Technically the Dallas Mavericks don’t have a pick in the first round of this year’s NBA Draft, but Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson, being the wheeler-dealer that he is, managed to get the Boston Celtics second-round pick last year. And since the Celtics stunk up the joint this past season, Dallas’ No. 34 pick is pretty much a late first-round pick.
It’s actually better having a pick in this spot, as opposed to a middle-of-the-pack pick, since the draft is too deep. This way, Nelson’s head won’t have to explode with nonstop indecision. But you know Nelson has done his homework and he’s not just trying to find a sleeper, but the sleeper of all sleepers. You know, like this year’s Jimmy Butler, which happens to be Missouri‘s Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson is just one of those players, like Butler, who happen to drop in the draft, but there’s no way Nelson will pass on Clarkson. Dallas’ No. 51 pick will most likely be used on the Greek Ioannis Papapetrou.
Clarkson is a versatile beast. While he played point guard at Missouri and thinks of himself as one, the 6-foot-4 (he’s 6-foot-5 with sneakers on) Clarkson is more of a hybrid. However, he’s not like an Eric Bledsoe or even a Russell Westbrook type of hybrid, as Clarkson, with his 6-foot-8 wingspan, can probably play small forward. Though his three-point shooting is atrocious, Clarkson, who carried Missouri last season, steps up in big games, like when he scored 28 points in a dramatic loss to Kentucky. The kid will be a steal.
Papapetrou is a small forward who played for the Texas Longhorns during the 2012-13 season. Last year, he played in Greece, though. If anything, the Mavericks will draft him simply to stick it to the San Antonio Spurs somehow.