Hidden Gems; Gambling in the Second-Round.
Life has a way of creating age-old questions that we inevitably debate for eternity. Whether the chicken or the egg came first, seems to be one of life's greatest mysteries for some. For the Dallas Mavericks, the value of a second-round pick has become a debate over the past few weeks.
A couple of seasons ago the Mavericks helped the Golden State Warriors in their pursuit of Kevin Durant. They agreed to a trade that would help clear up cap space by sending Andrew Bogut and a future second-round pick to the Mavericks. At the time, the second-round pick was nothing more than a formality.
2020, the Year of the Second-Round Pick
Well low-and-behold, here we are in the year of 2020, where the Dallas Mavericks are sitting with the Warriors second-round pick that currently projects to be pick number 31. Drafting in the second-round tends to be more luck of the dice than anything else, but the Mavericks find themselves in a fortunate position.
Here is where the projected draft order currently stands, according to tankathon.com:
For many, this pick has been the key piece in enticing trade talks around the league. You essentially can get a first-round talent, with a second-round price, if you can draft well. That "if" should be bolded and in all caps, because there are no guarantees when drafting.
So what should the Mavericks do? Do they hold on to the pick and stand pat at the trade deadline? Do they see what type of player they can acquire with it in an attempt to win now? Let's take a look at the past few drafts, to see what type of player could be there.
The Potential and Possibilities
Starting with the 2018 draft, in the top-5 second-round picks, you'll find players like Jalen Brunson, DeVonte' Graham, and Mitchell Robinson. In 2017, you might snag someone like Thomas Bryant, or Dillon Brooks. 2016 has Malcolm Brogdon available, or Ivica Zubac.
In 2015 you could have netted Montrezl Harrell, Josh Richardson, Richaun Holmes, or a Norman Powell. Going back just one more draft, in 2014 the second-round featured Nikola Jokic, Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, Jordan Clarkson, Jerami Grant, Dwight Powell, and Glenn Robinson. That draft alone could potentially field a playoff-caliber team.
Clearly, there is value to be had in the second round. It's fun to look back with hindsight in mind, however, more players picked in the second round end up having short careers, or possibly even no careers, than they do having ones with longevity. Outside of Jalen Brunson, the Mavericks have not had much success in the second-round.
Time is Ticking Down
The NBA trade deadline is roughly a week away. The biggest name so far attached to this pick has been Andre Iguodala of the Memphis Grizzlies. It's been reported, that the Grizzlies have a fallback plan that includes the Mavericks Courtney Lee and this pick, if they can't find a deal that is closer to their asking price.
More recently, the Mavericks have distanced themselves from this idea. That might be for the better too. Trading an asset for the ability to rent Iguodala until the playoff run is over, might not be the best strategy.
What the Mavericks choose to do is a mystery. The usual tight-lipped organization has not expressed their desires publicly, so all we have to go on is speculation. Depending on how one views newly acquired Mavericks center, Willie Cauley-Stein, the team could be in the market for another frontcourt big man. Or, they could look for another defensive-minded wing.
Whatever the case may be, the Mavericks have a decision to make. Keep the current roster intact and hold onto the second-round pick. Which would give the team the potential to draft a cost-controlled talent. Or, they ship it out on its own or combined with another player, in an attempt to bring in a player for a possible deep playoff run. Either way, there are no guarantees, but in a few more days we should know their answer.