The 2014 NBA draft is this Thursday, June 26th. The Dallas Mavericks are without a first round pick this year but are in possession of two second round picks, the 34th and 51st. These may not seem like the best picks to have but this draft class is extremely deep and talented.
Even though the Mavericks will not be able to acquire top-tier talent, the players available in the second round will still be difference makers with the right coaching, which the Mavericks have. Here is the two best outcomes the Mavericks can hope for.
The Mavericks draft Patric Young out of Florida with the 34th pick and Khem Birch with 51st pick.
Reasoning: The main issues for the Mavericks this past season were defense and rebounding. These draft prospects can fix both of these problems.
Patric Young is a very physical big man who will add an elite powerful defender down low who can also get some much-needed boards.
Khem Birch is also a physical big man who adds strong defense and rebounding but he also brings an edge. Birch is a scrapper who isn’t afraid to fight for rebounds or loose balls and won’t back down to a larger opponent.
While both are only average scorers their excellent defense and rebounding will make them great additions to the Mavs roster.
The Mavericks trade the 34th pick 51st pick to get in the late first round and draft KJ McDaniels.
Reasoning: The teams in the late first round need to cut down on salary and will be open to getting an early second rounder for a late first rounder in order to do that. This leaves the Mavericks in position to draft KJ McDaniels who is one of the best overall players in the draft averaging 17.1 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 2.8 BPG. That’s right, he averaged 2.8 blocks per game along with 1.1 steals per game as a 6’ 6’’ small forward.
He would be a huge addition on defense and could also become a 4th scoring option (off the bench depending on who the Mavericks acquire in free agency). He also would have the potential to become the next Kawhi Leonard, a promising player that contributes now and is a star later.
In my opinion, outcome number 2 would be better for the Mavericks as it would add defense on the wing and in the post along with overall rebounding and an efficient wing scorer. While this may be a more difficult scenario to pull off, I have faith that the Mavericks crafty front office could make a deal with a team in order to acquire their first round pick.
Either way this draft could fix some key weaknesses in the Mavericks approach and possibly turn the team into a champion once again.