2. Donovan Mitchell 2017 NBA Draft (13th overall)
Mavericks selection: Dennis Smith Jr. (9th overall)
Dallas missed the playoffs for just the second time in 17 years in 2017, and it was clear that Dirk Nowitzki was entering the final stage of his NBA career. The Mavs needed to rebuild and wanted a star ball-handler to lead their next run.
Taking Smith Jr. ninth overall proved to be a massive mistake. He was the starter from day one and showed some flashes during a mistake-filled rookie campaign, but that would be the best season of his NBA career. DSJ’s lack of shooting and poor efficiency has forced him to bounce around the league looking for a role as a backup point guard in recent years.
Dallas Mavericks mistakenly take Dennis Smith Jr. over Donovan Mitchell
This class was touted as having five elite point guard prospects, but the best one was not part of that group. Mitchell went 13th overall and immediately averaged 20 points per game. After six seasons, he is a four-time All-Star and one of the best scorers in the NBA. Only De’Aaron Fox made an All-Star appearance from the five point guards that were drafted in the top ten with the other four earning bust status.
The Dallas Mavericks likely do not regret taking Dennis Smith Jr. because it helped them land Luka Doncic, and things certainly would have been different if they selected Donovan Mitchell in 2017.