The Mavericks just can’t win the NBA Lottery. Chin up Mavs fans. It’s time to get over the fact the club went from having the third best chance to win the Lottery to picking fifth in June.
The fifth pick in the NBA Draft has produced Hall of Famers, NBA Champions, All Stars and Olympic Champions such as Dwyane Wade, Charles Barkley, Kevin Garnett, Scottie Pippen, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Love, Demarcus Cousins, Mitch Richmond and a guy I covered in high school in South Carolina, Ray Allen.
The early mock drafts I checked out have the Mavericks selecting 7-footer Mo Bamba from Texas. His wingspan makes him 7-9. Bamba helped lead the Longhorns to the NCAA Tournament and averaged at double-double. He was the Big 12 Conference leader in double-doubles with 15. He’s also a very good shot blocker. In fact Bamba had 111 blocked shots, a school record.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports wrote, “Bamba, at worst, projects as a menace on the defensive end of the court — where his 7-9 wingspan should allow him to alter shots at an elite level and rebound well. But he’s not just a defensive player. There’s also potential on the offensive end — even if it’s a work in progress, at the moment.”
John Gonzalez of The Ringer wrote a longform story on how Bamba has been working with Drew Hanlen to take his game to an elite level. Halen is trying to get him to model his future NBA game after Sixers All Star Joel Embiid. In fact, Embiid and Bamba have become good friends with Bamba been driven to several NBA games by Embiid.
I had a good conversation with Rob Dauster of collegebasketballtalk.com on my national NBC Sports Radio show after the lottery about Mo Bamba, Jaren Jackson, Jr. of Michigan State and Mizzou's Michael Porter Jr. He's got his podcast of the NBA Mock Draft. Dauster has the Mavs drafting Bamba.
Jackson and Porter have been linked to the Mavs in mock draft. Coming off that back surgery the Mavs will have to depend on their medical team to give them the green light to draft Porter.