The 2014 NBA draft is being regarded as the best draft since the 2003 draft that produced future big three teammates Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, as well as Carmelo Anthony. If this draft produces four players of that caliber then it will be one of the best ever and the top players in this year’s draft have that kind of potential. Well, Lebron potential may be a stretch but, coming into this year Wiggins was regarded as the best high school prospect since King James and both Embiid and Parker would be the overwhelming number one choice in just about any other year since the ’03 draft. Any of those three could be the next Cavaliers next number 1 selection but, that has little to do with our Mavericks.
The thing that makes this draft different from the 2003 draft is the depth. The 2003 draft was extremely top heavy. It produced future hall of famers but outside the first eight or so selection it wasn’t very good. This year’s draft appears to have much more depth which bodes well for the Mavs. The Mavericks lost their first round pick to the Thunder due to the Lamar Odom trade but, still have a chance to add a quality player which can help the Mavs in the future. They have two picks, No. 34 and No.51.
The Mavericks, I believe, will take the best player available with exception of the point guard position. With Ellis, Calderon, Larkin all returning next year and Devin Harris probably returning the point guard position is the deepest on the team. So the question becomes who will be available at the 34th spot in the draft?
Kyle Anderson- One of the top high school players in the 2012 class. Anderson is the owner of an extremely unique game. He’s a point guard trapped in a forward’s body but, with very minimal quickness and athleticism. He’s 6’ 8” 230 lbs. and has an extremely impressive stat line, 14.6/8.8/6.5. He could drop in the draft because he has trouble playing anyone’s game but, his own. He doesn’t contribute much when the ball is not in his hands and due to his lack of athleticism is a hindrance on the defensive side. Even then, the chance of him falling to the Mavs is minimal. He seems like the kind of player that comes off the Spur’s bench and becomes a very good role player if not an all star.
Glenn Robinson III- Robinson had many wondering if he would leave for the pros after his freshman year last year. He chose to stay and although he became a more polished player many did not see the improvement that they may have expected. Had he come out next year there is no doubt he would’ve been a first rounder and could’ve been a late lottery pick had a team fallen in love with his potential. Even so, that potential still remains and he plays a position the Mavericks may need more than any other, small forward. His greatest strength is his ability to finish at the rim, where he does most of his damage. Robinson has a decent jumper but shows promise and with a bit of work could become a good outside scorer. Defensively, he has the raw tools to become an above average defender but doesn’t always show it. With the potential loss of Shawn Marion finding a wing that can guard the opposing team’s best scorer is imperative for the Mavericks looking forward.
Mitch McGary- Glenn Robinson III teammate at Michigan McGary was another player some thought may leave after his freshman year but, in hopes of raising his stock he returned. With McGary it is important to accept both the good and bad. He missed the tournament for the Wolverines due to a failed drug test, marijuana. So, he doesn’t come without his flaws but he has much to offer as a potential second round draft pick. He is 6’ 10” 263 lbs. and possesses a number of valuable skills for a center. For one he is very aggressive down low and will not shy away from contact. He gets a lot of his offensive production in the pick and roll which will work well with both Ellis and Calderon. He also runs the floor extremely well which could benefit him greatly in an offense with Ellis and potentially Harris. On top of that he has good vision and is willing to pass in order to give his team better looks. Defensively McGary doesn’t offer much in terms of rim protection but his ability to move laterally helps both with putting himself in good position and in playing the passing lanes.
Nick Johnson- The best player on the Elite Eight Arizona Wildcats, Nick Johnson was a Naismith award finalist, PAC-12 player of the year, and was a first team All-American averaging 16.3/4.1/2.8. With those accolades you know he’s good. The reason he may fall to the second round is due to his size and lack of play making ability in the half court. He is listed at 6’ 3” but, that may be a stretch and he has the game of a shooting 2 guard. However, he has incredible athleticism and uses it as best he can. He gets great lift on his jumper, much like Ray Allen, creating a more difficult shot to disrupt. He also uses his athleticism on the defensive side of the ball and could become a lock down defender if he can become more instinctive and disciplined. He and Larkin, albeit a small guard duo, could form an extremely athletic one-two guard punch for the Mavericks bench, with Larkin driving and creating and Johnson knocking down the outside shots and guarding the scoring guard on the other side. Of all the previously mentioned prospects he is the most likely to fall to the Mavericks.
Other Potential Additions
Patric Young- 6’10” 247 lbs. Center
Isaiah Austin- 7’0” 220 lbs. Center
Dwight Powell- 6’11” 234 lbs. Power Forward
Spencer Dinwiddie- 6’6” 205 lbs. Shooting Guard
Jordan Clarkson- 6’5” 186 lbs. PG/SG