2017 NBA Draft preview: Dallas Mavericks

2017 NBA Draft preview: Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) of Germany shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Semaj Christon (6) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Dallas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

NBA.com draft preview by Fran Blinebury

2017 Draft picks: 9
2016-17 record: 33-49, fifth place in the Southwest division, did not make the Playoffs

Areas of Strength

He’s tip-toeing up on his 39th birthday, but veteran Dirk Nowitzki isn’t ready to hang up the sneakers that give the Mavs their foundation, if he can stay healthy. Harrison Barnes proved that he’s more than capable of being a leading man in his first season with Dallas. They hope to make new addition Nerlens Noel an anchor on the front line. The young backcourt of Seth Curry and Yogi Ferrell shows promise.

Needs Work

Nerlens Noel has the skills and instincts to be a top-flight defender, but he’s never going to have the big body to be the physical presence the Mavs could use in the paint to improve their middle of the pack defense.  There is plenty opportunity for Dwight Powell and Salah Mejri to step up.

Two Stats That Matter

36.2 -- It’s the paltry number of field goals averaged by the Mavs last season, which ranked them dead last in the NBA. Let’s face it, the object of the game is to score points than the other guys and in this new age of offense, Dallas has got to find a way to join the rest of the league in the 21st century.

30 -- You can’t score if you don’t get the ball and the Mavs also ranked dead last in a 30-team league in rebounding last season.

The Way to Go

“Frank Ntilikina for point guard? Lauri Markkanen for power forward and a team that needs shooting, a European stretch four as understudy and eventual successor to the best tutor in the world for that job, Dirk Nowitzki? The Mavericks will have options. The ideal one would be if another point guard, Dennis Smith, lasts to No. 9.” - Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com

2016-17 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive 103.7 (23rd)
Defensive: 106.3 (15th)

Under Contract 
G: J.J. Barea
G: Seth Curry
G: Devin Harris
G: Manny Harris
G/F: Wesley Matthews
F:Harrison Barnes
F: Nicolas Brussino
F:Dorian Finney-Smith
F: Jarrod Uthoff
F/C:Dwight Powell
C: Salah Mejri

Free Agents
G:Yogi Ferrell (restricted)
G: DeAndre Liggins (unrestricted)
F: Dirk Nowitzki (unrestricted)
F/C: Nerlens Noel (restricted)

Recent Draft History

2016: A.J. Hammons (46)
2015: Justin Anderson (21); Satnam Singh (52)
2014: None
2013: Kelly Olynyk (13), traded to Boston; Mike Muscala (44), traded to Atlanta
2012: Tyler Zeller (17) traded to Cleveland, Bernard James (33) Jae Crowder (34)

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