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Dallas Mavericks: Who to Draft Instead of Justin Anderson?

Feb 6, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Justin Anderson (1) in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 6, 2017; Denver, CO, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Justin Anderson (1) in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dec 20, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. (7) stands on the court in the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center. The Hornets defeated the Lakers 117-113. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 20, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr. (7) stands on the court in the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center. The Hornets defeated the Lakers 117-113. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

Looking back at the 2015 NBA Draft, who could the Dallas Mavericks have taken over Justin Anderson?

The Dallas Mavericks’ recent draft woes have been well documented. Nearly every Mavs draft prospect has either failed to contribute, or gave us hope only for it to quickly evaporate. Unfortunately for us, Justin Anderson, the 21st pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, falls into the latter category.

Coming out of the University of Virginia as a junior, Anderson was projected as a 3-and-D wing that the Mavs needed after the departure of Jae Crowder (sigh). Since Rick Carlisle doesn’t play young guys a whole lot of minutes, Anderson couldn’t find hardwood except in garbage time. However, he played a pivotal role in energizing the team in the final weeks of the season and helped secure a postseason berth.

But the sophomore slump arrived in earnest as Simba regressed in virtually every category. His foibles on defense and severely inconsistent shot forced him back to the bench, collecting several DNP-CD’s. Luckily though, the 76ers saw enough in the kid from Lafayettville to make him a sticking point in the Nerlens Noel trade. Next thing you know, the Mavs have a franchise center and the Sixers add another piece to their island of misfit wings.

While we’re all happy Noel is in Dallas, one can’t help but wonder if the 21st pick in the 2015 NBA Draft could have been put to better use.

We’ll never know for sure, but here are some players who the Mavs could have drafted instead, determined by production so far and further potential.

Next: Nance Jr.

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