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A fun, hypothetical Dallas Mavericks draft conversation

The MMB draft team takes a wild look at some fun hypotheticals.

2022 NBA Draft Lottery Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

Editor’s note... this is dead now. There’s the Christian Wood is going to be a Maverick so the pick is gone. However, this was turned in before hand, and it’s a good post. Thanks for reading.

The 2022 NBA Draft is coming up, and the Dallas Mavericks have the 26th pick...

...for now!

Draft aficionados Luke, Ian, and Jordan had a conversation full of fun draft day hypotheticals, including what would happen if the Mavs could draft anyone. Here’s the chat:

All odds are courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

LUKE: Gentlemen, let’s get hypothetical. If the Mavs were to move into the top part of the draft lottery, who is your favorite fit with the Mavs roster?

IAN: Just to clarify, this is basically saying if Dallas could get anyone?

JORDAN: Yes. Is it most likely that if they ended up in the lottery, it involved, it involved moving Jalen Brunson? I guess maybe (though I don’t understand those cap gymnastics). So in this fantasy, I’m working under the assumption that Brunson is returning to Dallas on a new deal.

LUKE: Yeah, me too. Let’s live in fantasy land! Who do you like in the top crop of prospects? Not in general, but for the Mavs specifically.

JORDAN: At this point, and I know Ian may kill me for this, I still can’t trust the frame of Chet Holmgren, so if we’re looking at that top pick, I’m choosing between Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero, and Jaden Ivey. It’s not that I don’t trust Holmgren’s game. It’s that if I have my pick of anyone, I’m not going with the 150-pound center. Though I’m open to someone convincing me his game fits best with Luka.

IAN: He made 14-16 attempts as PnR roll man. Gonzaga criminally underused him in that role.

LUKE: I’m with you Jordan (for Mavs purposes). I think Chet’s game works with Luka in theory, but I don’t think Chet will be able to contribute in a meaningful way for a couple of years. I feel like Jabari Smith would be the easiest fit immediately, right?

IAN: I’ll take Chet, thanks. I think offensively he’ll need time to fine-tune things and his role may be limited to play finisher (spot up, roll man, dunkers spot guy), but the best defensive rookie since Tim Duncan just played last year at 215 pounds. And Chet has a chance to exceed my expectations given his skill set. He had a 1.359 PPP as a transition ball handler(!), better than any of the other top prospects, even guys like Ivey. It’s kind of a lazy comparison but defensively I think Chet could be the player Dallas thought they were getting with Kristaps Porzingis.

JORDAN: Next to Luka, do you see him being utilized that way though?

IAN: I think Chet would probably be used mainly as a play finisher in the ways I described above, but my point was just to highlight how good he was last season and that he has way more skill than your average college 7-footer. I have Chet as 1A with Paolo as 1B, but I think Paolo is much less interesting as a fit in Dallas given roster construction. I can see arguments for Jabari over Paolo as a Mav. Jabari’s best comp is probably Sacramento Harrison Barnes (this is a very different player from Dallas Harrison Barnes).

LUKE: Important note: Chet is -275 to be selected with the second overall pick. So if you want Chet, you better find a way into the 2-spot!

JORDAN: He is absolutely more skilled than most college 7-footers. He’s very unique. Maybe I hold it too much against him that I’ve fallen for Victor Wembanyama more.

IAN: Yeah Wemby is generational in the way that term should be used. I’d let Luka take the year off to smoke hookah and play Fortnite if it meant Dallas could get him.

JORDAN: Yeah, I think if I’m looking at the Mavs right now and wanting them back in the WCF next year, or the Finals in the next two years, I’m going with one of the other two (Paolo or Jabari). But after those guys, who would be your favs for the Mavericks? We do know a few top ten picks might be traded away on draft night.

LUKE: I know I’m in the minority here, but Bennedict Mathurin is #4 on my big board. I’m in basketball love with that guy.

JORDAN: WOW. A Mavs-centric big board or overall?

LUKE: I’ll go with both, honestly. Mathurin’s draft position over/under is 8.5, so clearly I like him more than the oddsmakers. Am I the only one that would trade a decent haul to get into the top 8 and take Mathurin? He has everything I want in his tool bag and seems like a great guy to have in the locker room as well. The reports about his personality are all positive. I just want to cheer for him next to Luka Doncic for the next few years.

JORDAN: I do like him. I think he’s an exciting athlete with a variety of skills. I’m not sure if he’s the first I’m trading for in the top 8 or not. I know there’s a health red flag, but I’d still probably go with AJ Griffin. What are his odds at right now?

LUKE: The oddsmakers have AJ Griffin’s draft position over/under at 10.5 right now, so it’s likely you could get him with a top-8 pick.

JORDAN: Wow, he’s really fallen.

LUKE: I think the medical concerns for Griffin are scaring some people off — including me. I’m tired of playing the injury game!

IAN: What about Shaedon Sharpe? I’ve been hearing he’s falling as well.

LUKE: Sharpe’s draft position over/under is currently 7.5. That’s actually higher than I expected. I don’t think he’ll make it past 6.

JORDAN: I think within the top ten, the players I’m most interested in for the Mavericks are really the ones we’re talking about here. Some order of Jaden Ivey, Bennedict Mathurin, and AJ Griffin. That is to say, if the Mavericks found their way to somewhere between picks 4-8, I’d be pretty excited.

IAN: I think Sharpe and Johnny Davis would very much be in the conversation too, as different as their resumes are at this point. And if we’re talking who, outside of Chet, fits the best with the current roster (meaning they keep Brunson/Dinwiddie but still had spare parts at center)? I think that’s Jalen Duren.

JORDAN: There’s a handful of centers projected between 10 and 25, but yes, Duren would be the logical best fit.

LUKE: So no interest in trading up for a Mark Williams, per se?

JORDAN: I think the only center in the lottery I’m thinking about is Duren.

IAN: Williams has great physical tools but I think he gets killed on switches. I feel like he’s never met a pump fake he didn’t jump at. What are Duren’s odds?

LUKE: His draft position over/under right now is 10.5.

JORDAN: Let’s wrap up with a fun prompt. Outside of the obvious top three (Holmgren, Banchero, and Smith), who would be your Mavs lottery top five? My gut says:

  1. Jaden Ivey
  2. Bennedict Mathurin
  3. Jalen Duren
  4. AJ Griffin
  5. Shaedon Sharpe

LUKE:

  1. Bennedict Mathurin
  2. Jalen Duren
  3. Jaden Ivey
  4. Keegan Murray
  5. Shaedon Sharpe

IAN:

  1. Jaden Ivey
  2. AJ Griffin
  3. Shaedon Sharpe
  4. Jalen Duren
  5. Keegan Murray

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