Dallas Mavericks: Finding Players Where Many Fear to Look
By Kohl Rast
The Dallas Mavericks have had a rough season, there is no denying that. Although the year has not gone as well as many would have hoped, there seems to be a pretty good basis for the lack of success. Just look at the Mavs current roster.
There are a lot of people excited about the upcoming NBA Draft, and for good reason. With a crazy amount of talent sitting atop the draft board, it makes sense that the fans are excited to see who Dallas will pick with their three picks. Everyone wants to see who they will be cheering for next year.
One thing that has been an important part of recent NBA seasons has been the undrafted rookies getting signed. Although there are only a handful that end up being successful even in the best years, There are always a few that get their shot.
The Mavericks take that few to a completely different level.
If you tasked a casual fan to name a couple players in the NBA that were not drafted, they probably would struggle to come up with some names. However, if you gave the same task to a Mavs fan, they could probably do a little bit better. And for good reason.
Here is a breakdown of where each of the current Mavericks players were taken in their respective drafts.
Nerlens Noel: 6th overall pick in 2013
Harrison Barnes: 7th overall pick in 2012
Dirk Nowitzki: 9th overall pick in 1998
Dennis Smith Jr.: 9th overall in 2017
Doug McDermott: 11th overall pick in 2014
Dwight Powell: 45th overall pick in 2014
J.J. Barea: Undrafted in 2006
Wesley Matthews: Undrafted in 2009
Seth Curry: Undrafted in 2013
Salah Mejri: Undrafted in 2015
Dorian Finney-Smith: Undrafted in 2016
Yogi Ferrell: Undrafted in 2016
Kyle Collinsworth: Undrafted in 2016
Jalen Jones: Undrafted in 2016
Maxi Kleber: Undrafted in 2017
Johnathan Motley: Undrafted in 2017
Yes, you read that right. Only six of the current Dallas Mavericks were selected in the NBA Draft. The other 10 were all undrafted in their respective draft class before finding their way to Dallas in some way.
Many of these misses are pretty bad (players like Adam Morrison, Tyrus Thomas, and Randy Foye drafted in 2006, Hasheem Thabeet and Jonny Flynn in 2009, and of course Anthony Bennett and Shane Larkin in 2013).
This is all fascinating but it really does help you understand why the Mavs are underperforming this year. Aside from a near 40-year old legend, a rookie, three stars that haven’t panned out yet, and Dwight Powell, Dallas is all players who were overlooked in the draft. Scouting in the NBA is pretty bad, but I find it hard to believe that they missed that much NBA level talent.
Next: The Forgotten Dallas Mavericks: Roy Tarpley
Next year should be a good turnaround for Dallas, who will search for answers in free agency and the draft. But this year should forevermore be known as the year of the undrafted in Dallas. It really is fascinating.