Heard It Through the Weekend Grapevine

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 27, 2010 under xOther | 2 Comments to Read

  • The Mavs were able to sell their second round pick to the Raptors because of Toronto’s interest in Solomon Alabi. Interestingly, he may only have slipped to No. 50 because of a health concern, a rather serious one in fact: Hepatitis B.
  • Another player out of the running for the Mavs’ summer league team: Charles Garcia, who will be suiting up (supposing that wearing a practice jersey really qualifies as “suiting up”) for the Knicks.
  • Donnie Nelson with a dose of realism on Dominique Jones (via Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas): “”How many rookies are going to be impact guys? Not many. The rookies that make an impact generally are on bad teams, right? So, for us to expect him to walk into significant minutes, it’s not fair to him and he’s got a bunch of really good players playing in front of him. But, I think what it does is it gives us a foundation in the backcourt for a future. You’ve got Roddy and you’ve got some building blocks that you can get excited about internally.”
  • SMU’s Mouhammad Faye, Oklahoma’s Tony Crocker, and North Texas’ Eric Tramiel will be among those brought in for the Mavs’ pre-Summer League mini-camp.
  • LeBron James is set to meet with representatives from six teams to determine his future: the Cavs, Knicks, Nets, Clippers, Bulls, and Heat. Notice any teams missing in there?

UPDATE (2:58 PM CST):

The Third Wave

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 26, 2010 under Commentary, News | 3 Comments to Read

The 2010 free agent class is unprecedented in many ways. Never before has a group of athletic mercenaries been so thoroughly dissected, endlessly analyzed, and hotly anticipated. Once the shenanigans begin on July 1st, all sorts of fun will be had, as so many franchises across the league will y be either destroyed or reborn in a cleansing fire.

Now, pay close attention, because while everyone is paying attention to the glitter at the head of the class, plenty of interesting things will be going on at the tail. Players like LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are proven and invaluable, but the summer will also yield completely untested prospects: undrafted free agents. In a typical NBA off-season, that doesn’t mean much; occasionally a team may unearth a role player from the undrafted ranks, but even that only happens on the rarest of occasions. Yet the survivors of this year’s draft seem a bit different. There obviously aren’t any earth-shaking talents in the bunch, but there are a number of interesting players that are viable candidates not only for a Summer League roster, but perhaps a spot on the Legends or even more.

Obviously not all of those prospects are going to pick Dallas over all of their other suitors, but the early returns are promising. Despite a mini-report from Jeff Goodman of Fox Sports, a Twitter exchange between St. Mary’s center Omar Samhan and Mark Cuban indicates that Samhan will indeed be a part of the Mavs’ Summer League team. Harvard point guard Jeremy Lin is also tabbed as a part of the fun. That’s a hell of a start, especially since Rodrigue Beaubois and Dominique Jones will headline. It should be interesting to see how the rest of the Vegas roster turns out.

Unfortunately, the Mavs have to do without a number of players they had expressed a clear interest in.

There are plenty of prospects still out there (Mikhail Torrance, Charles Garcia, Mac Koshwal, Aubrey Coleman, etc.), but the demand for these players is clear. By now, I’m sure the appropriate calls have already been placed. That makes the process less of a selection and more of a waiting game. The Summer League roster should be assembled in about a week’s time, which doesn’t leave much time for anticipation. Still, it’s worth keeping tabs on the unclaimed third round draftees over the next few days.

They Smell Like the Future: The 11th Hour

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 24, 2010 under Commentary | Be the First to Comment

Draft day is upon us. Although the events of this week make moving up in the draft a costly proposition, there’s still an outside chance the Mavs will move up in the second round or even into the late first. Regardless, there should be an interesting prospect of some kind on the board when the Mavs are finally on the clock with the 50th pick. Here are all of the draft previews featured here over the last few weeks (in alphabetical order):

Trevor Booker – PF, Clemson
Aubrey Coleman
– SG, Houston
Sherron Collins – G, Kansas
Charles Garcia – PF, Seattle
Luke Harangody – F, Notre Dame
Mac Koshwal – PF/C, DePaul
Sylven Landesberg – SG, Virginia
Chas McFarland – C, Wake Forest
Art Parakhouski – C, Radford
Dexter Pittman – C, Texas
Jon Scheyer – G, Duke
Donald Sloan – PG, Texas A&M
Mikhail Torrance – PG, Alabama
Greivis Vasquez – G, Maryland
Michael Washington – PF, Arkansas
Brian Zoubek – C, Duke

If the pre-draft buzz is to be believed, Vasquez and Torrance could actually be gone by the end of the first round, with Zoubek not far behind them. Booker should also be out of the question by the time pick no. 50 rolls around, meaning that it’s extremely unlikely that Dallas will be able to draft a player that’s NBA-ready.

Feel free to peruse the per-possession stats of all of the previewed prospects (and all of the players the Mavs have worked out that weren’t previewed) in the chart below. You can sort by any of the listed measures, or classify by position to compare against the rest of the crop.

PlayerPOSTS%eFG%ORB%TO%AST%FTRUSG%STL%BLK%DRB%
Jon ScheyerPG/SG57.250.22.211.525.841.623.12.60.68.4
Art ParakhouskiC58.658.415.614.07.365.827.90.96.023.6
Charles GarciaPF53.149.09.722.08.475.834.90.82.924.9
Greivis VasquezPG/SG54.849.63.818.435.231.330.52.81.010.2
Dexter PittmanC63.865.416.520.45.063.024.51.08.915.3
Sylven LandesbergSG53.047.34.914.522.236.030.11.50.913.3
Luke HarangodySF/PF55.150.58.210.611.835.131.90.82.124.1
Brian ZoubekC62.663.821.621.89.755.317.72.14.024.4
Mikhail TorrancePG59.352.51.119.533.644.925.61.50.811.9
Trevor BookerPF54.953.310.014.417.347.324.82.44.620.4
Mac KoshwalPF/C55.054.411.920.715.348.228.13.32.820.9
Chas McFarlandC49.444.59.923.76.075.318.41.04.618.9
Michael WashingtonPF54.850.79.115.96.362.924.81.45.018.1
Mouhammed FayeSF/PF53.651.28.416.17.934.523.51.42.717.3
Donald SloanPG55.249.62.315.616.745.327.11.10.19.9
Matt JanningSG51.647.21.814.820.133.125.72.70.511.5
Aubrey ColemanSG51.5466.310.215.644.434.14.00.415.6
Devan DowneyPG51.345.81.616.823.431.534.64.50.09.3
Courtney FortsonPG48.340.74.724.224.250.935.42.30.512.8
Derrick CaracterPF59.857.41122.29.045.527.52.03.621.7
Sherron CollinsPG/SG55.850.60.817.624.331.723.31.80.15.6
Ryan ThompsonSG55.547.94.014.116.152.424.01.80.911.1
Jeremy LinPG62.657.13.421.230.968.226.84.43.612.9
Justin MasonPG45.042.94.221.614.249.512.82.51.46.7
Elijah MillsapSG51.545.89.521.613.556.429.93.01.024.5
Marquis GilstrapSF52.949.39.419.29.043.825.31.62.821.6
Landry FieldsSG/SF56.151.96.713.619.550.831.02.62.220.6
Tyler SmithSG/SF61.757.35.513.522.980.419.82.81.114.0
Matt BouldinSG58.952.81.516.921.440.421.62.20.512.4
Scottie ReynoldsPG47.654.41.918.221.851.526.52.80.47.8
Omar SamhanC58.955.213.712.77.143.130.60.87.924.5
Andrew OgilvyC57.950.810.416.28.277.428.52.56.018.5
Tommy Mason-GriffinPG53.149.31.519.728.924.623.41.40.07.8
Magnum RollePF/C54.151.313.115.75.838.324.11.46.918.2
Jerome RandlePG61.355.61.422.223.732.326.61.20.05.5

In case it’s unclear, the stats are as follows (from left to right): true shooting percentage (TS%), effective field goal percentage (eFG%), offensive rebounding rate (ORB%), turnover rate (TOV%), assist rate (AST%), free throw rate (FTR), usage (USG%), steal rate (STL%), block rate (BLK%), and defensive rebounding rate (DRB%).

UPDATE (5:04 PM CST): For the sake of convenience, I’ll be updating this post with periodic pre-draft chatter.

UPDATE (7:22 PM CST):

  • Per Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas, the Mavs received some good offers for Rodrigue Beaubois, but they weren’t persuasive enough: “‘We’ve had some unusually attractive offers for Roddy,’ Nelson said. But, nothing that would change the Mavs’ stance. ‘Roddy’s not going anywhere,’ Nelson said.”

UPDATE (8:00 PM CST):

  • A nice little video from the Mavs’ official site showing off the pre-draft War Room.

UPDATE (9:00 CST):

  • Looks like the Mavs may have made their way into the first round after all. According to Marc Stein, the Memphis Grizzlies selected South Florida’s Dominique Jones with the 25th pick for the Mavs, who bought the pick. Check out his Draft Express profile here.

They Smell Like the Future: Charles Garcia

Posted by Rob Mahoney on June 20, 2010 under Commentary | 2 Comments to Read

Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images.

Seattle Junior
6’9.25”, 232 lbs (Combine measurements)
21 years old
Power forward
Projection: Second rounder

Charles Garcia has all the makings of both a second round stud and a draft night flub. On the one hand, there’s little doubt that if Garcia, a 6’9” mobile big, went to a top-flight college program (or was good enough to manufacture his own press like Steph Curry, for example), he’d be a higher profile prospect. There would be enough tape to earn him a legitimate place on the draft radar, enough buzz to drive up his stock, and enough of a highlight reel to generate serious interest. I’d be lying if I told you that I’ve seen a substantive amount of film on Garcia, and the same is likely true aside from the most dedicated draft aficionados, the Redhawk faithful, and the more thorough scouting departments.

That makes Charles a bit of a shot in the dark. But when you’re taking that shot to try to hit a prospect that stands with legit power forward size, can run the floor, and can finish around the rim? Still unlikely perhaps, but the odds are skewed slightly in your favor.

I won’t claim to know much about the more technical aspects of Garcia’s game, but I will say this: solid bigs are hard to come by, and it’s not uncommon for a quality power forward to slip through the cracks because of his school’s underwhelming reputation. No one views Seattle as a pro factory, and the fact that Charles was good — but not dominant — as the focal point of an offense at the college level puts him a few tiers below the elite big men of this draft class. That doesn’t mean he’s not useful, and it surely doesn’t mean that he’s not a quality player. In truth, most of us just don’t know at this point.

What we do know is that while Garcia has his strengths, he’s not a very efficient offensive player. He got his as a primary scoring option (to the tune of 28.8 points per 40 minutes, in fact), but committed more turnovers per 40 than anyone else in the NCAA. Does that matter? Sure it does. It’s not always easy to make the mental jump from centerpiece to role player, and his struggles could actually be compounded in the transition to the pros. It’s also possible that Charles’ turnover woes are a product of his style and inherent to his game. Still, to deny the influence of being a productive player on a sub-par team is ill-advised. Even if Garcia really is turnover-prone, the ramifications of that flaw should be limited by his modified role in the pros. Simply, he’ll have fewer possessions to squander and less defensive attention to deal with. Those factors usually have a little something to do with a player’s turnovers, and while eliminating them isn’t likely to turn Charles into a well-oiled offensive machine, it could be enough to preserve his utility against superior competition.

Garcia doesn’t have a lengthy track record against NBA-caliber opponents nor does he have overwhelming statistical support. Instead, he has a solid foundation of evidence that points to the possibility of him being a solid pro, a clear desire to attack the basket, and a complete lack of red flags over his size and speed. To get an NBA athlete this late in the draft isn’t a bad thing, even if it never really works out.

2009-2010 Traditional Per Game and Per 40 Minute Stats:

PTSREBASTTOBLKFG%3FG%
Per Game18.78.31.04.00.8.474.277
Per 4028.812.71.66.21.2------

2009-2010 Per Possession Stats (Offense):

TS%eFG%ORB%TO%AST%FTRUSG%
53.149.09.714.08.475.834.9

2009-2010 Per Possession Stats (Defense):

STL%BLK%DRB%
0.82.924.9

Other People:

Matt Kamalsky, Draft Express: “Always in attack mode, Garcia is not terribly discerning when defenses key in on him, leading to a great deal of inconsistency and some problematic habits. Still apt to take a contested jumper with multiple defenders around him, he makes himself a difficult player to play alongside. Creating little within the framework of Seattle’s half court sets, doing the majority of his damage operating one-on-one or in transition, and  turning the ball over as often as any player in our database per-40 minute pace adjusted,Garcia will need to improve his ability to function as a roleplayer on the next level. In order to do that, he’ll need to polish his jump shot, be more active moving without the ball, and cut down on his turnovers to be more efficient as a slashes or face-up post player. Most importantly, he must improve his recognition of things that are happening on the floor, and not just barrel his way into the lane the way he all too often does at the moment. Garcia’s basketball IQ is simply not up to par with his talent-level, something that became more and more obvious as the season moved on.”

Brett LaGree, Hoopinion: “Once one adjusts for pace (Seattle averaged almost 80 possessions per game last season, 13 more than an average college team), Charles Garcia’s production appears far less impressive. Per on-court possession, the only real comp he has in terms of blocks and steals is Luke Harangody, only Dwayne Collins and Tiny Gallon come within 75% of his turnover rate, his offensive rebound rate is below average (though his defensive rebound rate is strong), and he’s a below average shooter inside the arc, outside the arc, and from the free throw line. A year in the D-League is likely his best case scenario.”

Supplementary Materials:

Video from Draft Express.

Stats courtesy of Draft Express and Stat Sheet.