A Dallas Mavericks Draft Preview On Big Men
By Marvin Jerome Hanke
The NBA draft is less than two weeks away and the Dallas Mavericks have only one selection (No. 46) to pick up an impact player. Who should the Mavs target with their second rounder?
After looking at potential targets among point guards and wing players in the last two previews, this weeks post features the big men that the Mavericks could target in the second round of the draft on the 23rd of June.
A.J. Hammons: With the league trending towards small ball, selecting A.J. Hammons would certainly be going against the current. 7-feet tall and weighing around 280 pounds, Hammons seems like a throwback compared to many players currently playing center in the NBA. But the twenty-three year old who played at Purdue could certainly bring size and physicality to the Mavs frontcourt.
For his size, Hammons has a surprisingly soft touch around the basket (he shot more than 80-percent from close range) and he is more mobile on his feet than his weight would suggest. With his ability to block shots (2.5 per game), he could contribute for Dallas right away. Nevertheless, conditioning has been an issue and despite his age Hammons overall game is pretty raw. The Mavs would have to count on their ability to get Hammons into shape, but his skills on offense and his shot-blocking are probably worth the gamble.
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Petr Cornelie: Cornelie projects to be an athletic stretch-four who can really run the floor. The French-native has three-point range but would still need time to develop his overall game. At 6-foot-11 and 225-pounds Cornelie has legitimate NBA-size but would probably be a draft-and-stash candidate.
The twenty-year old would need to add strength to his frame to be able to bang down low in the NBA. His low post game is pretty raw, but Cornelie has been working on it. For the Mavericks, Cornelie only makes sense if they acquire a second pick as they are probably looking for an immediate impact player.
Perry Ellis: At twenty-two years, Ellis is one of the older players in the draft. The senior from Kansas is projected as a late second round pick, but could also fall out of the draft altogether as scouts doubt whether he is athletic enough to play in the league. He projects to be a bit of a tweener.
At Kansas, the 6-foot-8 forward impressed with his understanding of the game and with his ability to rebound the ball. Because he started to expand his range out to the three-point line this past season the hope among his supporters is that Ellis can develop into a small-ball four. His jumper from 15-feet in is already solid, and during the last two years he showed the ability to break down the defense when putting the ball on the floor, a bonus for any stretch-four.
Robert Carter Jr.: An impressive performance at the draft combine fuelled Carter ‘s draft stock, but that doesn’t change the fact that Carter’s motor, maturity-level and conditioning were less than impressive during his time in college.
The twenty-two year old looked to be in better shape during the combine and projects to be a terrific player on offense as a stretch-four. He has a good handle for a big men and range out to the three-point line, but can also score with his back to the basket. The 6-foot-9 250-pound forward is strong and athletic and if he stays in shape could also become an asset on the defensive end. Although rebounding is supposed to be one of his strengths, that was not the case this season as his numbers at Maryland were somewhat disappointing (7 per game).
Pascal Siakam: The Cameroon-native is relatively new to basketball as he played soccer in his home country. With just two seasons of organized basketball at New Mexico State under his belt Siakam’s understanding of the intricacies of the game is still developing, but his improvements so far have certainly been impressive.
The twenty-two year old is a long and athletic forward/center with a great motor. He was a great shot blocker (2.2 per game) and rebounder (11.8) last season and played 35 minutes per outing. The 6-foot-10 forward also impressed on the offensive end, where he scored 20.4 points per game. If not for the fact that he picked basketball up so late, Siakam would probably be a lottery pick. If the Mavericks are looking for an athletic roll-man that can catch lobs, Siakam should be their guy.