Top 5 Draft Prospects for the Dallas Mavericks
Still, Dallas has plenty of options when talking about draft night. The team is looking to save up cap room for a run at free agents Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, but perhaps they could find the answer to their problem sitting somewhere in Barclays Center on the final Thursday of June.
If the team does elect to keep their pick, there are lots of players out there who could end up being fits for the Mavs.
While the organization has not had the best draft track record over the past decade, the right move this year could end up being the difference between whether or not the Mavericks make the playoffs in 2013-14.
Whether they stay at 13 or decide to move down to a later pick in the first round, here are the players who have a chance of still being on the board who would make an immediate impact on the Mavericks' roster.
5. Michael Carter-Williams
While the other man in the picture above, Trey Burke, may be the optimal fit for the Mavericks in this year's draft, it's likely that the Naismith Player of the Year will be off the board by the time it is Dallas' selection.
Instead, the team could look to fill their point guard void by selecting Michael Carter-Williams out of Syracuse.
As an Orange fan, watching Carter-Williams this season was downright frustrating at times, as he would often have uninspired games or try to do too much and end up failing in a major way.
There is no doubt that Carter-Williams could have used another year or two to refine his game in college, but alas, he has entered himself into the draft and will be picked in the first round come June 27.
Despite his shortcomings, there were flashes of brilliance that could translate to the NBA level once Carter-Williams has time to grow.
Carter-Williams is an excellent passer and can get out in the open court and score for himself and others. He has above-average length and quickness that he uses to get to the basket and can also pull up and hit the jumper.
He also excels defensively, oftentimes coming up with key steals for the Orange.
Carter-Williams isn't ready to be a starting NBA point guard yet, but given a year or two to play a backup role, he could end up being a steal for the Mavericks down the road.
4. Jeff Withey
There is no denying the defensive capabilities of Kansas big man Jeff Withey.
Withey was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the NCAA this past season and is the Big 12's all-time leader in blocked shots.
Interestingly enough, a defensive-minded center is exactly what the Mavericks need next season.
Whether they land Dwight Howard or not, Dallas has an extremely thin frontcourt, especially on the defensive end.
Withey, a true seven-footer, could come in and play a huge role in turning around the team's defensive and rebounding numbers, which were among the worst in the league a season ago.
The reason Withey is not projected to be an elite-level draft pick is because there are limitations to how his game translates to the NBA on offense. Withey will never be a 20-point scorer and may even struggle to reach double digits routinely.
Still, he is a perfect fit for a backup center role. Withey can come into games, energize the team with his defense, rebound well and then go back to the bench before his lack of offense hurts you.
It is Withey's defense that will make him last in the NBA, and he could find a home next year in Dallas.
3. Reggie Bullock
If Dallas decides to trade down in the draft this year, that could open up the possibility of them targeting former UNC standout Reggie Bullock late in the first round.
I love the fit of Bullock with the Mavericks, as the team will likely be in need of a shooting guard if they aren't able to bring back O.J. Mayo.
Bullock is an outstanding shooter and has one of the best pure jump shots in this year's draft class.
Bullock, at 6'7'', also has the ability to play well in transition, has an excellent wingspan and is a solid defender.
The issue for Bullock is that he doesn't really create his own shot, but if the Mavericks can bring in a solid point guard in free agency, Bullock could be the team's new spot-up threat and get his points from the perimeter.
Plus, Bullock would have the opportunity to learn from one of the best shooting guards of the past decade, Vince Carter, as he grows accustomed to the NBA game.
Bullock is not ever going to stand out in the NBA, but with the right fit—like the Mavericks—he could turn into an excellent role player on a competitive team.
2. Dennis Schroeder
If Michael Carter-Williams is off the board or doesn't seem like a good fit to management, they could instead draft another one of the top point guards in this year's draft at No. 13: Dennis Schroeder.
Out of Germany, Schroeder is widely considered to be the best international player in the 2013 draft, especially after the withdrawal of Dario Saric this week.
The 6'2'' Schroeder is an outstanding ball-handler and passer who is also lightning quick in the open floor and off the dribble.
He is frail at under 180 pounds, so he may have difficulty defending bigger, bulkier guards; however, Schroeder is still an above-average defender.
His decision-making skills are in need of some work. Schroeder has shown at times that he tries to make the special play instead of the easy one, which leads to turnovers, something that Rick Carlisle won't tolerate.
Overall, Schroeder would be an excellent point guard prospect for the Mavs to grow over the next few years if they decide to stay put in the draft.
1. Gorgui Dieng
National champion Gorgui Dieng is one of the most underrated big men in this year's draft.
At Louisville, Dieng showed an excellent ability to make an impact on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
Dieng is a great shot-blocker, and due to his 7'4'' wingspan, that attribute should easily translate to the NBA game. He is also a good rebounder and protecting the paint is his speciality.
That is exactly the kind of player the Mavericks need, as I discussed before how atrocious their defense inside and their rebounding was this season.
Dieng is also a very good athlete and can get up and down the floor despite his size. He showed a nice touch from mid-range and can score around the basket off of putbacks and feeds from teammates.
Dieng won't be much of a threat offensively at the NBA level, however. He doesn't have much of a post game at all and can't score off the dribble, which is why he may very well slip out of the lottery.
Still, the Mavericks can get their scoring out of plenty of other players. What they really need is a center who can come in and help their interior defense for years to come, and that player could very well be Gorgui Dieng.
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