6 Sleeper targets for Mavericks in the 2023 NBA Draft a la Jaden Hardy

After their success with Jaden Hardy last year, could the Dallas Mavericks trade up into the second round once again at the 2023 NBA Draft?
Dallas Mavericks, 2023 NBA Draft, Jaden Hardy
Dallas Mavericks, 2023 NBA Draft, Jaden Hardy / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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Potential NBA Draft fallers the Dallas Mavericks should keep an eye on

If all goes accordingly, the Dallas Mavericks will be selecting a player, most likely a forward or center, with the 10th overall selection. However, it has been reported and well-documented that the Mavs may trade down in the first round. However, we'll pretend as if the Mavs hold the 10th pick and trade back into the draft to acquire one of the following prospects.

Amari Bailey

Following the "Jaden Hardy" route, the Mavs could look to select Amari Bailey, ranked 38th on the Big Board, in the second round. He finished his high school career at the prestigious Sierra Canyon as ESPN's fifth-ranked recruit.

Bailey put up modest numbers in his only season at UCLA, averaging 11 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.2 assists. However, he showed real promise at the NBA Combine. He averaged 17.5 points and 7.5 assists between the NBA Combine scrimmages. His scoring and playmaking were on display, unlike when he played for the veteran-laden Bruins in college.

Dariq Whitehead

Another young prospect worth taking a shot on if he falls is Dariq Whitehead, ranked 32nd on the Big Board. He is a great athlete who looked like an elite prospect before his injury woes. Whitehead was the second-ranked recruit in the ESPN 100.

His lone season at Duke did not go as planned, as he only averaged 8.3 points and played just 20.6 minutes per game. Whitehead is a potential faller due to his lack of production and injury concerns, as it was reported that Whitehead would undergo a second surgery on his injured right foot.

Emoni Bates

Yet again, the trend continues. A high recruit who underperformed in the collegiate ranks, Emoni Bates might epitomize this instance the most. Bates reclassified to the 2021 class, where he was rated as the 3rd best prospect by ESPN.

He began his collegiate career at Memphis, where he only participated in 18 games and averaged 9.7 points. However, Bates was only 17 years old. He then transferred to Eastern Michigan and averaged 19.2 points. Bates has the potential to be a high-level shotmaker who would provide instant offense for any team.