Mavericks’ basketball has barely had a chance to come to a complete stop before it has, again, begun to pick up speed. We find ourselves careening towards a December 22 start date with the draft and free agency still yet to begin. Hold on to your butts, it’s going to be a wild couple months.
The big news since the last mock round up was the Brad Townsend piece in which he claims Dallas is willing to put up anyone not named Luka or Kristaps to acquire the coveted “missing piece” to a title team. Draft picks don’t have names, per se, but one imagines the Mavs would have no qualms about tossing one or both into a trade.
Bleacher Report: RJ Hampton, G NZ Breakers (Unchanged):
Bleacher Report is sticking with RJ Hampton to the Mavericks at 18. Hampton is a player with undeniable athletic upside and perhaps the most volatile player in terms of mock draft placement. Some mocks have him as a top-10 selection. The Nets, with pick 19, are apparently very interested, so they must have some hope he could potentially fall as far as their pick.
The Ringer: Aaron Nesmith, Wing, Vanderbilt (Formerly: Josh Green, Wing, Arizona):
The Ringer sees Green slipping a spot and the Mavericks opting for Nesmith at 18. He certainly has the size Dallas craves — 6’6 with a 6’10 wingspan — and would potentially see time immediately as the Mavericks’ wing rotation currently consists of Dorian Finney-Smith and prayers.
ESPN: Aleksej Pokusevski*, C, Olympicacos:
ESPN hasn’t put out an updated mock draft, but they do have a Big Board up, and Aleksej Pokusevski is the 18th-best rated player on it. Ergo, Poku to the Mavs.
CBS Sports: Desmond Bane, SG TCU (Unchanged):
CBS has Bane to Dallas at 18, which is higher than pretty much every other mock draft. Originally, the hope seemed to be we could steal him with the 31st pick. But, if Bane is their guy, no reason to faff about and try to move and shake. Just take him with your pick and call it a day since it seems unlikely the 31st pick dream is to become reality.
NBC Sports: Theo Maledon, PG Villeurbanne (unchanged):
NBC sport sticks with Maledon, the young French guard. Maledon isn’t as NBA-ready as some picks the team could make here, but with their track record scouting Euro talent, if Dallas does indeed take Theo here, it bodes well for his developmental outlook.
Rotoworld: Jalen Smith, PF/C, Maryland: (Formerly: Cole Anthony, PG, North Carolina):
Smith goes higher in most mock drafts, so to snag him at 18 would be a boon, talent-wise. He’s a decent shooter and high IQ defender who may just need some time to add speed and strength.
The Athletic: Aleksej Pokusevski, C Olympicacos B (Unchanged):
It would be very hard to be mad at this pick, were it to come to fruition. After the hunt for “the next Dirk Nowitzki” led to some truly heinous draft picks, the league being led by Giannis and Luka is a Euro siren song I simply cannot resist. Pokusevski is pencil-thin, but if he can fill out and fulfill the potential he displays as an athletic true shooting 7-footer with a guard skill set, the Mavericks might never lose again.
Sports Illustrated: Theo Maledon, PG Villeurbanne (Unchanged):
SI hasn’t updated their mock since the last roundup and so they remain with Maledon. In a medium-term world where Dallas no longer has the veteran guard depth of J.J. Barea, Courtney Lee, Tim Hardaway Jr. or Delon Wright, having a heady guard ready to take in some of that slack in a year or two wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, even if it’s a bit underwhelming at first blush.
Yahoo! Sports: Josh Green, Wing, Arizona (Unchanged):
After a roundup that saw mocks herding towards Josh Green to Dallas, Yahoo remains the only outlet with the Mavericks selecting the Arizona prospect. And only by default as it hasn’t yet been updated. Green remains a solid choice for wing depth, but 18 might be a touch high as most mocks have him sliding to the 20s.
With the draft drawing ever-closer, rumors will no doubt intensify as thing become much less theoretical. Fans of the draft should be excited by the note in the aforementioned Townsend piece that Dallas could try to package their picks to move into the lottery (moving up has gone well for Dallas in recent history.) But it seems equally likely we’ll exit November 18th not with a new rookie, but a player or two ready to start day 1 after a draft night trade.
Whatever happens, I’m beginning to get the sense that it’s not going to be boring.