Best player for Dallas Mavericks to draft at 26th overall: 5. Jake LaRavia
Nobody was discussing LaRavia as a potential first-round pick coming into this season, but the 6’8 forward shined after transferring from Indiana State to Wake Forest. The 20-year-old averaged 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 block in 34.2 minutes per game on 55.9 percent shooting from the field and 77.7 percent on his free throws.
LaRavia has a versatile skill set that should intrigue NBA teams. He shot 37.1 percent over his 132 3-point attempts during his three NCAA seasons. The 6’8 forward handled the ball, made plays as a secondary creator, and produced outstanding defensive statistics. He is not the most athletic player, but LaRavia can ball.
The Mavericks want floor spacers around Luka Doncic, and LaRavia shot it well from the corners. They need others who can handle the ball and make plays too. Expect LaRavia to need some time to adjust to the NBA, but the 20-year-old’s versatility makes him interesting in the late first round.
Jake LaRavia often goes in the second round in most mock drafts, but that is a mistake. 6’8 forwards that can shoot north of 37 percent from 3-point, make plays, and score are difficult to find. Expect the buzz to continue growing for the 20-year-old, but there is a chance he could slip to Dallas at 26th overall, and LaRavia would be a fantastic fit next to Luka Doncic.