The NBA Draft is coming up on October 16, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and projected targets. Today, the Dallas Mavericks will be evaluated.
On the legs of Luka Doncic’s break into superstardom, the Dallas Mavericks enjoyed their best season since they won the NBA title in 2011. The Mavs finished 49-33 and took the Clippers to six games in a thrilling round one series.
Dallas’ offense was one for the history books, as they held the highest single-season offensive rating of all time. Besides Doncic putting up arguably the best sophomore season ever, role players like Seth Curry, Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke had great moments.
Kristaps Porzingis dealt with injuries throughout the season, but showed he could carry the team when they were without Doncic. Despite his lack of a post-up game, his shooting is what makes this offense so successful, being able to run a big man on the court while stretching the floor.
Dallas showed a similar model to Houston’s offense with Doncic in place of James Harden, surrounding him with shooters at every position. With the lane cleared and opposing defenders too scared to leave their man open from deep, Doncic became a scoring machine. Even the Clippers, who boast two of the best wing defenders in the game, were virtually unable to stop Luka at the rim.
Going forward, it’s certain that Doncic can lead a championship team, it’s just not clear if Porzingis can be his top sidekick. Even if he isn’t, the Mavs put the rest of the West on notice this year, displaying their status as a legitimate playoff threat.
The Dallas Mavericks have two picks in the 2020 NBA Draft.
First Round: Pick No.18
Second Round: Pick No. 31
Perimeter Defense- Dallas’s guards are highly skilled offensive players, but they’re lacking in defense. Doncic, Hardaway, Curry and Burke are all below-average defenders, and teams like the Blazers and Rockets will kill them with their guards.
Any player they add for defense will have to also be able to shoot to stay on the floor, so Dallas will be looking for the most valuable commodity in the league: a “3 and D” wing.
Center- Dwight Powell’s midseason injury was a big blow to the Mavs, as they went 16-16 in the games after he was sidelined. The silver lining to this was that they went all-in on small ball and played Maxi Kleber in place of him in the starting lineup. This improved the team’s offense, as Powell was not a very skilled 3-point shooter.
If the Mavs can get an in-between of Kleber and Powell, a true(ish) center that can shoot the 3-ball, they’ll be able to improve their inside defense a bit. The best-case scenario of this would be someone like Myles Turner.
Round 1 Pick No. 18: Saddiq Bey F, (Villanova)
Dallas’s defensive problems get a little better if they can add Bey. His 6-foot-8 height gives him the versatility to guard the 1-4 as an already skilled defender. He can hit 3’s off the catch and shoot at a high percentage, he shot 45 percent from beyond the arc last year with Villanova. Bey made the All-Big East 1st Team last year and ranked first in the conference in 3-point percentage.
Bey isn’t a complete player in that he can create his own shot, but that’s not what Dallas needs. As long as he can hit 3’s and potentially guard the opposing team’s best wing in a couple of years, he’ll be a perfect fit. Players with his skill set are in high demand though, so Dallas will have to sweat through a couple of other potential suitors.
Round 2 Pick No. 31: Jalen Smith, PF/C (Maryland)
Jalen Smith is another name that may go higher than the Mavs’ pick, but if they can get him it would be a near-perfect fit. Smith is a 6-foot-10 big that has 3-point range, shooting nearly 37 percent last year with Maryland. His size would also instantly contribute to the Mavs’ defense by replacing Kleber.
Smith’s rim protection brings a lot to the table for a team like Dallas, who lacks a strong inside presence defensively. He averaged 2.4 blocks per game last season at Maryland and has a massive 7-foot-2 wingspan and grabbed 10.5 rebounds as well. Dallas’ rebounding would also receive a valuable boost if he fell to them.
Featured Image courtesy of Wikipedia.