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The Mavericks get a quality big man in Raymond Spalding

LOUISVILLE, KY - FEBRUARY 6: Raymond Spalding #13 of the Louisville Cardinals attempts a shot over Dennis Clifford #24 of the Boston College Eagles during the second half at KFC Yum! Center on February 6, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - FEBRUARY 6: Raymond Spalding #13 of the Louisville Cardinals attempts a shot over Dennis Clifford #24 of the Boston College Eagles during the second half at KFC Yum! Center on February 6, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Raymond Spalding brings enough to the table as a role player, especially on defense. He has a good offensive value as well. He does, however, need to add muscle in order to compete with the other bigs in the league.

The Dallas Mavericks had a very productive draft last night. They came away with the most accomplished and NBA-ready player in decades with Luka Doncic. They got another winning player in Jalen Brunson, and gambled for upside with Kostas Antetokounmpo and Raymond Spalding.

Spalding is a long, agile power foward who held the paint for Louisville last season. He brings high-level defense and good value on offense. Even though he doesn’t have massive upside, he can become a competitive player for Dallas in time.

Raymond Spalding

School: Louisville

Position: Power Foward

Height/Weight/Wingspan: 6’10″/215/7’4.75″

Stats: 12.3 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, 1.5 SPG, 1.7 BPG

Slashline: 54 FG%, 26 3PT, 64 FT%

Defense

Spalding is a long, athletic power foward who thrives on the defensive end of the floor. His length is excellent, and it was a big part of him blocking 1.7 shots per game game as a junior. He did more than blocking shots however, as he was consistently getting into the passing lanes, averaging 1.5 steals per game.

Not only is he an impressive shot blocker, but Spalding is also a very solid rebounder. He averaged 8.7 rebounds, using his length and athletic ability to consistently clean the glass. He is a great defensive player, and more than capable of becoming improving with his tools.

Offense

On offense, he is a good lob target and rim runner, on pick-and-roll situations and in transition. Spalding is also very athletic, which helps him to play above the rim. This allowed him to post a great 69.1 percent at the rim. His jumper is nothing to sneeze at either. In his junior season with Louisville, he shot a 39.3 percent (55 out 140) on two-point shots. He only made 5-of-19 (26.3%) of his three pointers, but those flashes, along with his mid-range jumper, give him a solid foundation.

All in all, Spalding is a solid role player that could develop into a excellent contributor in a few years. His defense and rebounding ability can help the Mavs right now in a small role. While his offensive contribution could be attacking from the pick-and-roll/pick-and-pop situations, as a lob target, and in transition. For a late second-round pick, the Mavericks found a solid big man prospect.

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