The NBA Draft came and went and the highlight for the Dallas Mavericks is a giant novelty act from India that will likely never play in the league other than garbage time.
Owner Mark Cuban beamed when announcing that the late-round pick of 7-2 center Satnam Singh means there are billions of new Dallas Mavs. Singh is the first player from India ever to be drafted. Mavs radio play by play voice Chuck Cooperstein is about to be a household name from Bangalore to Jaipur.
This sure is cute, and very Wang Zhizhi like.
FYI – Wang was the first player from China to ever play in the NBA; the Mavs selected him 36th in the 1999 NBA draft. He eventually made it to the team at the end of the ’01 season. He was 7-0, but overmatched. Wang played six NBA seasons for three teams and a total of 137 games.
If Satnam Singh is as good as Wang that will be a major accomplishment. Wang could play a little whereas Singh has barely played basketball at all.
So this draft will net in increased Mavs hats, T-shirts and foam finger sales in downtown Delhi. This guy is a massive man, and an even bigger project. In terms of projects, Singh is the basketball version of the potential Nicaraguan Canal project that will cost billions, and take years.
Singh will be the most popular D League player ever.
As far as real Mavs player taken in this draft, Virginia forward Justin Anderson with the 21st selection is one of those picks that like everybody else selected after the lottery – Who knows? Maybe? Hopefully?
This draft was never going to have big a impact on the Mavs simply because of the spot of the selection. It does beg the question: What are they doing? Will Mark Cuban ever admit his plan is not working?
If his post-NBA title plan bombs again this offseason, he will have to admit to himself it’s a flop. Mark is a guy who will admit he is wrong, and he made a mistake (Steve Nash), but no one else can tell him. Mark Cuban has to be the one to tell Mark Cuban goofed. God knows GM Donnie Nelson nor head coach Rick Carlisle will tell him the plan is not working - they know who signs their checks.
The team remains a free agency franchise in love with guys with some proven experience in the league. Since the Mavs won the title they have been committed to the plan of either going after the top free agents, or “remaining flexible.”
It has resulted in them wasting Dirk Nowitzki’s final year of greatness, and remaining competitive for one of the final playoff spots in the Western Conference. They have a handful of playoff wins since that title run. That they have remained this competitive despite their relatively weak rosters is a testament to Dirk, and Carlisle.
Now that guard Monta Ellis has opted out of his contract, and there are signs the Mavs will not make an attempt to re-sign him, the team is in prayer mode. I have no problem with them letting Ellis go – he was good enough to get you close, but too small to carry the load as he grew older.
This team does not need Kirk Hinrich, but those are the types of guys the Mavs sign in free agency. What the Mavs need are a Kevin Love, LaMarcus Aldridge or special, big player. Those types of guys have yet to sign here, and they have not drafted him since Dirk left Germany.
The Mavs hate the draft, maybe because they are bad at it, which means if it’s not a free agent they have no one. They had to over-spend last year for Chandler Parsons, and that may be the situation they are in again.
NBA free agency begins July 1, and this should be it for Cuban’s master plan.
If it does not work this time, Cuban will need to Cyberdust Cuban to let him know the plan bombed. That’s the only way he will listen.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7760