Fab Melo, No. 17 (Mock Draft)
The Mavericks go young where it matters most: down low.
by Adam Maher / @ArtoMar1
For as old as the casual fan might think we are (when added together, our top eight most active players from last season, Dirk, Kidd, Marion, Terry, Haywood, Carter, Mahinmi and Delonte West equal a staggering 75 years of NBA experience), we actually have a very rich bank of young talent to build upon.
Former first rounders Rodrigue Beaubois and Brandan Wright both present tremendous potential to fill the shoes of say Jason Terry and that guy who won a Championship with Dallas last year, Tyson Chandler, respectively. Of course, Roddy is coming off knee injuries and Wright needs to get his Chris Bosh skill set on, but that’s a conversation for another day.
On top of that, as the end of the Dirk era rests in the balance, there will be plenty of wiggle room this summer, with Jason Kidd, Brian Cardinal, Ian Mahinmi, Jason Terry, Delonte West and Yi Jianlian all becoming unrestricted free agents on July 1.
Kidd’s free agency leaves our franchise in a tremendous pickle: If he heads elsewhere, then we must draft a point man—names like Marquis Teague and Tyshawn Taylor come to mind—but, rumor has it that Deron Williams could make a move to Dallas, which would ensure that Kidd stays put.
I hate to put our franchise’s future on the shoulders of a player from another team, but that’s how it’s shaping up—and really, after winning the NBA title last year, we are in a pretty good position to move forward. JKidd and DWill share representation in Jeff Schwartz, and have been hinting to reporters that they would like to play in the same jersey next season. The only question that’s fermented is whether the pair will unite in BK or Dallas.
The Nets can offer Deron Williams more money due to the Early Bird salary cap exemption, but the cost of living in New York is infinitely higher than Dallas (there is no state tax in Texas). Plus, it’s been reported numerous times in the past few days that Williams will not be swayed by the green.
“Williams is a smart guy who has not wasted the significant amount of money he has already made. He knows that the difference between $81 million and $108 million will not alter his lifestyle, so don’t expect Williams to sign with Brooklyn simply for the dollars,” ESPN.com’s Chris Broussard said.
Plus, rap lines from the Nets ownership that say, “The Nets could go 0 for 82 and I’ll look at you like this shit’s gravy” aren’t exactly persuading anybody involved with the NBA-championship-less franchise, let alone their star FA, to stick around when opportunity is knocking elsewhere.
Both Kidd and Williams have motivation to win an NBA Championship, and fast. Kidd is 39 and Deron is straight up hungry, so Dallas seems to be the logical answer.
With that in mind, I’m thinking Dallas needs someone huge and defensively minded to help Wright and Haywood in the paint and to free-up Dirk as he looks to make one final run in the Playoffs.
With the 17th pick of the SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Dallas Mavericks select…
Fab Melo from Syracuse.
I don’t see JKidd leaving Dallas to go to Brooklyn. Trying to build a Championship team in one season is pretty much impossible—with the one exception being the Boston Celtics. We all saw what happened in New York last year, and we all know what happened last year in the Finals.
We might be old around the perimeter, but with the addition of Fab, we’ll be young where it matters most: down low. And if we add DWill into the equation a la Jason Kidd, our newest seven-footer will have a chance at making an NBA Finals run in his rookie campaign.
The 7-0, 255-pounder’s Draft stock might have fallen because of his off-court, in-the-classroom problems, which saw Melo miss three games during the regular season and, of course, the entire NCAA Tournament. But don’t forget, Fab was the main peg in ‘Cuse’s defense this season, earning Big East Defensive Player of the Year en route to helping the Orange earn their best start to a season ever, 22-0. And seriously—could you imagine going from the heat of Brazil to the Syracuse cold? It would drive any sane man mad.
Melo will have a lot to learn, but his body is NBA-ready and if matched correctly with Brandan Wright, don’t be surprised to hear the nickname, “Two-Headed Beast” in Dallas sometime next season, as DWill leads us to the NBA Title.
|2012 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|1||Hornets||Anthony Davis||16||Rockets||Tyler Zeller|
|2||Bobcats||Michael Kidd-Gilchrist||17||Mavs||Fab Melo|
|13||Suns||Perry Jones III||28||Thunder|