Undrafted Players The Dallas Mavericks Could Target
By Marvin Jerome Hanke
With the 2016 NBA draft in the books, several promising players were left disappointed with their names uncalled. For the Dallas Mavericks these players represent a chance to add another prospect to the roster.
Purdue’s center A.J. Hammons was selected by the Mavs with the 46th pick last night, but some other players were not as lucky. Wayne Selden, Cat Barber, Robert Carter, Alex Poythress, Perry Ellis, Fred VanVleet, Gary Payton II and many others were not called upon during the draft but will certainly find themselves on a summer league squad in early July playing in Las Vegas or Orlando.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Ron Baker has already agreed to a contract with the New York Knicks, Gary Payton II has reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Houston Rockets.
VanVleet, Poythress, Ellis and James Webb were already featured in the three-part draft preview of The Smoking Cuban.
There are some other promising undrafted players that the Mavericks could pick up in free agency:
Jameel Warney: Warney out of Stony Brook is already on the Mavs summer league roster so the team will get a close look at him. At 6-foot-8 and with a 250-pound frame, the twenty-two year old power forward is a strong physical player who can bang in the paint on defense finish in the same are on offense. Last season Warney averaged more than 3 blocks and 10 rebounds per game and scored 20 points an outing on 63-percent shooting.
While his physicality coupled with his shot-blocking, rebounding and scoring is impressive, Warney lacks elite size and length (wingspan of 7-foot-1) for his position. In NBA-terms his athleticism is underwhelming, it is unclear if Warney can hold his own against athletic and strong NBA frontcourts.
Dorian Finney-Smith: Finney-Smith worked out for the Mavericks and reportedly did well, but wasn’t picked up by any team last night. The Florida product is a 6-foot-8 small forward that projects to be a 3-and-D player in the NBA.
For his size, Finney-Smith has a terrific handle which is why he is very good at putting the ball on the ground and getting to the basket (. The twenty-three-year old also has a shot that extends out to beyond the arc (he shot 37-percent from three last season).
Strength might be an issue for Finney-Smith at the next level (he weighs 212 pounds) but in college he was a terrific rebounder (8.4 per game). His defense lacks consistency but the physical tools to be a good perimeter defender are there.
Jarrod Uthoff: The senior from Iowa is already twenty-three years old, but the 6-foot-9 Uthoff who can play both forward spots brings a unique skill set that many teams covet and was projected as a first round pick by ESPN’s Chad Ford.
For Iowa, Uthoff was a good rebounder (6.4 per game) and shot-blocker (2.5) considering that he played on the perimeter a lot. Uthoff also shot over 38-percent from three and shot over 81-percent from the free-throw line.
Although his athleticism and overall ability on the defensive end is impressive, scouts were worried about his strength and lack of consistency.
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Derrick Jones Jr.: At just 19 years of age, Jones declared for the draft because the NCAA questioned his ACT scores. Unfortunately, he went undrafted, and now the Mavs might have a chance to bet on his upside. The 6-foot-6 swingman played for UNLV last season and averaged 11 points, 4 rebounds and 1 block per game.
While those stats don’t jump off the page it is his upside that scouts bet on before the draft. Jones size coupled with a 6-foot-11 wingspan and extraordinary athleticism screams defensive potential. Both on defense and offense Jones tends to fly across the court to make plays.
His 185-pound frame is not NBA-ready but if he develops a consistent outside shot and his future team is patient with his development, Jones could make many teams regret passing on him.