG North Carolina:
Rotoworld’s mock draft has not been updated since the last roundup.
The Athletic: Aleksej Pokusevski, C Olympicacos B (Formerly: Kira Lewis Jr, G Alabama):
Hoo boy, Pokusevski. This year’s favorite “home run opportunity” among NBA draft nerds. A true 7-footer with a guard skill set and the frame of an 8th grader. Here, he’s moved down to Dallas from 14 in the last mock, and if it were to truly come to pass, expect a huge amount of buzz on draft night.
Sports Illustrated: Theo Maledon, PG Villeurbanne (Formerly: RJ Hampton, G NZ Breakers):
Dallas goes from Hampton, who slides down to 20, to Maledon, who falls from 14 to Dallas at 18. Two guards, but with a shift from a talented project to a less flashy, high-floor, great-intangibles, rotation player.
Yahoo! Sports: Josh Green, Wing, Arizona (Formerly: RJ Hampton, G NZ Breakers):
Another mock with Josh Green sliding to the Mavs; this time up from 22 as Hampton climbs up to 15. Green certainly has the prototypical size and skillset to be a modern 3-and-D wing, which the Mavericks are in desperate need of. Also, he’s still young - a freshman who’ll be 19.5 - so there’s hope he could blossom in the Mavs’ system.
NBC Sports: Theo Maledon, PG Villeurbanne (Unchanged):
NBC Sports is already somehow on their 11th version of the mock draft, but, at least in this iteration, their pick for Dallas remains the same after previously having players like Jahmi’us Ramsey (a guard from Texas Tech) and Patrick WIlliams (a forward from Florida State).
Gone is RJ Hampton from the top mock spot. We would like to welcome Josh Green and Theo Maledon to the front of the line. On paper, Green certainly fills a more obvious hole in the roster. Maledon, a young Euroleague guard looks like more of a project, but perhaps one worth taking on given the Mavericks’ untold desire to form a team of international talent that crushes the NCAA beneath it’s thumb. Either way, selecting at 18, it may simply be more important to choose whoever you believe the best player to be, as it’s not a spot where you can expect to find guaranteed talent every year.
That said, and despite how fun it is to dream cast players in to perfect-fit roles as rookies, the odds that Dallas even hold on to this pick is still hard to put at better then 50/50. Far be it from me to tell you to forego scanning pages and pages of spreadsheets, filled with data on players who may or may not even wear a Mavericks jersey! Yelling at the screen for the Mavericks to Draft Poku when he’s available at 18 is self care!