With the 25th pick in the draft, the Dallas Mavericks select Ohio State’s EJ Liddell.
The Mavericks have frequently been linked to Mark Williams and Walker Kessler this draft cycle as they’re in need of a better-quality big man, but with those two already off the board, I think rather than selecting one of the draft’s other centers, the team elects to pick a good-quality wing player instead.
If Liddell is still available at this point, this would be a great pick by the Mavericks. At roughly 6’7”, Liddell is one of the best shot blockers in the NCAA at his size, he’s an intelligent passer, and he's shooting 37% from the 3-point line. He’s a gritty small-ball 4/5 that is guaranteed to come in the game and make good plays on both ends of the floor.
While the Mavericks wouldn’t have the same rim protection as they would if they were to select a big with their 1st round pick, Liddell would be able to provide a bit of that rim protection and rebounding along with consistent floor spacing.
Considering Dallas needs to prioritize winning sooner rather than later, Liddell provides a good balance of upside and NBA readiness. Wendell Moore could be another good option for the Mavericks at this spot on the board.