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.