Dallas Mavericks

NBA Draft: Ranking the top 5 fits for the Dallas Mavericks at the No. 5 pick

Oklahoma guard Trae Young and Texas center Mo Bamba are pictured in this composite photo.
Oklahoma guard Trae Young and Texas center Mo Bamba are pictured in this composite photo. AP Photos

The Dallas Mavericks, their coach, their front office, their fans, and probably even their players are likely a little disappointed today.

The team finished with the third-worst record in the NBA (24-58) this past season. And heading into the NBA Draft Lottery on Tuesday night, the franchise had a 42.6 percent chance of a top-three pick, and 13.8 percent chance at the No. 1 overall selection.

Instead, the Mavericks dropped to the fifth overall selection.

The good news for the Mavericks is that while do-it-all center DeAndre Ayton or the well-rounded Luka Doncic are virtual locks to be off the board by the fourth pick, there doesn't seem to be an overwhelming consensus on the next half-dozen or so available prospects.

With that in mind, here are the five best fits for the Mavericks, ranked.

5. Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma, 6-2, 180

Doubters will say he's too undersized and plays with a lack of discipline that would drive Rick Carlisle insane. And the team already has Yogi Ferrell and star rookie Dennis Smith Jr. on the roster.

The thing is, Young already has an elite ability to create his own shot. Aside from Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes, the team is devoid of those type of players.

Young also led all of college basketball in scoring (27.4 points per game) and assists (8.7 per game) last season.

4. Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas, 7-0, 220

He fits the system and then some. In college, Bamba has shown he can guard all five positions on the floor. That unique trait could eventually carry over to the pro game.

In his one season at Texas, he did average 13 points per game. Those numbers mostly came around the basket. His athleticism will get him those buckets in the NBA, too, but his game outside the paint needs a ton of work.

3. Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke, 6-11, 235

It's very possible that many are underestimating how much of a liability Bagley is on defense. Which, in theory, would be a huge concern for Carlisle.

It's just that his ability to score, from the outside and around the hoop is something the Mavericks desperately need. This past season, Dirk Nowitzki was the only power forward or center to post a double-digit scoring average for Dallas.

2. Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri, 6-11, 216

Coming out of high school, Porter Jr. was projected to be a top three pick this upcoming summer. But back surgery cost him almost his entire freshman season.

At this point, it's not known how the injury could impact him this year or beyond. But Porter Jr.'s height and athleticism combined with his ability to score and defend multiple positions make him an ideal fit in today's NBA.

1. Jaren Jackson Jr, PF/C, Michigan State, 6-11, 240

Playing a year for Tom Izzo in East Lansing started the process of addressing Jackson's general inconsistency. And Carlisle would have to continue to push him, hard. Probably for two or three years at least.

He doesn't possess Bamba's insane defensive athleticism or Ayton's smooth offensive skill-set. But he does have the potential to develop an incredibly well-rounded game on both ends of the floor.

The team's offensive rebounding total ranked dead last in the NBA. Defensively, Dallas ranked 29th in blocks per game (3.8). With a little prodding and growth, Jackson could develop into a foundational piece up front.

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