Dennis Smith Jr.- Buy
Speaking of players that have been slowly dropping in the mock drafts, Dennis Smith Jr. is one guy who may be giving the Mavs a better chance at landing a draft steal. There are a lot of good things that can be said about Smith, but the one that really should interest Dallas is his explosiveness. There are very few guards in the league that have the ability that Smith does to get to the rim.
Smith had an up and down freshman year with NC State, which has played a role in his dropping in mock drafts. He has some head scratching moments, but I believe they were seriously overshadowed by his strengths. The Mavs should be interested in Dennis Smith and I feel should be ready to pounce if he falls to #9.
Lauri Markkanen- Sell
One of the first names tied to the Dallas Mavericks this upcoming draft was Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen played his freshman year with the Arizona Wildcats where he showed his ability to shoot the ball, as well as his relatively average rebounding and passing ability. Still, a 7-footer shooting nearly 50% from the field and 42% from 3-point deserves to turn some heads.
However, I believe that Markkanen in Dallas would be a recipe for disaster. At first glance, I thought he would be a great fit because his game does reflect that of Dirk Nowitzki. Unfortunately, if you draw any comparison to Dirk at all in the NBA (and especially in Dallas), you are never going to reach that level. For that reason, let’s keep Markkanen out of Dallas. Fans are not going to take kindly to him.
De’Aaron Fox- Buy
Fox might honestly be my favorite player in the draft class and, I feel, for good reason. Fox has amazing explosiveness, great size for a point guard, and an energy that is unmatched by any other player in the draft. He is a reasonable scorer with great body control and can energize any team with his tenacity and push. He has drawn comparisons to John Wall, and I see a little bit of Kemba Walker to him as well.
Fox does have some weaknesses to his game. He is a bit lightweight for a point guard and may struggle against the bigger NBA guards. He also can be a streaky shooter much like John Wall and Kemba Walker. That being said, Fox did shoot nearly 48% from the field in his time at Kentucky. Don’t expect Fox to fall to the Mavs in the draft, unless we move up.
Malik Monk- Buy
Monk is probably the best pure scorer in the draft as he can be deadly from anywhere on the court. He is a super athletic shooting guard with some incredible quickness, the ability to score in a variety of ways, and just an all-around skilled player. Whoever ends up getting Malik Monk in the draft will not be sorry.
Monk was the SEC Player of the Year from Kentucky and earned his stripes during that time. With averages of 19.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists, it is clear that Monk is built to score first and foremost. His shooting percentages of 45% FG, 40% 3P, and 82% FT are impressive and will translate nicely to the NBA. Again, don’t expect Monk to drop to Dallas at #9.
Frank Ntilikina- Sell
Of all the wildcards in the draft, Ntilikina is definitely the wildest. At only 18 years old, Ntilikina has found himself as a top prospect from overseas and is expected to be drafted in the top 10 this summer. The young point guard has really drawn interest mostly from his incredible size combination. Ntilikina is listed at 6’5″ and is reported to have an amazing 7’0″ wingspan.
There is definitely a lot of unknown with Ntilikina but many people believe he could be a true star in the league. I tend to side with these people as it is clear that he has every opportunity and many of the tools that could make him a star. Despite this, it is hard to be sure what this guy is made of which has made me wary. I won’t say I wouldn’t take him in the draft, but I would be cautious before picking him.
There are clearly a lot of players who would be ready to fill in an important role for the Dallas Mavericks but some of them the Mavs will need to be cautious with. All things considered, we should just be happy that the Mavericks are primed for a top 10 draft pick.