Brittney Griner: Lack of Position Would Keep Baylor Star at End of Bench in NBA
Mark Cuban, you sir, are crazy. Or just desperate for attention.
But if the latter was indeed your wish, consider it granted. Earlier this week, the Dallas Mavericks owner caused quite a stir when he said he would be willing to draft Baylor Lady Bears star Brittney Griner in the second round of the NBA draft (via ESPN's Tim MacMahon):
Cuban said he would consider selecting Griner, a 6-foot-8 three-time All-American and Big 12 player of the year, in the second round of the NBA draft. If the Mavs don't draft her, Cuban said he would have "no problem whatsoever" inviting Griner to try out for a spot on Dallas' summer league team.
'If she is the best on the board, I will take her,' Cuban said before the Mavs' Tuesday night game against the Los Angeles Lakers. 'I've thought about it. I've thought about it already. Would I do it? Right now, I'd lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance, and it's not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it.'
Oy. For now, let's not concentrate on the baffling ignorance of that strategy—ask the Sacramento Kings (Isaiah Thomas) if they think late second-round picks are worthless—but simply on Griner's potential role in the NBA.
And it's simple. She wouldn't have one.
This isn't meant to be a cheap shot at the former Baylor star. During her career with the Bears, she redefined the word "unstoppable," averaging 22.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.1 blocks in four years. She destroyed countless records and established herself as the most dominant player in women's hoops history.
The mere fact that this is even a conversation is a testament to what she has meant to this game.
But where in the NBA is she going to play?
In college, she was an overwhelming force in the post because 6'8" is massive in the women's game.
In the NBA, she's nothing more than a tweener.
Could Griner carve out a role in the NBA?
That's not to say undersized power forwards haven't had success in the NBA before, but it's usually because they combine a lack of height with either daunting strength, amazing athleticism or the skill set to play the wing.
Griner (208 pounds) doesn't have the size or strength to compete with NBA big men down low. She doesn't have the speed, athleticism or shooting ability to play effectively on the perimeter. With her raw talent, I have no doubt that she could keep up with the boys in a pick-up game.
But in an organized NBA game, she would simply be a mismatch for the other team, no matter where she plays.
The record-breaking superstar is a lock for the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft, but she shouldn't go anywhere in the top 60 in the NBA draft.
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