2. Ryan Rupert
Back to the defensive options, Ryan Rupert would see the Dallas Mavericks shore things up on that side of the floor. He’s the latest in a line of rookies to come out of the NBL.
Back to the defensive options, Ryan Rupert would see the Dallas Mavericks shore things up on that side of the floor. He’s the latest in a line of rookies to come out of the NBL. Like LaMelo Ball, Ousmane Dieng, and Josh Giddey before him, Rupert will enter the NBA after spending time in Australia playing for the New Zealand Breakers.
The biggest draw when it comes to Rupert is his defensive abilities. He’s one of the most impressive defensive prospects in the draft, with Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer comparing him to Mikal Bridges and noting that he “could lead the league in deflections” one day.
At 6'6, Rupert plays the wing position, making him a great option to take pressure off of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving. He utilizes an impressive 7'2 wingspan to bother opponents on the perimeter.
Unfortunately, Rupert isn’t the best 3-point shooter, as he shot just 31.3 percent from behind the arc, but his defensive capabilities make up for that downside. Plus, 3-point shots can be developed, elite defensive instincts, which Rupert absolutely has, cannot.
Rupert’s ball handling is also solid, which means he’d be comfortable taking some pressure off of Dallas’ stars in that regard. And O’Connor also says Rupert “has that dog in him,” which would give the Mavericks a great spark.
Most mock drafts have Rupert going in the late teens, but his skill set is so perfect for Dallas, they should consider reaching on him.