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NBA mock draft 2023: Dallas Mavericks select Taylor Hendricks in SB Nation 2023 mock

Hendricks falls to Dallas in this simulated draft

2023 NBA Draft Lottery Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

When the Dallas Mavericks didn’t move in the 2023 NBA Draft lottery, it was cause for excitement. Then, reality set in.

The consensus among the NBA draft junkies was that this was a draft with solid top-nine picks and then a crapshoot everywhere else. Of course, the Mavericks had the 10th pick, it only makes sense for a team that lucked into Luka Doncic and has made mistake after mistake in team-building since the 2018 draft. The thought process among Mavs fans and media more in-tune with the front office was that perhaps Dallas should look to trade the pick for a win-now player, whatever in the heck that means.

Then time rolled on and opinions on the various draft eligible players changed. Guys like Cason Wallace and Bilal Coulibaly rocketed up mock drafts. Despite all the turmoil in other parts of the draft lottery, the path to Dallas getting a good player became really straight forward: do nothing and simply see which players are there.

In the SB Nation Mock, the Washington Wizards took Coulibaly at eight! That means someone was falling to Dallas, either Anthony Black or the site’s favorite guy in Taylor Hendricks. When Black went to the Utah Jazz at nine, this was the easiest selection I’ve had in a mock draft ever.

We covered Hendricks in-depth here, but it’s worth revisiting elements of what Jordan wrote then on the fit:

Given the talent level of the current roster Hendricks would have an immediate opportunity as a starter, especially given the Mavericks’ need for athletic defenders and their limited skill at the forward position. Mavs fans are often clamoring for a player of Hendricks’ archetype. It would be easy to see him setting screens and finishing lobs or spreading the floor off Luka Doncic’s penetration.

Hendricks won’t fix all the Mavericks’ issues on defense, but he’s the sort of versatile athletic defender you can build around. His skill as a help defender cleaning things up around the rim Jason Kidd could be more creative in which player is paired with Hendricks.

And perhaps even better than all this he infuses the Mavericks with youthful energy. The team was 7th oldest in the league this season, and they had nothing to show for that “veteran” experience. This team desperately needs young talent. With Hendricks you have the opportunity to build a younger foundation along with Jaden Hardy, and to a lesser extent Josh Green, behind Doncic’s superstardom. Yes the Mavericks may be “win-now” given Luka’s legitimacy, but to sustain any success they need players like Hendricks.

This would be an incredible win for the Mavericks to net a player like Hendricks after such a disastrous season. When the draft happens Thursday, I can only hope the Mavericks would be so lucky.