Before the Mavericks flushed their optimal draft position down the toilet, the social web was a flurry of speculations on which point guard Dallas should select. Dennis Smith and De’Aaron Fox were both in the speculative running pre-March Madness.
Dallas may have played its way out of contention for a top 4 point guard, but in the off chance the draft takes a strange turn or Dallas gets a magical Top 3 lotto pick, let’s review the best fit for Dallas based on NBADRAFT.NET rankings.
This is my favorite draft prospect ranking system. Reminds me of the arcade game NBA Jam. Each player’s score is based on a 1-10 Ranking of each of these 12 factors:
Top 14 Prospect Grades
100 – Josh Jackson – SG/SF *graph pictured above
100 – Lonzo Ball – PG
099 – Markelle Fultz – PG
098 – De’Aaron Fox – PG
097 – Dennis Smith – PG
097 – Jonathan Isaac – SF/PF
095 – Zach Collins – C
094 – Frank Ntilikina – PG
094 – Jayson Tatum – SF
093 – Lauri Markkanen – PF
093 – Malik Monk – SG
092 – John Collins – PF/C
092 – Jarrett Allen – C
091 – Justin Patton – C
Two Ways To Review Point Guard Stats
Plan A: Best Overall Available. The overall score is a pretty solid predictor of who is going to excel in this league. Lonzo Ball wins this contest with Markelle Fultz close behind.
Plan B: Best Individual Stats. Not all 12 factors will be valued equally by Donnie Nelson and staff. Some players might excel in important areas but still show weaknesses that lower their overall score.
Based on this ranking system, I’m going to share a few stats comparing the 1st round point guards:
Best Point Guard By Individual Stat
Intangibles: Fultz, Ball, Fox, and Ntilinika 8. Smith 7.
Passing: Ball 10. All the rest scored 8.
Athleticism: Smith 10. Fultz and Fox 9. Ball and Ntilinika 8.
Size: Fultz, Ball, and Ntilinika 9. Smith and Fox 8.
Defense: Ball, Fox 9. Fultz, Ntilinika 8. Smith 7.
Jump Shot: Fultz 9. Ntilinika 8. Ball, Smith, Fox 7.
Ball Handling: All scored 8.
Leadership: Ball 9. Fox, Smith 8. Ntilinika, Fultz 7.
Comparing Possible Scenarios
Plan A Plan B If Mavs get De’Aaron Fox, they’d have an edge in athleticism, defense, ball handling, leadership. He’s moved into the overall top spot among the Top 5 point guards not named Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball.
Plan A Plan B
If Mavs get Dennis Smith, the player most fans wanted, they’d have the edge in athleticism but not in shooting, defense, or size.
If Mavs choose Frank Ntilinika, I’m going to be annoyed because it will feel like the classic Donnie Euro-Step. He’s middle to low end of the leader pack, and he’s Lonzo Ball low-athleticism without the Magic Johnsonesque passing and leadership skills.
Dallas likely picks at the 9 spot. I don’t anticipate any PGs left except Frank Ntilinika, and he’s not 1st round material in my book. Watch the Mavs to draft a non-point guard and because of best available talent. Lauri Markkanen could be the actual reincarnation of Dirk (only Finnish), Jordan Bell could takeover power forward duties thus moving Harrison Barnes back to his natural position.
And in a dark horse move, look for the possibility of drafting Zach Collins. Though he might be redundant with Nerlens Noel re-signing, Zach does have the best overall score of available players in the mock draft. He could either pair up with Noel to form Dallas’ own Twin Towers (see Pelicans) or traded off to another team for a solid point guard. I like that scenario better than selecting Ntilinika and Markkanen, but Mavs would be taking on risk unless they find a legit trade partner in advance.
But What Are the Mavs Most Likely To Do?
Despite recent trends toward logical thinking, I’m counting on Donnie and Mark to defy all of conventional wisdom, trade down so some team can nab Zach Collins before Detroit, and Dallas selects Dirk 2.0 in Lauri Markkanen. Then they ride with Yogi at PG next year, hoping to earn one more Top 10 draft pick in 2018. And all Dallas fans weep at the lost opportunity. If only Organic Tanking was real.