For only the second time in the last 17 seasons, the Mavericks did not advance into the postseason. The team dealt with the early-season absence of Dirk Nowitzki and tried winning around a young core of players, but the Mavs weren't able to reach the playoffs. Nowitzki announced he'll return for his 20th season in Dallas, so now the attention turns to grooming the remaining nucleus of the team.
Harrison Barnes signed a monster contract last offseason and averaged 19.2 points per game in his first season away from the Warriors. The Mavericks also saw a nice turnaround from Yogi Ferrell, who secured a multi-year contract after averaging nearly 18 points over the course of a 10-day contract with the team. Dallas didn't have a first-round pick last year, but the team sits in a nice spot for Thursday's draft with the ninth overall selection.
Here's where the Mavericks will pick in the 2017 draft, which will be updated with a grade and analysis after the selection is made.
Round 1, Pick 9 (No. 9 overall): Dennis Smith Jr.
Dallas has been in search of a franchise point guard for a long time, and hopes Smith will be that. He’s an explosive athlete and talented scorer who can make plays off the dribble and comes with a ton of upside. This is great value for the Mavericks, who gain a legitimate long-term asset as they continue to prepare for the post-Dirk era. In a weaker draft, Smith might have been a top-five talent. - Jeremy Woo