The Freedom Point Guard

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 25, 2009 under Commentary, Roster Moves | 9 Comments to Read

Rodrigue Beaubois is difficult to peg, because not many here in the U.S. have ever seen him play.  He didn’t have the benefit of the NCAA tourney to showcase his abilities, nor the exposure of a big college program to get his name out.

While that makes Beaubois awfully hard to peg in terms of his production in year one, it also may be what allows the Mavs to grab “their guy” at the tail end of the first round.

According to Rick Carlisle, the Mavs had their eyes on Beaubois all along.  Despite the relative upheaval at the top of the draft, the Mavs’ draft strategy held true, leaving the player they wanted exactly where they thought he’d be.  Beaubois gives the Mavs a legitimate long-term option at point guard, though he certainly has a long way to go before he’s ready to fill Jason Kidd’s considerable shoes.

Carlisle also noted that contrary to reports indicating otherwise, Beaubois WILL be in Dallas next year.  The only place that Rodrigue may find himself stashed would be in the D-League.  He’ll make his Maverick debut for this year’s summer team, where we’ll get a quick barometer of Beaubois against the most inexperienced, unrefined, and defensively raw talent the league has to offer.  Still, that’s more game tape than we have until this point.  Finding actual film of Beaubois requires a journey to the ends of the earth, a keen eye for spotting DVDs in the nest of a pterodactyl, and an unreasonable amount of traveler’s savvy.  Trust me, it’s quite the quest.

Based on the information we do have on Beaubois, he seems like an intriguing pick.  His reputation is based on his speed and ability to play man defense, which is precisely what the Mavs should be targeting in their point guards going forward.  Tim Varner of 48 Minutes of Hell noted Beaubois’ passion for D after meeting him at the combine:

Rodrigue Beaubois didn’t say anything striking, but his enthusiasm about playing defense was notable. “When I was younger I didn’t really think about defense. Now it feels so good to stop the other player. I enjoy it.” Now read his words again, but imagine a big smile and an exceedingly cheerful tone.

On top of putting extra emphasis on the better half of the basketball court, Beaubois also had some of the best measurables in the draft:

  • 39” vertical (second in the draft to only Jonny Flynn)
  • 6’9.75” wingspan, which beats out the 6’9” Omri Casspi, the 6’6” Terrence Williams, and the 6’7” Chase Budinger.
  • He bested Flynn, Tyreke Evans, Jeff Teague, and Jrue Holiday in the measured sprints.
  • Beaubois ranked 3rd on the combine’s agility test, just hairs behind Darren Collison and Jack McClinton.

Obviously, the physical tools are there for Beaubois to not only be a phenomenal defender at the point, but also a killer penetrator.  His playmaking skills are rumored to be a little lacking in comparison to his draftmates, but Rodrigue won’t be expected to manage too much of the offense for some time.

Ay, there’s the rub.  It’s hard enough to find a capable player in this draft, much less one that fulfills the Maverick want of instant contribution.  Courtney Lee has become the stuff of legend, a late first rounder capable of becoming something of a defensive stopper in half-a-season flat.  That’s what the Mavs need given their core as currently constructed, and there were certainly better avenues to meet that need than Rodrigue Beaubois.

I love the pick of Beaubois in terms of the team’s future, but Carlisle himself was reluctant to say that Rodrigue had the look of a rotation player next season.

But do you know what he’s not?  B.J. Mullens.  Beaubois has a bright future in the NBA, which is frankly more than I can say for Mr. Mullens.  It might be easier to evaluate the pick of Beaubois with a bit of distance from the draft, because frankly, I’m just glad he’s not an awkward, gangly center.  Did the Mavs achieve what should have been their primary objective in this draft?  No, they did not; Wayne Ellington, Marcus Thornton, Sam Young, and DeJuan Blair are all capable of making an immediate contribution to a team.  Not necessarily as a starter or even a sixth man, but certainly in the rotation.

It’s not quite the reinforcements that MFFLs had in mind, but I’ll take a point guard prospect with some raw tools and upside over no hope at all.  One of the reasons why the Mavs’ outlook is a bit dim is because of the lack of a great hope.  Even the younger players on the team have relatively low ceilings, or serious flaws that may prevent them from becoming long-term starters.  Beaubois won’t be parachuting in from the sky, ammo slung over his shoulder, dual machine guns in hand and a cigar hanging from his lips.  There is a bit of hope for the future of the point guard position, which is something we couldn’t say on Wednesday.

  • Kirk

    Well I feel a little better now (see previous posts for a variety of diatribes) if only because I would like our picks to, you know, learn how to play in the NBA by actually playing in it. Storing people overseas seems stupid to me particularly since the games are incredibly different in terms of style, rules, coaching, and what leads to W’s.

    Maybe he won’t suck. Buuuuuut he probably will.

    MMFL

  • Rodrigue Beaubois himself

    I ROCK
    ‘nough said

  • Bryan

    Well, lets hope we resign Kidd so Beaubois can be his understudy for a couple years. Having a guy this athletic pick the brain of one of the greatest point guards to play the game could be a good step toward our future. Also, maybe we got our guy to guard the Chris Pauls and Tony Parkers out there.

    I do wish we had bought a early second round pick or two to grab Sam Young or Dejuan Blair or both. I say we offer Memphis some money for Young just to see what they say.

  • db

    We’ll have to see if those nice measurements will really add up to a NBA-worthy player in the long run. There’s definitely no certainty here.
    Even Beaubois proves to be a steal, drafting him is a questionable decision. Are the Mavs trying to waste Dirks remaining prime on purpose?

  • http://www.lookyoungertricks.com/ Kirk

    Well I feel a little better now (see previous posts for a variety of diatribes) if only because I would like our picks to, you know, learn how to play in the NBA by actually playing in it. Storing people overseas seems stupid to me particularly since the games are incredibly different in terms of style, rules, coaching, and what leads to W’s.

    Maybe he won’t suck. Buuuuuut he probably will.

    MMFL
    Sorry, forgot to add great post! Can’t wait to see your next post!

  • daniel

    I know this is off topic, but what about signing Gortat this summer? I think he would be a major improvement over Dampier – he’s young, he hustles, he’s strong, he can jump higher than 6 inches, and he would fill one of our immediate needs.

  • Brian D

    I liked what I saw from Gortat in the playoffs, but the problem is that’s the only place I saw it. He’s got the 2009 postseason on his resume and nothing else really. I don’t know if it’s a good idea to throw a bunch of money at him.

  • Kirk

    That link above was so not me.

  • Andytobo

    I don’t know if this is relevant information or not but it is true that apparently Beaubois’ english is not so good and I’m going to guess Kidd isn’t fluent in French. Does that matter? MAYBE not…