The NBA Draft is less than a month away. With the Dallas Mavericks holding the No. 10 pick, speculation about whether the team will use the pick or trade it is ramping up. At the NBA Draft Combine in May, top prospects weren’t concerned with the needless conjecture surrounding Dallas’ pick. Their focus was on impressing the Mavs in the hopes of getting selected.
While the Mavericks aren’t keen to announce the players they’re bringing in for pre-draft workouts, a few of the draft prospects at the combine were more than happy to tell Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News their thoughts on potentially being drafted by the Mavs.
Caplan spoke with Anthony Black (Arkansas), Gradey Dick (Kansas), Keyonte George (Baylor), Mike Miles (TCU), Leonard Miller (G League Ignite), Marcus Sasser (Houston), Drew Timme (Gonzaga), Jarace Walker (Houston), Cason Wallace (Kentucky), and Jordan Walsh (Arkansas).
There’s a hometown connection to the Dallas-Fort Worth area or Texas for most of these players. Beyond the geographical link, they all seem eager to play alongside Mavericks star Luka Doncic.
“[Luka is] one of the best players in the game, and he’s still young, so you know, it would be cool to play with a dude like that and kind of get to learn from him, even though he’s a little bit older. Just kind of learn from him, play alongside of him — yeah, playing for the home team would be cool.”
“I’m a big Dirk fan. That was my favorite player growing up. I’m a huge Mavs fan. … It’s just one of those things like I was a fan growing up, and now I’ve got to find a place where they value me and I value them.”
Even though Doncic is only a few years older than some of these players, he’s already a seasoned NBA veteran with four-consecutive First Team All-NBA selections and a trip to the Western Conference Finals under his belt. Playing in the NCAA tournament just doesn’t compare to what he’s accomplished.
Therefore, it’s understandable that these prospects look up to Doncic and want to play next to him. Whether they get that opportunity or not is up to the Mavericks front office. Only the brain trust of Mark Cuban, Nico Harrison, and Michael Finley know how they want to navigate the team’s needs this summer.
Regardless of what the organization decides, it’s fun to see young players speak so highly of Doncic and the Mavericks. The 2023 NBA Draft is Thursday, June 22.
You can read all of Caplan’s story here.