Taylor Hendricks 2023 NBA Draft profile: Could he solve the Mavericks defensive woes?

2023 NBA Draft, Taylor Hendricks
2023 NBA Draft, Taylor Hendricks / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Taylor Hendricks' strengths

Taylor Hendricks is a unique prospect that has the potential to help fix multiple glaring issues within the Mavericks. Here are two of his biggest strengths observed from a breakdown of his film.

1. Defense

The Mavericks' biggest issue ahead of next season is defense. This just happens to be Hendricks' best skill, and Dallas can't overlook it.

Hendricks blocked 1.7 shots and collected 0.9 steals per game in his freshman season at UCF. He's the type of player that Dallas could bring in to immediately improve their defense.

Hendricks is an excellent help-side rim protector as he always knows when to slide over if one of his teammates gets beat. He blocks most of his shots this way, and he does so without fouling.

When protecting the rim and playing help defense, he displays great timing. He knows exactly when to jump to block the shot, and players often don't even see him as he soars through the air for the block.

Hendricks also plays excellent defense in transition. He isn't afraid of getting dunked on as he contests everything and even can stop two-on-one fast breaks by himself. He's the type of player that takes pride in playing solid defense and shutting down opponents.

Hendricks also thrives in pick-and-roll defense. He has the defensive versatility, footwork, and I.Q. to switch onto guards at a high level. Hendricks rarely gets blown by, and once he switches onto a guard, he plays with full confidence and has the mentality that he won't get by him. He often blocks shots from guards when they try to shoot pull-up jumpers on him, as he has solid length and elite athleticism to disrupt the shot.

Hendricks has a high motor and his energy and desire to play defense is something that will tremendously benefit the team that drafts him. He will come into the league and immediately be able to guard multiple positions.

2. Offensive versatility

Hendricks is one of the most offensively versatile players in this year's draft and would plug in perfectly into Dallas' offense.

He showed flashes that he can be a reliable player in the pick-and-roll as he is athletic and has good hands to catch dump-off passes or alley-oops. He also has the 3-point shooting to be elite in the pick-and-pop as he is confident off the catch and shoots well over closing-out defenders.

Hendricks also showed signs of development in his game off the dribble throughout the season. When he catches the ball inside the arc, he typically turns and faces to either shoot a mid-range jumper over his defender or put the ball on the ground and drive to the bucket to finish above the rim. He takes advantage of mismatches often and slower forwards struggle to stay with him.

One final aspect of Hendricks' offensive versatility that makes him deadly is his passing. Hendricks is an excellent passer out of the low post as he doesn't force any shots around the bucket and always has his head up.

He often commands the attention of the help defender which allows him to find his teammate on backdoor cuts for easy layups. Hendricks also doesn't hesitate to make an extra pass on the perimeter to find a shooter that has a better shot than he does.

He's the type of player that could develop into an efficient three-level scorer at the next level.