The NBA draft is coming Thursday, which brings with it the hopes to both the prospective draftees and the fans of the many franchises in desperate need of a player who can do something other than suck.
Former college head coach and current ESPN basketball guy Fran Fraschilla Tweeted this stark reminder on Monday: "Just remember, folks, that in last ten NBA Drafts, only average of 9 players per year ended up starting even two NBA seasons. League's hard!"
So that's encouraging for a Dallas Mavericks team that needs able size, and a point guard who can set up the offense in a halfcourt set. As much improvement as Darren Collison showed during the regular season, he had a terrible tendency to pick up the dribble too high and he struggled with passing the ball into the right spot. It's not entirely his fault - he's not a true point guard.
As SMU coach Larry Brown has said, God makes point guards and centers. Large man take forever to develop, and the better bet where the Dallas Mavericks are currently slated to select - 13th overall - is that they will go big.
Most of the big players in this draft are going to be stiffs - Indiana's Cody Zeller and Duke's Mason Plumlee come mind - but the idea of Louisville center Gorgui Dieng is intriguing. If he falls to 13.
The knock on Dieng, who is from Senegal, is that he's 23. Don't care. That means he should be a grown up. The Mavs need someone who can defend the rim, which if Dieng hits his upside he could at least prevent people from attacking the basket the way opponents have since Tyson Chandler left.
Dieng looks like he has limited offensive game around the basket, but he is a fearless defender and when he was at Louisville displayed a knack for being able to help and switch away from the lane. At least he did during U of L's run to the national title.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle likes players who run, defend and don't let people drive to the rim without fear. Dieng looks like he can do that.
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