No team hates the NBA draft more than our Mavs. The Mavs have the 21st pick in the first round; according to mock draft boards, the team needs everything, and the best player available will be a young kid with lots of raw ability and a tremendous upside, i.e. a project.
One project who will not be there when the Mavs make their selection (or trade it), is former Euless Trinity and Texas center Myles Turner. If Turner drops to 21, something will have already gone seriously wrong after he made a decision one year too soon.
Turner is the poster child player of why the NBA needs to rid itself of one-and-done — he desperately needs one more year before trying his skills in the Association. Turner has the talent to be a player in the NBA but just as many characteristics, right now, of a guy who will get lost and end up bouncing around Europe or the D-League.
He is a wonderful, sweet kid with a good dad and a great family, yet he has absolutely no business being in the NBA Draft after one underwhelming year in Austin for Rick Barnes.
Say this for Turner, he never lied about his intentions: He never wanted to go to school. And this is not your stereotypical “dumb kid” who ignored class while waiting to make $1 trillion playing pro ball.
As a senior at Trinity, sitting next to his dad in the head coach’s office, he looked me square in the face and said with a soft voice: “You have to go get it while you can get it. If I were blessed enough to be put in a lottery position, I would have to go to the NBA as well.”
Financially, this is a no-brainer. Basketball wise, this is a major risk.
The most recent mock draft posted by Sports Illustrated has Turner going to the Michael Jordan Hornets with the ninth overall pick. CBSSports.com has the Miami Heat selecting Turner with the 10th pick. A handful of other “Mock Draft Experts” have Turner dropping off the board with the 11th pick to the Indiana Pacers.
Unless something drastically goes wrong, Turner will be an NBA lottery pick and get that NBA lottery-pick money, which is what this is about.
BTW — the 10th pick in the 2014 draft was Elfrid Payton from Louisiana-Lafayette, by Philadelphia. He was immediately dealt to the Orlando Magic, where he signed a standard NBA rookie deal, which is basically two years guaranteed for $4.9 million.
That’s good money, but it can go quickly.
There are so many warning signs for Turner it is troublesome.
In his only season with the Longhorns, he averaged 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Once the ’Horns began Big 12 play, those numbers dropped for what was the league’s most underwhelming team by a wide margin.
For a player who was ranked as the second-best recruit in the nation last season when he signed with Texas, Turner left a lot to be desired in his one year in Austin.
He wasn’t bad, but he looked like a freshman who does freshman things. Turner just looked like a kid who needed to play more big-time ball.
Now he will go to the NBA where he will either prove he can make it or be shoved to the back of a bench only to be seen again at garbage time.
Pro basketball is littered with guys who wind up chasing checks in the NBA’s Developmental League or running around Europe, China or Australia to play ball.
It’s not a bad living, provided it’s the right spot. That is what Turner will need to make this decision a good one; he needs to go to the right team where he doesn’t have to be everything immediately.
This is a good kid who is chasing his dream, and no one can fault him for that.
The flaw lies in a system that does not protect the naive teenager from a decision that might be premature.
It’s too late now, of course. Turner made up his mind before he even committed to UT, and soon enough he will hear his named called as a lottery pick.
After that, he’s a grownup and that sweet kid better be a man quickly.
Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.
Mac Engel, 817-390-7697
Twitter: @macengelprof and The Big Mac Blog