The Dallas Mavericks are slated to pick ninth overall in the 2017 NBA Draft held June 22 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. That is, assuming the front office doesn’t deal away the pick for a veteran anytime between now and when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver takes the podium.
What type of value can Dallas expect to find at at ninth overall?
Since 1980, when the year of the Mavericks’ inception, the majority of the successful picks taken at ninth overall have been sidekick kind of players: Dale Ellis, Otis Thorpe, Charles Oakley, Rony Seikaly, Stacey Augmon, Shawn Marion, Amar’e Stoudemire, Andre Iguodala, Joakim Noah, Andre Drummond.
Among the 37 ninth overall picks since 1980, only Rolando Blackman, Tracy McGrady, and Dirk Nowitzki were taken at ninth overall and later became franchise figures that teams built around. In the case of McGrady, he only later became such a figure with Orlando and Houston, not with Toronto, the original team that held his rights after draft day concluded.
The impending pick is also the first top-10 pick the Mavericks have had since the Mark Cuban era began in 2000. The last time Dallas picked in the top-10 was in 1998 when they took Michigan forward Robert Traylor and dealt him to Milwaukee for the rights to Nowitzki. Since then, the Mavericks have been out of the top-10.
In the history of the franchise, Dallas has picked ninth overall three times. Those picks taken were Blackman (1981), Ellis (1983), and Samaki Walker (1996). Overall, the Mavericks have taken a depending player in the top-10 seven out of their 14 picks.
Sports Illustrated has Dallas taking Frank Ntilikina, an 18-year-old guard out of France. CBS Sports concurs with SI on this pick. Bleacher Report has the Mavericks taking Dennis Smith, Jr. out of North Carolina State to run the point for the club in 2017-18.