Each Wednesday, we’ll be assessing how the top prospects of the 2013 NBA Draft are faring in college and overseas. Stick with us each week for assorted thoughts, including the biggest risers and fallers, the standouts, the sleepers and what we know and don’t know about the next NBA Draft class…
*** *** ***
After years and years of playing deep into May and June, the Dallas Mavericks find themselves in the lottery looking for talent. Over the years, Mark Cuban (owner) played fast and loose with the current roster to set himself up for stars in the future. They may get one this summer, but if not, the 2013 NBA Draft is where the rebuild begins.
Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: What Do We Know About The Dallas Mavericks?
There are literally zero players on the books for the 2014-2015 season, which means that the picks this and next year need to be of value as part of the building blocks. Going into this summer, the Mavericks have Dirk Nowitzki (34 years old), Shawn Marion (34, early termination option), Vince Carter (36), O.J. Mayo (25, player option), Jared Cunningham (21) and Jae Crowder (22) on the books. That is an old core that will be all but gone after next season.
As a unit, the Mavericks played well on the offensive end last year. They were a top-eight team in terms of overall shooting and scoring, but struggled defensively. That was compounded and defined by their inability to rebound the ball. On the offensive end, they were the 27th-best rebounding team and No. 29 on the defensive end. It is hard to win games when you cannot secure the ball to end a defensive possession.
TWO: What Do They Need?
Playmaking and youth. That is simple in theory, but no question the Mavericks need to add a perimeter player that can make plays unselfishly to make Dirk’s life easier. If there is not a point guard the team is sold on in the draft, then a rebounding force in the paint has to be the No. 2 option.
THREE: Stock Rising
Remember Ricardo Ledo? He is the guard that did not play for Providence this year, but was the No. 6 overall recruit according to Rivals.com for 2012, ranked ahead of Anthony Bennett, Marcus Smart and other talents talked about in the lottery. It is easy to forget what is not right in front of you, but Ledo is one of the most talented basketball players in this class even without playing a single college game.
He has at least 21 teams already requesting workouts 10 days before the NBA Draft Combine has even taken place. With all the variables in this year’s class, Ledo could be that combustible element that explodes into the first round, or even the lottery.
FOUR: Stock Falling
Very soon we will have the official list of invites for the 2013 NBA Draft Combine. When that comes out it is an indication of which 60 prospects (minus the international players unable to attend) that NBA teams feel are the most draftable.
Those not invited are going to have to work that much harder to secure themselves a spot in the draft. Here is a little history for you. In the 2010 NBA Draft, only seven Combine invites were not drafted, 10 in 2011, and nine in 2012. Getting the invite to the Combine gives you an 83-88 percent chance of getting selected in the draft. Golden Ticket.