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: Making the Most of a Late-Draft Selection

Posted by Rob Mahoney on May 19, 2010 under Commentary, News | 5 Comments to Read

The Mavs’ first and only selection in this year’s draft is the 20th pick in the second round, or the 50th pick overall. Odds are that Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban’s draft pick will never know what it means to be an NBA player. The D-League stints and European tours that will almost assuredly follow present an eternal divide between draft night and the true beginnings of a player’s NBA career; not every second rounder can find success like Marcus Thornton, DeJuan Blair, or Mario Chalmers. Due to the extremely finite number of roster spots in the league, a vast majority of second rounders won’t even get a legitimate shot at becoming an NBA mainstay. The divide isn’t made to be crossed, as the system itself works against prospects trying to make a name for themselves in the big leagues.

This year could be a little bit different, though. Armed with the Texas Legends, the Mavs can select a player late in the draft — or sign an undrafted rookie — and keep them in-house. Their development can be incredibly specific and carefully tracked, and proper appraisal against D-League level talent can be done using video and more advanced team-specific measures.

I don’t think it’s fair to expect immediate dividends from the Frisco D-League project, but this summer could be the first time the Mavs really put something into it. Maybe the selection will turn out to be lower-level talent in the D-League, and a world away from being able to produce on an NBA level. That’s fine. There is power in knowing, and that’s the benefit that owning a D-league team provides.

We’re able to get our first look at the types of players the Mavs are considering with the pick (or in free agency) by the workouts they’re conducting, and the first six players worked out by the Mavs are all guards. According to a report by Jason Dannelly of College Fanz, the Mavs worked out Jamel White, Tweety Carter, Tony Crocker, Jermaine Beal, Dwight Lewis, and Marquez Haynes on Monday (via the DMN). None of those six players is considered to be a true candidate for the 50th pick, as none are really registering on any draft radars. Nelson could surprise and select one of those six anyway, but based on their currently nonexistent draft stock, I’d say these workout players are more likely to be long-shot training camp filler or prospects for the Legends.

We’ll know more as the Mavs continue to work out more and more players, but for now, here’s a little bit of info and relevant 2009-2010 stats (both in per game and per 40 minute form) for each of the six prospects:

Jamel White
Senior SG, Texas Wesleyan
6’4”, 195 lbs.
24 years old (3-2-1986)

PTSREBASTTOSTLFG%3FG%
Per Game22.45.73.32.91.4.476.437
Per 40N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A----

*Per 40 minute data not available because minutes played data not available. Thanks, Texas Wesleyan.

Tweety Carter
Senior PG, Baylor
5’11”, 185 lbs.
23  years old  (10-25-1986)

PTSREBASTTOSTLFG%3FG%
Per Game15.02.85.92.51.3.436.385
Per 4013.62.55.42.31.2----

Tony Crocker
Senior SG, Oklahoma
6’5”, 187 lbs.Sr,
23 years old (1-17-1987)

PTSREBASTTOSTLFG%3FG%
Per Game11.46.21.71.31.1.410.328
Per 4013.97.52.11.61.3----

Dwight Lewis
Senior SG, USC
6’5”, 215 lbs.
22 years old (10-7-1987)

PTSREBASTTOSTLFG%3FG%
Per Game13.82.91.52.51.2.396.305
Per 4015.53.21.72.81.3----

Marquez Haynes
Senior PG, UT Arlington
6’3”, 185 lbs.
23 years old (12-19-1986)

PTSREBASTTOSTLFG%3FG%
Per Game22.64.33.73.61.5.483.409
Per 4018.83.63.13.01.2----

Jermaine Beal
Senior PG, Vanderbilt
6’3”, 205 lbs.
22 years old (11-4-1987)

PTSREBASTTOSTLFG%3FG%
Per Game14.62.53.11.61.0.440.379
Per 4018.03.03.81.91.2----

Stats courtesy of Draft Express, ESPN.com, and official team sites.