After the Miami Heat took a 2-1 series lead on the Dallas Mavericks tonight, much of the discussion (as has been the case before) was about the Mavs’ lack of another primary scorer next to Dirk Nowitzki.
It’s a valid concern and could potentially result in losing to the Heat in the NBA Finals. However, let me remind you that Caron Butler is injured, and has been since January. Butler averaged somewhere around 15 points per game when he was healthy and has been a primary scorer for the Washington Wizards, his past team. After returning, Butler can become the second scorer.
But the Mavs should still be concerned because given an injury, they only have one scorer. Jason Terry and Shawn Marion are talented but they can’t hold their own as pure scorers. So the Mavs, with the 26th pick in June’s NBA Draft, should look to the pro prospects for another answer.
However, with the 26th pick the Mavs have a limited picking pool in a limited overall draft class. I have the Mavs taking Marshon Brooks, a shooting guard from Providence, with the 26th pick. If Brooks is still on the board, it would be a win for Dallas.
Brooks has proven in Chicago’s scouting combine, and in individual workouts that he is a talented scorer. He was selfish at times at Providence, for good reason, but given more talent around him he may be able to flourish. Brooks has range, inside and out. His body is made so he can drive into the paint and create a shot for himself.
Brooks might be the best the Mavs can hope for with their pick. Klay Thompson, of Washington State, likely wont be available at that pick because of the way he’s impressed the scouts this spring. Some are saying he is climbing into the lottery range. If by some crazy circumstance Thompson is available the pick should be a no-brainer.
Jordan Hamilton is another one of the most prolific scorers in a draft without superstars or super scorers. Hamilton is another player who may be too high for this pick; in fact, I slated Hamilton being taken 11th to Golden State – so in that case, he is way out of Dallas’ league.
I also project Josh Selby, a guard from Kansas, to go 18th to the Wizards, but he’s definitely a guy who could fall to Dallas at 26. He’d be a guy that would be risky to take, for reasons about his questionable character and maturity. However, while Selby is a risk because of his mentality, he could also be a good pick – well worth the risk – if he’s still available with the 26th pick.
While looking a lot into the guards of this draft, it’s also worth looking into the big guys to try to find a good scorer out of that group; however, that list falls short of finding the next Chris Bosh. Jeremy Tyler is not the guy. Kyle Singler is no help. Jereme Richmond is not ready. So there you go – not much of a pool to choose from.
If Brooks is available, take him. If not, it’s unknown what they’ll do. Selby might be a good fit for his talent, but may not be available, and I’m afraid you’d be wishing too much to ask Thompson and Hamilton to fall all the way to the end of the first round.
I will be publishing full mock drafts shortly. Stay tuned.