DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – The Dallas Mavericks selected Josh Green, a guard out of Arizona, with the 18th pick of the NBA Draft on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
The 6-6, 210-pound Australian brought size and athleticism to Arizona as a five-star freshman last year.
Analysts say the first-round pick has the potential to be a reliable outside shooter with quality defense and the ability to finish at the rim.
Green, drafted two days after his 20th birthday, moved to the United States at 14 and played high school basketball at IMG Academy in Florida.
The swingman entered the draft after a pandemic-shortened freshman season at Arizona, where he averaged 12 points per game and shot 36% from 3-point range. He was standout on defense, leading the Wildcats with 46 steals.
“What we needed first for our roster are wing defenders that can shoot and score and hopefully make plays,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We feel like he’s a ready-to-go 3-and-D guy.”
Led by Doncic and Porzingis, the Mavericks made the playoffs for the first time in four years, losing to the Los Angeles Clippers in six games in the first round at the NBA bubble in Florida.
“Coming off of last year, our offense was historically great,” Carlisle said. “We need to get our defense better. Some of it is going to be the kind of work we put in during training camp. But the other part is when we draft and acquire players, we want to acquire players with that mindset and that ability.”
The Mavericks also had the first pick in the second round, No. 31 overall.
The addition of Green comes with the Mavericks expecting shooting guard Tim Hardaway to exercise the $19 million option on his contract. President of basketball operations Donnie Nelson has said Hardaway is important piece as the Mavericks try to move toward title contention.
“I think I need to focus on the things the team needs,” Green said. “I feel like in my position and role, I don’t think I need to do anything outside of that. I think if I’m able to play defense, work as hard as I can, hit open shots and do what the team needs to do, I feel like that happens.”
Porzingis is expected to miss the start of the season coming off surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. He missed all of 2018-19 after tearing the ACL in his left knee with the New York Knicks, who traded him to Dallas last year.
Dwight Powell is expected to be ready when the season starts after tearing an Achilles tendon last season. When Powell is healthy, he can play center and allow Porzingis to move to forward, probably the most suitable spot for the 7-foot-3 Latvian.
Jalen Brunson, the backup to Doncic at point guard, should be ready to return after shoulder surgery cut short his 2019-20 season. The two-time NCAA champion at Villanova was drafted in the second round the same year Doncic went third overall.
The Mavericks finished as the seventh seed in the Western Conference, but entered the restart with a chance to finish in the top four. Dallas hasn’t been seeded that high since winning the franchise’s only championship in 2011.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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