The Dallas Mavericks Shouldn’t Write Off Luke Kennard
With the NBA Draft quickly approaching and the only thing on most Mavs fans minds, the Dallas Mavericks are evaluating many different choices. One of which may be Luke Kennard, of Duke.
After a disappointing loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks in the 2nd round last night, the Duke Blue Devils are full of questions. Jayson Tatum, the leader of the Freshman class for Duke this year is undoubtedly headed to the NBA. Harry Giles, last year’s number 1 overall prospect has a wide range in many mock drafts from a clear lottery pick to a late first rounder.
Amile Jefferson and Matt Jones have finished their senior years and will be gone. Grayson Allen is up in the air after a very interesting season. That leaves us with Luke Kennard to talk about. Kennard had a great sophomore season for the Blue Devils, averaging nearly 20 points per game and shooting a line of .489/.438/.856. These numbers all made a huge leap from his freshman year.
Kennard has not made it clear yet whether he intends to stay with Duke and Coach K for another year, but if he were to head to the draft, he is currently seen as a Top 20 pick on most draft boards. This kid may be right up the Mavericks alley.
If there is one thing we have seen from Carlisle in the past, he loves having an experienced point guard. Right now, the Mavs best option for next year appears to be swinging Seth Curry into that role. Although it is not ideal, that appears to be a possibility.
This would make sense especially if the Dallas Mavericks decide to hold onto Wesley Matthews, a fairly likely outcome. But, what if Dallas really is fully invested in the youth movement that started this year?
If the Mavs did go that route, there is a definite possibility that we could look to sell on Matthews. If Dallas did that, they could then be looking for either a point guard or center in a trade partner. Dallas will be able to fill the shooting guard role with Curry if he is not point guard, but they will still need some help.
In this case, Luke Kennard could be a great fit for Dallas. Kennard is an excellent shooter, a very good defender, and a smart player, especially after a few years under Coach K. Coming off the bench would not be a problem for a player like this, and he would be able to grow and develop without being rushed into game action immediately.
The Mavericks would probably need to move back in the upcoming draft to justify picking Kennard, but if Dallas is still focused on making the playoffs this season, there’s undoubtedly a chance that they could fall anywhere from the 14-17 range. This would not be too big of a stretch for a player like Kennard.
Next: Dallas Mavericks Tourney Watch: Harry Giles
I am not saying that the Mavericks should be sold on Luke Kennard right away, as there is definitely room for him to grow and mature in the game. However, it would be foolish for the Mavs to not even monitor his status as we draw nearer to the 2017 NBA Draft.