After surveying an intense amount of mock drafts, there seems to be a pool of players that will be available and have enough value for the Mavs to take with the 9th selection. Dennis Smith Jr, Frank Ntlikina, Lauri Markkanen, Jonathan Isaac, Malik Monk, Donovan Mitchell, Zach Collins, and now apparently Luke Kennard are all projected to be in consideration for the Mavericks.
Monk, Isaac, Smith Jr, Markkanen, and Ntlikina may be off the board by the time the Mavs are on the clock but it sounds like the Mavs have already ruled out one of those five players.
It was already reported (by Dirk himself on 105.3 The Fan) that Dirk Nowitzki has been in contact with Lauri Markkanen and is willing to give him advice. But in a later report from Mavs.com writer Earl K. Sneed, Dirk said Markkanen is a “good kid…he’s got a future in this league” but does not think “that is the route [the Mavs] are going to take.”
Dirk calls Lauri Markkanen a "good kid." Adds "he's got a future in this league" but doesn't think "that's the route we're going to take."
— Earl K. Sneed (@EarlKSneed) June 6, 2017
There’s a chance that this is simply misdirection, which is rampant this time of year, but it’s hard to imagine Dirk engaging in that game. If it is true then one name can be crossed off the list which will give some MFFLs some relief.
Markkanen contains several qualities that the Mavericks have found appealing in the past. The 7-foot tall big man shot 42% from three-point range last season and might be the best shooter in this draft. (Sound familiar?) He is also set to be the first NBA player from Finland, something the Mavs are also familiar with recently.
Satnam Singh, 7'2" center drafted by your Mavs with the 52nd pick. First Indian-born player drafted in the NBA.
— Dallas Sports Fanatic (@Dallas_Fanatic) June 26, 2015
If we take Dirk at his word and the Mavs are not “going to take” the Markkanen route, then at the very least that’s one name off the board of potential picks.
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