Dallas Mavericks: Re-grading the Mavs last 5 drafts
By Tyler Watts
Mavericks select Dennis Smith Jr. with 9th overall pick
The Mavs were in the lottery for just the second time since 2001 in 2017. They were beginning a rebuilding process as Dirk Nowitzki entered the twilight of his Hall of Fame career. The Mavericks decided to select point guard Dennis Smith Jr. with the ninth pick.
They chose DSJ over Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adebayo among others. Mitchell and Adebayo have already made All-Star appearances. Smith Jr. is averaging 15.3 minutes per game this season in New York. He is still only 22 years old. Growth is not linear in the NBA, but Smith Jr. continues to struggle with his shot. He may not live up to his potential.
DSJ was the Mavericks lone pick as they traded their second rounder to Philadelphia to acquire Nerlens Noel in February.
Smith Jr. may not have worked out in Dallas, but he was an important figure. Drafting him was the first step to Mavs acquiring Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. DSJ was a key piece heading to New York in the Porzingis trade. For that reason alone, it is difficult to slam this draft for Dallas. Sometimes a bit of a missed pick leads to something better. That was the case here.
Next: 2018 draft