They Smell Like the Future: Eric Maynor

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 24, 2009 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images.

VCU Senior
6′3.25”, 164 lbs. (Combine measurements)
22 years old
Point guard
Projection: Late 1st round

Eric Maynor is not a sexy pick.  He’s seriously lacking in the star power department, he doesn’t have the intrigue of a Jeff Teague or the pedigree of a Ty Lawson.  In many regards, Maynor is an inferior prospect to the other point guards in the draft.  But with the Mavs sitting pretty at #22, Maynor’s starting to look like an awfully nice player.

One of the reasons why Maynor doesn’t have the buzz or the hype of other prospects is because he lacks the one defining, marketable characteristic.  Ricky Rubio: flash; Tyreke Evans: size; Ty Lawson: champion; Stephen Curry: shooter.  What is Eric Maynor?  Well, he’s a point guard.  He can score, he can shoot, he can make plays, and he can D up a little bit.  But he’s not the best shooter in the draft, nor is he the best playmaker, or the best defender at the point.  Considering where the Mavs are in this draft, expecting otherwise would seem unreasonable.

What Maynor lacks in singular excellence he more than makes up for in overall sturdiness.  While it may be difficult to pinpoint an aspect of the game in which he stands above all else, it’s also tough to single out specific weaknesses.  He’s merely an average defender, and his shooting could definitely improve.  But given what he can bring on the offensive end (playmaking, savvy, creativity, scoring), aren’t those acceptable shortcomings?

The key for everyone outside the top 5 (if that) in the 2009 draft will be to find bonafied players, guys who can fill their spot in a rotation, become a contributor, and not be a burden.  Maynor may be the patron saint of the safe pick.  There is no way that he’ll pan out as anything less than a solid back-up at point guard, which is likely what the Mavs would expect from a prospect with a bigger name.  He won’t lead your team to the promised land, but Eric Maynor may very well be the guy to lead an offense, night-in and night-out, for the next decade.

Pro-level Projections:

I’ve asked Jon Nichols of Basketball-Statistics.com to use his Box Score Prediction System (BSPS) to project career numbers for Maynor.  The values given are career averages per 36 minutes, considering that per minute statistics at least partially eliminate variables such as abnormal playing time, lack of opportunity, etc.  The projections are based on Maynor’s four-year career at VCU.  For comparison’s sake, I’ve dug up some other players who have averaged similar numbers over their careers (click here for an enlarged chart):

(Note: the years indicated in the chart refer to the last year of the season played.  For examples, the 2004-2005 season will be marked 05.)

J.J. Barea pops up as a comparison yet again, and this time it’s actually encouraging.  Maynor essentially has the attribute that Barea desperately needs to legitimize his run towards starterdom: height.  Would Barea not be a fine heir apparent if he had Maynor’s size?  The Kirk Hinrich comparison also seems kind to Maynor, effectively balancing out the Beno Udrih snipe.

For what it’s worth, Maynor is projected as having the highest FTAs of the lot, and the lowest turnovers.  His percentages are solid, and his projected assist numbers are about what you’d expect.

There’s nothing wrong with going with the “safe” pick, especially if its Maynor.  The Mavs desperately need their draft picks from this point forward to pan out, and going with a sure thing like Eric Maynor, while not trendy, may be a step out of the Nick Fazekas/Maurice Ager darkness and into the light.

  • http://www.cowbellkingdom.com Zach Harper

    For someone as obsessed with Eric Maynor as I am, he’s a very sexy pick wherever he goes in the draft. He’ll end up being the best backup point guard in basketball, like Bobby Jackson in his first stint with the Kings.

  • Dan

    Eric Maynor may not be the sexiest pick like you stated, but he’ll be a very popular pick come draft day. Eric Maynor gives GM’s what they value the most…stability. Eric is one of the safest picks in the draft and he won’t dissappoint. He won’t go past the 20th pick. Someone will snatch him before then.