By Josh Clark
DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) – With less than two weeks left until the NBA Draft, players are starting to be connected to teams that have an interest in drafting them.
As 105.3 The Fan’s Mike Fisher has noted, things are a little different these days when it comes to bringing in players for private workouts. Agents are now running the show in today’s NBA, meaning that teams are not necessarily getting players to come in for meetings like they used to.
According to Fish, the Mavericks are currently pushing for visits with some of the players that could fall in the range of the ninth overall pick.
Fish reported on Sunday that those players are Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac, N.C. State point guard Dennis Smith Jr., Kentucky combo guard Malik Monk, Gonzaga center Zach Collins, Duke shooting guard Luke Kennard and combo guard Donovan Mitchell.
Another player the Mavericks would like to host before the draft is French point guard Frank Ntilikina. However, that became unlikely because his team SIG Strasbourg advanced to the French League’s Finals last week.
With a pre-draft visit now unlikely, how would the Mavs get a chance to chat with one of the top five point guards in the upcoming draft?
According to Fisher, Mavs GM Donnie Nelson and other scouts have already met with the 18-year-old and have watched him play the last few weeks.
Then, out of nowhere, word came out of Europe over the weekend that Mark Cuban and Mavs brass had a breakfast meeting with the point guard and his agent in Venice, Italy.
With Mavericks future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki boldly claiming last Monday on 105.3 The Fan that the team “obviously” needs a point guard. This is obviously a situation worth monitoring over the next 11 days leading up to the draft.
I personally agree with Dirk and can safely remove Collins and Kennard from consideration at the No. 9 pick. I chalk up their potential meetings with the Mavs as the club just doing their due diligence. I will not, however, remove Jonathan Isaac from the conversation because I believe Dallas would jump at the opportunity to pick him if he were to fall in their lap. As for the others, I’d rank them this way (Ntilikina, Smith Jr., Monk, Mitchell) in the order of the Mavericks interests as of today.
Mike Fisher contributed to this report.