A couple weeks ago I wrote an article discussing potential draft picks for the Dallas Mavericks in this year’s draft. In the article I discussed a few things but most importantly, how the 2014 draft was the deepest in recent memory which meant that first round talent would fall to the second. Although, it is unfortunate that the Mavericks lost their first round pick due to the Lamar Odom trade it could be worse. In this year’s draft, talent can be had after the initial thirty which in some years would be gone in the first twenty. I also mentioned that I believe the Mavericks will take the best player available with both second round picks, number 34 and number 51, with a possible exception at the point guard position due to the depth of players on the Mavericks roster who can handle the ball and run the point. In my last article I offered up Glenn Robinson III, Mitch McGary, and the long shot Kyle Anderson as potential targets. Here are a few more.
Potential 2014 Draft Targets
Dwight Powell- The Stanford standout came to California from Canada as one of the most promising in the high school recruiting rankings. Since then his game has grown at a pace much slower than many expected it would. It is due to this that his draft stock places him somewhere in the second round although somewhere in the late first is not completely out of the realm of possibilities. Powell is a tall lanky 6’10” power forward with a bit of an old school back to the basket game. He seems to favor a hook shot more than most but many would like to see him work with his face to the basket more. Where he shows a well above average jump shot for the position which stretches all the way out to the three point line. For these reasons Powell is a great candidate to learn from Dirk and become his apprentice, so to speak. His future will depend on his ability to knock down jumpers and take advantage of his size much like Dirk has. He will never have the 7 foot size or the ability to make circus shots like Dirk but, he could learn enough to become a very effective pro.
He has the length to play the power forward position but lacks the strength. Both his offensive and defensive game would benefit greatly from the added weight and strength. The added strength would allow him to become more aggressive as an offensive threat and would allow him to not just rely on his quick feet on the defensive end. Powell has always shown promise and many expected him to grow more than he did at Stanford. Perhaps the Mavericks coaching staff and Dirk can take him to the next level.
Patric Young- The former Florida Gator is an absolute monster. He looks more like a defensive end than a basketball player until you realize he’s 6’9”. He is a ripped 247 lbs. and uses his size to win all physical battles. He is a bit short for the center position but has good length with his 7’1” wingspan. He also makes up for his lack of height with his elite athleticism. He has incredible agility and quickness which allows him to keep his body between his man and the basket. With his array of talents Young was able to haul in the SEC defensive player of the year as a senior. Offensively Young doesn’t offer much. In the post he shows a decent hook shot but that’s about it. He mainly relies on his teammates to make things happen for him or cleans up missed shots. He gets better the closer he is to the basket. He is best out of the pick and roll, which is good in the Maverick’s scheme, and above average in transition thanks to his elite athleticism. He’s not a terrible free throw shooter with just under a 60% clip but should never average double digits in the NBA. Defensive rebounding is a real strength but, he is oddly enough, a poor offensive rebounder which says that he does a good job of putting a body on a player at the defensive end but has trouble getting boards when he himself is getting boxed out. If he can improve his rebounding on the offensive side of the ball then his value would increase greatly. In Young you’ll get a defensive stud and a player that earns his teammate’s respect due to his work on the court and attitude in the locker room.
Jordan Adams- Adams was a part of the recruiting haul that brought Shabazz Muhammad and Kyle Anderson to UCLA. He was a sophomore this most recent season but is still one of the youngest players in this year’s draft. Adams is a 6’5” shooting guard with average height and athleticism but great length, 6’10” wingspan, and shows good basketball instincts. Thanks to those instincts he is one of the draft’s best pure scorers. He scores in many different ways whether it be on a back cut, scoring from the outside or penetrating the lane. One of his biggest strengths is his ability to finish at the rim. He gets to the rim a lot and because of this goes to the charity stripe frequently where he converted 84% of his free throws. Just about the only way he doesn’t consistently put points on the board is with a pull up jumper. This is absolutely necessary for an NBA scorer but due to his lack of athleticism and inability to create separation, he struggles. Due to this he will need to become a serious threat from the outside if he is to become a consistent contributor at the next level. Defensively he ranks among the best in the draft class in steals. He uses his long arms and instincts to pick his moments to strike and go after ball handlers and passes. However, at times he becomes a bit too ambitious which is something he will need to temper or he will be punished at the next level. In order for Adams’ game to go to the next level he will need to work on his body. If he can improve on his overall athleticism and conditioning his game would benefit as much as anyone’s in this year’s draft.