The Dallas Mavericks got to work early this week on their 2022-23 campaign when reports surfaced that they had agreed to trade Boban Marjanovic, Trey Burke, Sterling Brown and Marquis Criss – along with the 26th overall pick in this summer – the Houston Rockets. big man Christian Wood. It’s been well known since the Mavericks were destroyed Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals that they would be looking for another center of influence, and they seem to have taken care of that before the draft or free agent started.
The MMB draft team, myself included, was busy putting together a whole bunch of draft coverage ahead of Wednesday’s news. Much of this has become moot due to the deal, as the Mavericks currently have no choice (although league rules would still favor the Rockets). However, there is always the possibility that the Mavericks will return to the draft by trading or paying for their pick.
Although I would not count on it, and if I did, it would most likely be on the player of the second round. With that in mind, here are a few players I’ll be keeping an eye on when draft night hits June 23rd. What can I say, I can’t get out of the draft.
Trevor Keels | Security guard | 6 ft 5,221 lbs | duke
The Keels are a big organization in the NBA because he was under 19 and was drafted. Duke’s team had a long hierarchy of star potential last year, so Keels’ numbers don’t jump off the page. He has key areas that need improvement, especially as a scorer. But he can be physically on both sides when busy. Keels has every reason to take him to the floor in the regular season in a solid team that does not require too much from him.
David Roddy | Forward | 6 feet 6,250 pounds | state of colorado
David Roddy, an even bigger NBA figure who is more unique but hard to classify, is sort of the perfect second round player for the Mavericks. Although he is short in stature, he has enough build and build to play as a power forward in the NBA. He has a high basketball IQ and was a top scorer in high school.
He performed well at the NBA Combine in May, but there were some reports of questionable results in bouts, which likely leaves him in the second round, among other things. He needs to improve defensive space in order to gain a foothold in the league. But its uniqueness – do not be surprised if many try to compare it with Boston Celtics striker Grant Williams – should give him a chance to play with the team. With the Mavericks looking to improve their forward/wing attack depth, he would be an intriguing candidate.
Wendell Moore Jr. | Small forward | 6 feet 6,213 pounds | duke
If the Mavericks still had the 26th pick, freshman Duke was in the top two on my big board along with Kansas guard Christian Brown. He is the archetype of hitter every NBA team is looking for: he can play both ways when he is involved, does a little bit of everything and can be the X factor for big wins at the end of the season.
Moore has long arms – a wingspan of +6 inches – with the ability to catch and shoot half the court, while still being confident with the ball and passing. Sometimes he is not persistent in attacking the Duke with more weapons. But he was also the link for the young team. Again, the Mavericks made it clear they needed wing depth. And while they’re probably looking to find it through a trade or free agency, Moore could be a younger option that can grow with the team.
Christian Koloko | center | 7 ft 221 lbs | Arizona
With a wingspan of 7ft 5in, Koloko is a sight to behold. He is long. His game has grown over his time in Arizona, but it’s clear he can be a real and ongoing threat in the NBA’s first offense. The rest of his game, even his jump shot, could continue to develop, playing as a backup center in an extended offense. Interval in the NBA will be great for his game, and while he is most likely to be used as a rimrunner, he has shown bursts of passing ability that could expand his options.
It would be interesting to see where Koloko would have been drafted if this class wasn’t packed full of big men. Not because he is a perfect product, but because he has such a well-defined role reserved for him as a frontal threat and defender under the basket. The Mavericks just made a move for Christian Wood, but they should look for other depth options and replace Dwight Powell’s minutes sooner or later.
Jaylene Williams | Power forward | 6’10 237 pounds | Arkansas
Of those five players, Williams probably has the widest draft window. I saw him being bullied from the mid 20’s to the mid 30’s. It seems unlikely that he would still be on the board after the first few picks in the second round, but if he was, the Mavericks would have to think long and hard about trading him for him. He is a teenager in terms of position, size and skill set. He should probably play center, given his lack of three-point shots. But he’s not the size some teams would like to see in center on a full-time basis.
But his playmaker and IQ are off the charts. He is a highly skilled passer and an elite attacking player. It would be easy to see his skill sets being used for the Mavericks, even next to Wood taking up floor space.