NBA Draft 2011: Lucas Nogueira and 5 Best Options for the Dallas Mavericks
However, if Nogueira isn't on the board by the time the Mavericks pick at No. 26, there is still a variety of premium college talent for the defending champions to choose from.
The Mavericks aren't built for the long term, so their pick at No. 26 could go a long way towards keeping them relevant for the next several years.
Here are the five best options for the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2011 NBA draft.
7'0", Center, Brazil
Despite Tyson Chandler's impressive 2010-2011 season, the oft-injured center is always a risk to miss significant time.
This is where Nogueira comes in.
Yes, the Mavericks have Brendan Haywood at the backup center position. But he contributed sparingly this season and with the exception of a few cameos here and there was a rare sight during the Mavs' playoff run.
Dallas has a chance to take a position that has been notoriously weak throughout franchise history and make it an area of dominance for years to come if it decides to take Nogueira at No. 26.
6'1", SG, Kansas
Josh Selby was an anomaly during his one season at Kansas, as he became a poster child for inconsistency.
However, when Selby was on, he showed flashes of brilliance.
He has an outstanding mid-range jumper but still lacks consistency from behind the arc.
Allowing him to grow into the NBA game surrounded by veteran talent should be beneficial for his development.
With DeShawn Stevenson, Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki not getting any younger, the Mavericks would be wise to invest in a sharpshooter for the future.
6'4", PG, Duke
Even with Jose Juan Barea's spectacular postseason play off the bench, he's not the long-term answer at point guard for the Dallas Mavericks.
With 38-year-old Jason Kidd entering the final year of his contract with Dallas, you can bet finding a capable replacement for the future Hall of Famer will be at the forefront of the Mavericks' thought process heading into the draft.
Enter Nolan Smith.
After playing most of his career at Duke as a combo guard, Smith filled in for the injured Kyrie Irving at point guard this past season and performed admirably.
He's not an excellent athlete by any means but can certainly control the offensive tempo and set up his teammates nicely with his affinity for penetrating the defense. Smith can also put the ball in the hoop, a skill that the Mavs have grown accustomed to seeing out of their point guards. He averaged 20.6 PPG in his final season at Duke.
Smith has a high basketball IQ, which bodes well for his chances of becoming a starting point guard at the NBA level.
6'10", PF, Georgia
Dirk Nowitzki isn't getting any younger, so the Mavericks would be wise to begin grooming his eventual replacement.
Trey Thompkins has good size at the power forward position and soft hands around the rim. He can play defense and has a solid mid-range jumper that should only improve.
Despite his skill set, he's extremely raw and still a few years away from becoming a factor in the NBA. Thankfully for the Mavericks, they can afford to have him develop behind Nowitzki and learn from one of the game's best.
6'4", SG, Georgia
The Mavericks need to get younger at the scoring positions, which is why they may look to Trey Thompkins' former Georgia teammate, Travis Leslie.
Leslie is widely regarded as one of the most dynamic athletes in this year's draft class. He has an incredibly quick first step and can take the ball to the hoop with ease.
His mid-range jumper improved greatly during his final season at Georgia, along with his ability to score in transition.
He would be an immediate spark off the bench for the Mavericks and in time could grow into one of the more exciting shooting guards in the NBA.
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