A fun, hypothetical Dallas Mavericks draft conversation

Editor’s note…that’s dead now. There the Christian Wood will be a Maverick, so the election is gone. However, this has been submitted before, and it’s a good entry. Thank you for reading.

The 2022 NBA Draft is upon us and the Dallas Mavericks have their 26th pick…

…for now!

Draft fans Luke, Ian, and Jordan had a chat full of fun Draft Day hypotheses, including what would happen if the Mavs got to draft everyone. Here is the chat:

All odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.

Luke: Gentlemen, let’s get hypothetical. If the Mavs were to make it to the top of the draft lottery, who would be the best fit for the Mavs?

IAN: Just to clarify, that basically means could Dallas get anyone?

JORDAN: Yes. Is it highly likely that if they landed in the lottery it was to move Jalen Brunson? I guess maybe (although I don’t understand this cap gymnastics). So in this fantasy, I’m assuming Brunson is going back to Dallas with a new deal.

Luke: Yes, me too. Let’s live in fantasy land! Who do you like in the top crop of prospects? Not in general, but specifically for the Mavs.

JORDAN: At this point, and I know Ian could kill me for it, I still can’t trust Chet Holmgren’s framework. So when we look at these top picks, my pick is between Jabari Smith, Paolo Banchero and Jaden Ivey. It’s not that I don’t trust Holmgren’s game. It’s like if I have someone to choose from I don’t go with the £150 center. Although I’m open to someone convincing me that their game suits Luka best.

IAN: He made 14-16 attempts as a PnR role man. Gonzaga criminally underused him in this role.

Luke: I’m with you Jordan (for Mavs purposes). I think Chet’s game theoretically works with Luka, but I don’t think Chet will be able to make a meaningful contribution in a couple of years. I have a feeling Jabari Smith would be the easiest fit right away, right?

IAN: I’ll take Chet, thanks. I think offensively he will need time to refine things and his role may be limited to playing closure (Spot Up, Roll Man, Dunkers Spot Guy) but the best defensive rookie since Tim Duncan last year played at 215 pounds. And Chet has a chance to exceed my expectations because of his skills. He had a PPP of 1,359 as a transition ball handler (!), better than all the other top contenders, even guys like Ivey. It’s a bit of a lazy comparison, but on defense, I think Chet could be the player Dallas thought they were going to get with Kristaps Porzingis.

JORDAN: Do you see him exploited like that next to Luka?

IAN: I think Chet would probably be used primarily as a play finisher in the manner outlined above, but I just wanted to highlight how good he was last season and that he has a lot more ability than your average college 7-footer. I have Chet as 1A with Paolo as 1B but I think Paolo is a lot less interesting as he fits in Dallas considering the roster build. I see arguments for Jabari over Paolo as Mav. Jabari’s best comp is probably Sacramento Harrison Barnes (this is a very different player than Dallas Harrison Barnes).

Luke: Important note: Chet is -275 to get picked with the second overall pick. So if you want to chet, you better find a way into the 2 point!

JORDAN: He’s absolutely more skilled than most college 7-footers. He is very unique. Maybe I resent him too much for falling more in love with Victor Wembanyama.

IAN: Yes, Wemby is generational in the way that term should be used. I would take Luka a year off to smoke hookah and play Fortnite if it meant Dallas could get him.

JORDAN: Yeah I think if I’m looking at the Mavs right now and want them back at the WCF next year or at the finals in the next two years I’ll go with one of the other two (Paolo or Jabari). But after these guys, who would be your favorites for the Mavericks? We know that a few top ten picks could trade on draft night.

Luke: I know I’m in the minority here, but Bennedict Mathurin is number 4 on my big board. I’m in love with this guy in basketball.

JORDAN: IMPRESSIVE. A Mavs-centric big board or all in all?

Luke: I’ll go with both, honestly. Mathurin’s draft over/under position is 8.5, so I clearly like him more than the odds makers. Am I the only one who would trade a decent catch to get in the top 8 and get Mathurin? He has everything I want in his tool bag and seems like a great guy to have in the dressing room too. The reports about his personality are all positive. I just want to cheer for him next to Luka Doncic for the next few years.

JORDAN: I like him. I think he’s an exciting athlete with a variety of skills. I’m not sure if he’s the first one I’m trading for in the top 8 or not. I know there are health issues, but I would probably go to AJ Griffin anyway. What are his chances at the moment?

Luke: The odds makers have AJ Griffin’s draft position over/under at 10.5 right now, so it’s likely you could get him with a top 8 pick.

JORDAN: Wow, he really fell.

Luke: I think the medical concerns about Griffin put some people off, including me. I’m tired of playing the injury game!

IAN: What about Shaedon Sharpe? I heard he falls too.

Luke: Sharpe’s draft over/under position is currently 7.5. This is actually higher than I expected. I don’t think he will make it past 6.

JORDAN: I think within the top ten, the players I’m most interested in about the Mavericks are really the ones we’re talking about here. An order from Jaden Ivey, Bennedict Mathurin and AJ Griffin. That said, if the Mavericks found their way anywhere between picks 4-8, I’d be pretty excited.

IAN: I think Sharpe and Johnny Davis would also weigh heavily in the conversation, as different as their resumes are at this point. And if we talk about who outside of Chet is the best fit for the current roster (meaning they keep Brunson/Dinwiddie but still had spares at center)? I think this is Jalen Duren.

JORDAN: There are a handful of centers that are projected between 10 and 25, but yes, majors would logically be the most appropriate.

Luke: So no interest in swapping for a Mark Williams per se?

JORDAN: I think the only center in the lottery I can think of is Duren.

IAN: Williams has great physical tools but I think he gets killed on switches. I have a feeling he’s never encountered a pump fake that he hasn’t jumped on. What are Duren’s chances?

Luke: His over/under draft position is currently 10.5.

JORDAN: Let’s finish with a fun prompt. Aside from the obvious top three (Holmgren, Banchero and Smith), who would be your top five in the Mavs lottery? my belly says:

  1. Jaden Ivey
  2. Benedict Mathurin
  3. Jalen Duren
  4. AJ Griffin
  5. Shaedon Sharpe

Luke:

  1. Benedict Mathurin
  2. Jalen Duren
  3. Jaden Ivey
  4. Keegan Murray
  5. Shaedon Sharpe

IAN:

  1. Jaden Ivey
  2. AJ Griffin
  3. Shaedon Sharpe
  4. Jalen Duren
  5. Keegan Murray

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