With the 24th pick in the draft, the Dallas Mavericks select Duke’s Mark Williams.
The Mavericks shockingly traded Kristaps Porzingis at the trade deadline for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans, and while many seemed to hate the trade for both sides, it seems to be working out relatively well for both teams. Dinwiddie has looked much closer to his former self since arriving in Dallas and Bertans has even had a few better-shooting games as of late.
The Mavericks are in a position where they can afford to draft more according to roster fit rather than selecting the highest-upside player available assuming a good-quality player in a position of need falls to them. In this case, after sliding past several teams that easily could have taken him earlier, they feel comfortable with using a 1st round pick on the Duke big man.
If anything has been successful at Duke this year, it’s been the dynamic between Williams and Banchero in the frontcourt. Williams is likely the best rim protector in his draft class not named Chet Holmgren or Walker Kessler, sets good screens on offense, and is a frighteningly strong finisher above the rim. He’s racked up eight double-doubles on the season and had a near-triple-double with eight blocks against North Carolina State this past January.
I’m not sure that his jump shot will ever be on the level of a big in the league like Bam Adebayo, but he’s shown that he can hit some and has decent free-throw shooting numbers to back it up. If available in the mid-twenties, this would be a great value pickup for the Mavericks.