NBA Western Conference: Most important need for each Southwest Division team heading into the NBA Draft
Now that the 2019 NBA Finals have concluded with the Toronto Raptors becoming the newly crowned NBA Champions, the focus on the league shifts to the 2019 NBA Draft. For the moment, it appears the prime draftees will be Zion Williamson, Ja Morant, and R.J. Barrett. These players are likely to go to the New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, and New York Knicks respectively. However, the draft order of the remaining potential new entrants to the NBA is unknown.
The NBA Western Conference's Southwest Division contains an interesting mix of teams that could benefit from an infusion of new talent. The Division was well represented in the 2019 NBA Playoffs by the Houston Rockets and the San Antonio Spurs.
However, even they need new talent to round out their rosters. At the other end of the standings, the Dallas Mavericks were the West’s second-worst team with a regular season record of 33-49. Here is a quick look at the needs each team in this division should try to address at the 2019 NBA Draft.
#5 Dallas Mavericks
2018-19 NBA regular season: 14th seed with a 33-49 record
The Dallas Mavericks, owned by Mark Cuban, have had an interesting year. At last June’s draft, the Mavericks sent their 5th pick Trae Young and a 2019 top 5 protected pick to the Atlanta Hawks for the 3rd pick Luka Doncic. At midseason, the Mavericks swung a deal with the Knicks to acquire the injury-recuperating star power forward Kristaps Porzingis. Essentially Dallas’ management has already replaced the lost 2019 first round pick by trading for Kristaps Porzingis.
If Porzingis is healthy and able to play, he gives Dallas a dynamic big man that replaces what the now-retired Dirk Nowitzki once in the form of a young player with a myriad of skills. Teamed with Luka Doncic, 2019-20 should be exciting for Mavericks fans.
The Mavericks do still have their 2nd round pick at #37 overall. In examining the current roster of the Mavericks, acquiring a guard with this selection might make the most sense. The Mavericks ended this past season 24th in assists per game and 20th in turnovers.
Also considering that two of their top point guards, J.J. Barea and Devin Harris combined to play just 106 games and are 34 and 35 years old respectively, the Mavericks need some youth at the guard spot.