Why the Dallas Mavericks won the 2020 NBA Draft

Dallas Mavericks
Jan 10, 2020; Dallas, Texas, USA; A view of the Dallas Mavericks logo during the game between the Mavericks and the Lakers at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks entered the 2020 NBA Draft with many wondering how the team would use its draft picks, either via trade or drafting in rookies. In the end, they did both and the results were outstanding.

Dallas kept itself busy on draft night with a flurry of moves. From making a huge trade to add another quality starter alongside Luka Doncic to providing the bench with more depth and addressing needs.

By the time the night was over, it was evident the Dallas Mavericks were winners. Let’s examine why the Mavericks won the 2020 NBA Draft.

Dallas Mavericks news: Josh Richardson trade a huge addition

The Dallas Mavericks kicked off the second round with a bang, trading Seth Curry to the Philadelphia 76ers for Josh Richardson and the 36th pick. While Curry was beloved by teammates and fans, this was an easy decision for the Mavericks. Richardson, a lengthy and athletic wing, instantly becomes the team’s best perimeter defender. 

Offensively, the 27-year-old can handle the ball and make some plays. He hit 34.1% from beyond the arc this past season in Philadelphia, but he is even better than that. From 2017-’19 with the Miami Heat, Richardson hit 36.6% from deep. He will start alongside Doncic, which should help create some open looks. Even more importantly, he will provide a much-needed defense around the perimeter.

Richardson fits in the Mavericks’ timeline, so this doesn’t have to be a short-term move. THere’s added upside here for Dallas. Richardson will be a free agent in 2021, creating more cap space for Mark Cuban to go after a third star in the loaded 2021 NBA free agent class.

Dallas Mavericks draft picks: Making defensive improvements

Everyone knows this team struggled defensively during the 2019-’20 season. Dallas had a historically-dominant offense, but finished as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference. Even for the casual observer, the inability to stop opponents was evident.

In the playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, Kawhi Leonard feasted on Maxi Kleber. It just highlighted all of the issues this team had. Dallas wasn’t athletic, lacked size on the perimeter, and couldn’t stop anyone. Adding Richardson wasn’t enough; the Mavericks drafted some defensive help.

The Mavericks selected Arizona’s Josh Green with the No. 18 overall pick. Green, a 6-foot-6 swingman, brings size and athleticism to a team in desperate need of both. Some analysts had Green as the best perimeter defender in the draft. He’s by no means the finished product on offense, but Dallas only needs his defense.

With the No. 36 selection, the Mavericks drafted Tyler Bey. The 6-foot-7 forward offers explosive potential on offense, but it’s his defensive instincts that jump out. Bey should enter the league as a solid defender. Rick Carlisle prefers veterans to rookies, so Bey will probably be an end of the rotation option. However, Bey can be used to slow down hot scorers, a luxury the Mavericks have not had in years.

Dallas Mavericks needs: Team adds shooting

Curry is one of the best shooters in the league, hitting a career-high 45.2% from three-point range last season. Replacing his shooting will be difficult, but the Mavericks drafted an NBA-ready replacement in Tyrell Terry. Drafted with the 31st pick, Terry does one thing exceptionally well — shoot threes. 

In his lone season at Stanford, Terry shot 40.8% from beyond the arc. Whether Dallas needs him to get open without the ball for a spot-up three or to hit floaters from close range, he can do it.

A projected first-round pick, Terry fell due to his thin frame and concerns on defense. With that being said, Terry will come off the bench for spurts of offense, so his weakness isn’t as problematic. Putting a shooter like Terry next to Doncic is a recipe for another explosive season for Dallas

In just one night, the Mavericks remade their team, but they’re not done yet. Earlier in the draft, rumors spread about a Danilo Gallinari sign and trade for the 18th pick. While nothing materialized, the Mavericks have a few pieces in Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Delon Wright that could be moved for the right veteran. An already excellent offseason for Dallas may just be starting.