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No Mavs Trade? Top 5 NBA Draft Picks at 10

The Dallas Mavericks will be on the clock in the NBA Draft on Thursday night. Here are the top-5 prospects they should select if the pick isn't traded.

The time has almost arrived, as the NBA Draft will get underway at 7 p.m. CT on Thursday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Dallas Mavericks have the No. 10 pick in the draft, and a big decision is just a little more than 24 hours away.

The Mavericks have been one of the more discussed teams in trade rumors so far leading up to draft night. And despite being linked to a number of prospects, the rumored desire to move No. 10, whether to trade back and gather multiple picks, or add a win-now piece, should have GM Nico Harrison's phone ringing off the hook the entire night.

For reference, a prospect like Houston's Jarace Walker would certainly be of interest to the Mavs at No. 10, but in all of the latest mock drafts, you'd be lucky to find Walker landing anywhere past No. 7 with the Indiana Pacers. 

If Dallas does keep its pick, here's the top-five prospects thinks the Mavericks should target at No. 10.

Taylor Hendricks - Forward - UCF

The prospect that has been mocked to Dallas the most at No. 10 has been UCF's Taylor Hendricks. In 34 games in his freshman season, Hendricks averaged 15.1 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game while shooting 39.4 percent from 3-point range on just under five attempts per game.

In today's NBA, having a versatile forward like Hendricks can truly be a treasure to raise the ceiling of your roster, especially around the likes of Luka Doncic. Hendricks stands at 6-foot-9 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and has advanced switch ability on defense with his length and athleticism while also showcasing a trustworthy jumper from outside.

With what Dallas is seeking on the defensive end, Hendricks would walk in the door on day one and make a positive impact. With his size and ability to guard multiple positions while also protecting the rim, he's the exact mold that teams look for as a lead defender.

If Hendricks is available at No. 10, Dallas would be hard-pressed to not draft the UCF forward for themselves and hang up the phone on incoming trade offers.

Anthony Black - Guard - Arkansas

Now, Black isn't necessarily the position of need for the Mavericks, but his tenacity on the defensive end is something Dallas is in the market for. In 36 games during his freshman season, Black averaged 12.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 2.1 steals in just under 35 minutes per game. 

The Duncanville native’s 6-foot-7 frame would bring more size to Dallas' backcourt, which helps Black leave his stamp on the defensive end. Black’s height and athleticism gives him the ability to guard multiple positions, as his activity and hands are some of the best in the class. 

On offense, Black showcases a high basketball IQ as an unselfish playmaker. His size for a lead guard gives him an advantage to see above smaller defenders with swift floor vision. And despite not being a knockdown shooter coming into the league, he has the tools to improve as a scorer.

With all that said, it'd be surprising if Black is on the board once the Mavericks hit the clock at No. 10. With all the moves the Washington Wizards have made lately, it would be shocking to see him fall past No. 8.

Dereck Lively II - Center - Duke

Someone whose draft stock is seeing an uptick is Duke center Dereck Lively II, who has recently been compared to former Mav Tyson Chandler. In 34 games as a freshman, Lively averaged 5.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks on 65.8 percent shooting from the floor in just under 21 minutes per game.

Where Lively truly shines as a prospect is on the defensive end. You could argue that he is the best defensive prospect in the entire draft due to his instincts and potential defending the rim and being able to switch out onto the perimeter. Blocking 2.4 shots in just 21 minutes per game is more than impressive, and when he's not swatting shots into the stands, he's altering and contesting shots on every possession.

Offensively, Lively should translate to the NBA as an elite rim-running big who can be a legit lob threat and pick-and-roll weapon while working on improving his outside jumper.

Lively is currently being slated at No. 10 to Dallas in ESPN's latest mock draft and if the Mavs don't find themselves a trade partner, the Duke big man could very well be headed to the DFW.

Cason Wallace - Guard - Kentucky

Another defensive-minded guard in the lottery who Dallas could consider is Kentucky's Cason Wallace. In 32 games as a freshman, Wallace averaged 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.0 steals per game while shooting just under 35 percent from 3-point range in 32 minutes per game.

Wallace is a combo guard, who, like Black, specializes on the defensive end. Wallace's willingness and desire to hound his opponents up and down the floor, along with his 6-foot-8 wingspan to defend bigger wings, would give Dallas a defensive swagger that they've missed for a long time. 

On offense, Wallace is still a work in progress. He's shown flashes of being knockdown shooter from outside and having the ability to get open as an off-ball guard. With continued work on his handle and comfort as a lead playmaker, Wallace can become a very well-rounded offensive threat.

Wallace may not be a legit target at No. 10 for the Mavs, but if they trade back into the teens, he could seriously be in play.

Bilal Coulibaly - Forward - Metropolitans 92 (LNB), France

The impending No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama isn't the only lottery prospect coming out of France. Bilal Coulibaly, like Lively, has been one of the more talked-about prospects whose stock has seen a jump over the last few weeks. 

Coulibaly's size with his 7-foot-2 wingspan helps give him the ability to switch across the board on defense with a great motor and activity, whether that's defending on the perimeter or blocking shots at the rim. 

Offensively, Coulibaly is still considerably raw when it comes to his shooting or ballhandling but his athleticism proves gives him the ability to attack the basket and finish with authority and grace while showcasing a team-first mentality.

If Dallas makes the pick at No. 10 for themselves, it doesn't seem like Coulibaly is the win-now piece that they're looking for, but if we're talking years down the line, his ceiling could end up being a steal near the end of the lottery.

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