If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around the Mavericks drafting with the 31st overall pick, you’re not alone. But Robert Woodard II out of Mississippi State could be the bargain Dallas is looking for.
Weight: 230 lbs
- Promising jump shot, especially from the midrange but also from deep (smaller sample size)
- Thrives around the rim
- Big frame helps him score through contact and catch lobs
- Surprisingly quick on off-the-ball cuts
- Not looking like he will become a passer or ball handler
- Limited to straight-line drives with the ball in his hands
- Surprisingly quick (again) moving his feet laterally
- Great ISO defender
- Switching potential from 3-5 if everything goes right
- Not always a flashy player, but can occasionally get steals/blocks
Active Player Comparisons
If everything goes wrong: Michael Kidd-Gilchrist
If everything goes right: Robert Covington
Most Realistic Outcome: Patrick Patterson
Stats and Accomplishments
Best Games Last Season
@ Texas A&M
18 points, 3 rebounds, 7-14 (50%) FGA, 2-3 (66.7%) 3PA, 2 blocks
vs. New Orleans
21 points, 16 rebounds, 8-14 (57.1%) FGA, 2-3 (66.7%) 3PA, 4 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
3 Key Things
- The Defense
One look at Woodard should tell you all you need to know — this guy is not getting pushed around. The Mavericks could really use a wing defender who is built like this. We saw just how thin Dallas is on the defensive wing during the playoffs. Seth Curry had to come off the bench and Maxi Kleber had to continue playing nearly 34 minutes a game despite an abysmal offensive performance. Woodard could match up against bigger wings like Kawhi Leonard and give the Mavericks a true weapon on the defensive end of the floor.
2. The Efficiency
As a freshman, Woodard started only one game and played mainly a reserve role for the Bulldogs. Last season as a sophomore, Woodard started every game and saw an increase in his efficiency. The most notable improvement was on his three-point shooting, which he raised almost 16 percent. The volume is still pretty low for Woodard, but the numbers are promising. He even placed in the 69th percentile on catch-and shoot jump shots per Synergy, which is encouraging when you think of his fit on the Mavericks.
3. The Scoring Around the Basket
This is Woodard’s most notable trait. Scoring 1.29 points per half-court shot around the rim (Synergy), he absolutely thrives around the basket. When you watch him on film, you can tell he knows these are the situations he thrives in. He is constantly cutting to the basket, filling the lane or going for a put back. His size allows him to play like a four when he wants, yet he has more than enough speed to play on the wing.
Role with the Mavericks
Woodard could be utilized as a wing, or even as the four at times. He’d be a great counterpart to Luka Doncic (which feels redundant to say) as he offers inside scoring and a promising deep shot. He would be a defensive anchor coming off the bench, with the potential ability to play end of game situations depending on the opponent.
The 31st overall pick may not be at the front of your mind on draft night, but make no mistake of it’s importance. Woodard could potentially still be on the board when it’s time for the Mavericks to make that selection, as could Colorado’s Tyler Bey. Drafting a defensive-minded wing would be a home run for this team. Doing so at 31 would be even better. Woodard could be that player if he’s still in the greenroom.