The Dallas Mavericks have become one of those NBA teams with a good amount of talent to be a playoff team, but with way too many holes to be a legitimate contender. They've got a lot of positions that need addressing, but in my eyes point guard is probably one of the more pressing needs for this team. Coupled with the available talent on the board, I selected Tyus Jones from Duke on behalf of the Dallas Mavericks with the 21st overall pick.
To get an expert opinion on whether or not I'm making the right decision, I reached out Mavs Moneyball editor Tim Cato about Dallas point guard problems.
How dire is the point situation?
They started the year with Jameer Nelson. It's not a great situation but I think they're alright with sticking a lower level player there if they're successful at putting talent at other positions. Devin Harris can still finish games sometimes too.
I'm drafting you Tyus Jones. Is that cool?
Not a big fan of small point guards in general, but yeah, it's a reasonable pick. I'm more of an R.J. Hunter guy but Tyus Jones definitely feels more like a Mavs move.
So I didn't really get Tim's blessing here, but this is my ship, and I'll steer it in whatever damn way I'd like.
First and foremost, Jones being a "small point guard" seems like a bit of a misnomer. At the NBA Draft Combine he measured 6' 2" tall with a 6' 5" wingspan, so it's not like we're dealing with Earl Boykins over here. He did a good job of getting to the lane in college because of his advanced handles, and if he can bulk up, Tyus should be able to finish through contact around the rim in the NBA.
Most importantly, Jones is a great passer, and super comfortable with operating out of the pick and roll. On a Mavericks team that needs to move the ball a lot to compensate for its lack of talent, the former Blue Devil should be a big help. He was also above-average from beyond the arc in college, and all indications are he can continue to shoot at a high clip at the pro level.
Things ended very poorly with Rajon Rondo in Dallas, but his departure could clear the way for the Mavericks to take Jones, who is capable of running an offense in the NBA for many years.