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NBA Draft 2011: Jason Terry Tells B/R the Mavericks Should Draft Isaiah Thomas

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 20:  Isaiah Thomas #2 of the Washington Huskies reacts while taking on the North Carolina Tar Heels during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 20, 2011 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Andy BaileyFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2011

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to talk to NBA champion and former Sixth-Man of the Year Jason Terry.  We discussed Terry and Reebok auctioning off the shoes he wore in Game 6 of the Finals and several other topics as well.

The next big event on the NBA calendar is the 2011 draft.  So of course, the Dallas Mavericks' No. 26 pick came up in our conversation.

For months, I've been thinking that the Mavs would look to add a forward who could provide some depth behind Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion.  In my latest mock draft, I had Dallas taking Tobias Harris with their first-round pick.

When I began to ask Terry who he thought the team should take, he emphatically declared, "Isaiah Thomas" before I could even finish my question.

He went on to explain, "Jason Kidd is going to need someone to back him up... and Isaiah Thomas is a sleeper in this year's draft. He's a phenomenal player, a huge athlete.  Even more than that, he's a floor general."

The idea makes a lot of sense if Dallas is unable to re-sign a key guard.  Terry said, "We want J.J. Barea back, but we don't know if we're going to be able to sign him."

The confident Maverick shooting guard may be right about Thomas being a potential sleeper pick.  He put up fantastic numbers in the Pac-10 last season, averaging 16.8 points and 6.1 assists a game.

He's looked good since the season ended as well.  Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress formulated a ranking that incorporated all the athletic testing from the 2011 pre-draft camp and Isaiah Thomas came in at No. 1 with a 38.5" vertical and impressive agility times.

He was measured at 5'11", which is pretty short for an NBA point guard, but it's better than his 5'8" college listing.

Learning from Jason Kidd during the Hall of Famer's last couple years in the league could be a great introduction to the NBA for Isaiah Thomas who could help usher in a new era of Mavericks basketball as the veteran corps heads toward retirement (after they win a couple more titles).

 

You can follow Andy Bailey on Twitter    @Andy_Bailey

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