We have reached one week out from the 2023 NBA Draft, which means an uptick on quality intel as teams position themselves for the kick-off of the 2023-24 season. Teams are meeting with players for private workouts, rumblings about veteran trades or free agent destinations are growing, and the possibility of picks being moved are becoming more and more real.
Enter: the Dallas Mavericks.
It’s no secret that the Mavericks are looking to overhaul their depth and recover from a painful season. They found themselves with the tenth pick in the draft, but sources continue to suggest the front office will be looking to fulfill that need by moving the pick. Nothing confirms that more than in this week’s NBA Mock Draft Roundup where the same the player isn’t projected to the Mavericks twice, with the selection likely on the move. Philosophy and strategy opinions aside, this is the reality we need to prepare for. Buckle up.
Mavericks selection: Dereck Lively II (Duke)
In this mock scenario the draft basically goes chalk, with the general consensus top nine prospects going one through nine. Whether the Mavericks plan to keep or trade the pick, this is worst case scenario. If one of those top nine slips through the value of Dallas’ position raises considerably. Here, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo indicate the Mavericks might be interested in the rising Dereck Lively out of Duke, who has continued to improve his draft stock over the last month.
Mavericks selection: Taylor Hendricks (UCF)
This is the inverse scenario referenced above. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer slates a draft where Victor Wembenyama’s teammate, Bilal Coulibaly, has jumped up into the top ten which bumps Taylor Hendricks to ten.
I recently wrote on Hendricks’ fit with the Mavericks, how he can be the versatile defensive anchor this team was missing last season. O’Connor, though, confirms much of the recent chatter about Dallas and their interest in possibly trading this pick. It would be great to see a young talent like Hendricks in Dallas, but don’t be surprised if this pick is up for grabs if the value rises in this scenario.
Mavericks selection: Cason Wallace (Kentucky)
Is there an echo? The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie slots Kentucky guard Cason Wallace here to the Mavericks but repeats the same banter seen everywhere: the Mavericks are looking to move the pick to improve their depth and have met with players currently projected later in the draft.
One could argue that players like Lively, Hendricks, and Wallace could improve their depth just as much as trading back or out would. But we can’t evaluate that fully until a deal has been made.
Mavericks selection: Gradey Dick (Kansas)
Hoops Hype uses an aggregate mock draft, and here they’ve listed Kansas shooter Gradey Dick here to the Mavericks. The 6’7 Dick recently worked out for the team, which may mean they’d consider him at the ten spot rather than trading out. He is more than just a floor-spacing shooter. He may not bring the upside you’d like in a lottery pick but he can be a starter and might have a higher floor than others. His initial draft range was projected eight through 11, though now it might be closer to 10-13.