Last year, I was all about the Mavericks drafting Dennis Smith, Jr. If you think I'm not being truthful just click on this link from June 2017.
Smith was named to the NBA's second All-Rookie Team. In a bad season for the Mavs, the rookie from NC State was one of the bright spots.
Smith averaged 15 points and almost five assists a game. You know he was a solid pick because all New York Knicks fans do is complain about how Phil Jackson messed up drafting Frank Ntilikina over Smith, Jr. last year.
"I think he's come a lot further than I expected," said owner Mark Cuban to Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. "He's learning when to slow and when to go. One time he dunks it, one time he passes it to the corner. His court vision is 10 times better than we expected. The only thing he's improving on, but needs to get better is taking too many step-back 2-pointers. But he's come so far - leaps and bounds."
So what should the Mavs do at number five in the 2018 NBA Draft?
The better NOT draft Michael Porter, Jr. with all those medical questions. I don't care if he has star potential if healthy, the Mavs need a safe solid pick.
Here’s my wish list:
The kid is 19!! NIneteen and he has been a star playing against grown men in the ACB League, EuroLeague and international competition since he was 16. I can see Doncic and Smith, Jr. playing off each other in the backcourt. I think they could be a killa-combo fans will enjoy watching. Rick Carlisle would have a fun time coming up with offensive sets for Doncic and Smith.
I once thought Doncic was a lock for the Sacramento Kings at number two but now we are hearing rumblings they may go with Marvin Bagley III of Duke.
Woj on ESPN.com says the Mavs want Doncic.
Jaren Jackson, Jr.
I know he worked out for the Mavericks and left them excited about his talent. That said, I would be shocked if Jackson is there at five. The kid is 18-years-old and is a two-way player who can block shots. He played at Michigan State for Tom Izzo and the Spartans have a nice track record of NBA pros.
Did I mention is he is 18?
That's big to me because he is only scratching the surface of what he can do. I was told by a source with the Mavericks his timing and length on blocked shots is hard to come by. I know JJJ detractors about his offensive production at MSU, but the Mavericks will draft him and go to work on that part of his game.
He is an intriguing prospect as a 40 percent shooter from three (80 percent at the free throw line) who can also block shots and switch screens. Is he the most complete big man in the draft?
The Mavs need an anchor on defense. They won the 2011 NBA title with Tyson Chandler and Brendan Haywood anchoring the defense. Last season, they were hoping Nerlens Noel would step up and take the role. He flopped. Time to move on.
Bamba would be a darn fine pick at five. Former Dallas Observer columnist, John Gonzalez, is now working for theringer.com and he wrote an in-depth piece on Bamba. I won't call him Joel Embiid 2.0, but with a 7-10 wingspan and a thirst to get better, maybe Bamba can be a Baby Embiid.
If the Mavericks are smart they will listen to me again. If not, then get mad.