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NBA Draft Big Board: Mavs' Top 5 Prospects

The Mavs have some intriguing options to target with their No. 26 first-round pick.

The Dallas Mavericks will have a pick in the draft for the first time since the infamous 2020 NBA Draft, when they made three selections in the first 40 picks – Josh Green (18), Tyrell Terry (31) and Tyler Bey (36). Green is the only player of the three to remain on Dallas' roster two years later.

Since that time, the Mavericks have seen quite the overhaul in the roster and in personnel, headlined by Nico Harrison replacing Donnie Nelson as the GM. Since this is Harrison's first draft (with an actual pick to use), figuring out what type of player the Mavs will target is difficult.

Because of the unpredictability, the best way to predict what the Mavs will do is to assume they will be targeting the best players available, regardless of position, since the roster may be facing even more overhaul. Here is a list of some of the top prospects Dallas could select on June 23. It is based on who is realistically expected to last until the 26th pick, so this excludes lottery talents, and players generally mocked top 18:

Jaylin Williams, 6-10, 237 PF, Arkansas

The Mavs have an obvious hole at both the power forward and center positions, and Jaylin Williams could be a good solution both for now and long term. Williams does just about everything at a good level, but doesn’t do any one thing at a great level. Normally that can be a concern, but the Mavs’ bigs need more skill-based abilities, and Williams can provide finishing below the rim, playmaking, perimeter defense, and growth as a shooter. 

Adding a big man that can safely guard multiple positions on the perimeter would be incredibly valuable to the Mavs’ frontcourt. While Williams lacks rim protection and finishing above the rim in traffic, he always finds a way to impact the game and overcome his shortcomings.

You can find Jaylin Williams’ full scouting report here.

Ismael Kamagate, 6-11, 220 Center, France

If the Mavs want an explosive center with high upside on both ends, Kamagate should be Dallas’ top pick. With incredible length to block shots, Kamagate is never out of a play defensively. With this range and explosiveness also comes ability to defend the perimeter and handle some guards on drives.

While Kamagate can still be a bit inconsistent for a 21-year-old, the flashes of defensive upside might be too high to pass up after a certain point. Offensively, there is some indication of a mid range shot developing, and as a dive man out of pick & rolls, Kamagate poses a threat as an interior finisher.

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The fact that Kamagate worked out with Dirk Nowitzki's long-time mentor Holger Geschwindner less than a year ago probably doesn't hurt the Frenchman's chances of ending up in Dallas. 

Marjon Beauchamp, 6-6, 190 (7’1 wingspan), SF, G League Ignite

After taking a year off following his graduation in 2020 to train, Marjon Beauchamp lived up to his high school status (No. 56 recruit in the nation) as a member of the G League Ignite. Beauchamp offers value as a slasher and defender thanks to his premier athleticism.

A big swing skill for Beauchamp lies in his ability to shoot jump shots. His mid-range jumper is strong, but his 3-point percentage (28.5%) and iffy 70.6 free-throw percentage cause some worry for how much that might be able to improve in the NBA.

Wendell Moore, 6-6, 217 Wing, Duke

Moore has an NBA-ready body and strength with a seven-foot wingspan. He also has experience playing in a complementary role like he would in Dallas if selected by the Mavs. Moore earned experience this season playing with a starting lineup made up of future NBA players – all of which could be first rounders.

Moore maximized his shooting efficiency, grew as a passer, and played good defense within his role, being able to guard multiple positions due to length, strength, and IQ. His one glaring flaw is his blow-by ability, or lack thereof, against tight defense, which may limit him to being an off-ball player. While Moore lacks star-power, he fits next to the current Mavs core on paper, and he would likely be one of the most well-rounded wings on the roster in terms of raw skill set from day one.

Jake LaRavia, 6-8, 227 Forward, Wake Forest

The Mavs have always had an affinity for players who have elite work ethics – players who live and breathe the game. Jake LaRavia fits the bill of those elite intangibles Dallas is searching for, in combination with a translatable skill set as a combo forward. With adequate lateral quickness and intelligence to not get lost defensively, LaRavia can hold his own on the defensive end enough to not be considered a liability.

In a defensive system like Dallas’, LaRavia’s shortcomings can be easily masked. Offensively, LaRavia can handle the ball to create his own shot, including a lethal spin. He is comfortable absorbing contact, getting to the free-throw line and using his soft touch to finish through contact. On top of that, he has an NBA-projectable jump shot with an ideal release.