While it was an underachieving season for the Dallas Mavericks, it largely came with what could be seen as a consolation prize – a top 10 pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft. Dallas has not held a top 10 pick since 1998, and I think we all know what came out of that: Robert “Tractor” Traylor. Nevertheless, Traylor’s stint as a Maverick was short lived when he was immediately traded to Milwaukee Bucks for some German kid, but let’s moves on. For a year that came as a disappointment, the Mavs could have a plethora of options with the ninth pick.
The 2017 NBA draft is top-heavy, with a collection of talented, young prospects that have future NBA All-Star potential. With this top-heavy draft comes a pool of gifted point guards, a definite need for Dallas.
“It’s not like I really have a lot of input on these guys, but it’s clear we want a point guard, obviously,” Dirk Nowitzki stated on The Ben & Skin Show on 105.3 The Fan. “We’ll see. We got the ninth pick, which is hopefully a good omen. ”
When the sixth leading scorer of All-Time comes out and says what the target is, you better believe it. Out of the top point guard prospects, having the ninth pick gives Dallas a possibility of three candidates to choose from; if they’re lucky.
Dennis Smith Jr.
DSJ is an explosive guard out of NC State. His ability to drive to the rim and finish with athleticism is unmatched by any of the fellow point guard prospects. Though the Wildcats under achieved and missed the NCAA Tournament, DSJ left his mark as a top-10 prospect in this draft. Not the pass-first point guard Mark Cuban said the Mavs were targeting, but DSJ would be a fine choice if he were to fall to the Mavs.
The biggest question in the lottery could be Ntilikina. The 18-year-old Frenchman comes with the highest risk factor in the top 10, but could also present the biggest reward. As a 6-foot-5 point guard with the 7-foot wingspan, Ntilikina brings versatility on both ends of the floor. Being that the Mavs traveled to Europe twice to see Frank play gives the assumption that Donnie Nelson is locked and loaded on taking the leap with Ntilikina.
Not necessarily a true point guard, but Monk’s offensive game is something no team can cross off its draft board. His microwave offensive ability to heat up in a hurry can be compared to Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford. Adding Monk alongside Seth Curry could set the Mavs up with a firepower backcourt for the future.
The Mavericks may have their favorite out of these guards, but I have a strong feeling that Dallas will be happy to land any one of them.
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