Dallas Mavericks: Royce White

Rapid Reaction: Mavs pick Jared Cunningham

June, 28, 2012
6/28/12
9:03
PM CT
DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks somewhat surprisingly selected Jared Cunningham with the 24th overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Cunningham is a 6-foot-4, 194-pound junior shooting guard from Oregon State and is known for his athleticism, quickness and defense.

The Mavs initially picked Tyler Zeller (center, North Carolina) with the 17th overall pick, but quickly traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the 24th, 33rd and 34th picks in the draft.

One of the Mavs' targets, Arnett Moultrie (forward, Mississippi State) was on the board, but Dallas went with the combo guard. ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford wrote in his June 25 scouting report that Cunningham could be the best sleeper in this year's draft.

Here's a quick look at Cunningham's resume:

Cunningham led the Pac-12 in steals as a junior and sophomore. ... He was an All-Pac-12 First team selection as a junior and All-Pac-12 second team as a sophomore. ... He was a two-time Pac-12 All-Defensive and All-Tournament Team selection. ... He concluded his career 13th all-time in scoring (1,271), second in steals (219), third in free throws made (427) and fifth in free throws attempted (566) at Oregon State. ... He averaged 17.9 points as a junior, the second-best in the Pac-12. ... He ranked ninth nationally in steals. ... He tied Gary Payton and Lester Conner for for the second-most steals in a single season (91) in Oregon State history.

Cunningham is ranked 32nd in Chad Ford's top 100. Click here to read Ford's analysis (insider).

The Mavs had a few potential players go off the board before they could pick at 17th. Terrence Ross (guard, Washington) was drafted eighth overall by the Toronto Raptors, Meyers Leonard (center, Illinois) 11th overall by the Portland Trailblazers, Kendall Marshall (guard, North Carolina) 13th overall by the Phoenix Suns and Royce White (forward, Iowa State) 16th overall by the Houston Rockets.

After making the trade with Cleveland, the Mavs missed out on Terrence Jones (forward, Kentucky, picked 18th by Houston), Andrew Nicholson (forward, St. Bonaventure, picked 19th by Orlando) and Fab Melo (center, Syracuse, picked 22nd by Boston).

The Mavs left Perry Jones III (forward, Baylor) and Quincy Miller (forward, Baylor) on the board.

Draft preview: Royce White

June, 28, 2012
6/28/12
12:01
AM CT
video Last of a nine-part series analyzing our top NBA draft choices for the Dallas Mavericks at No. 17 on Thursday. We will look at one prospect a day leading up to the draft. ESPN.com Insider Chad Ford and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's and Mavs play-by-play man Chuck Cooperstein provide the inside goods. The order is alphabetical.

From a purely physical standpoint, players like this just don't grow on trees. Royce White possesses a LeBron-like physique, and his skills aren't bad either.

Off the court, White might be the most complex person in the draft. He's had a number of incidents, left Minnesota during his freshman season after being suspended indefinitely, couldn't get on a plane for a recruiting visit to Kentucky because of an anxiety disorder and then nearly led Iowa State to an upset of Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament.

He has told NBA personnel that is bad-boy days are over, that he's on the straight and narrow.

For a man his size, White seems to defy the trappings of a single position. He can handle the ball, score from anywhere on the floor, pass it and rebound.

ESPN.com's Chad Ford reported last week that White had ended all workouts and had strangely gone quiet, supposedly having a "promise" from a team that plans to pick him. The team that came to the forefront, Ford reported, was the Boston Celtics at No. 21, and the Atlanta Hawks at No. 23 may have interest, as well.

That means White would be on the board when the Mavs pick. Depending who else is, Dallas might not be able to pass up White's rare package of size and talent.

Here's a look at our next draft prospect:

[+] EnlargeRoyce White
Michael C. Johnson/US PresswireIowa State forward Royce White has impressive size and good all-around skills, but he also has battled anxiety disorder.
ROYCE WHITE
School: Iowa State (1 year)
Position: SF
Age: 21
Ht./Wt.: 6-foot-8/261
2011-12 stats: 13.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg, 53.4% FG

Why he would fit: Dirk Nowitzki has talked till he's blue in the face about needing playmakers, guys that can create their own shot and score the basketball. Not many come with this type of body.

Why he wouldn't fit: At this stage of trying to put a team around Nowitzki that can contend, the Mavs might not want to get involved with a young player dealing with an anxiety disorder and a fear of flying.

Chad Ford's thumbs up, thumbs down: Up -- Physical, athletic forward ... Point forward type of player ... NBA body, strong ... Can score inside and outside ... Excellent ball-handler ... Great passer for someone his size ... Good rebounder. Down -- Suffers from anxiety disorder ... Has a serious fear of flying ... Off-court issues ... Old for his class ... Inconsistent shooter.

Coop's comment: The comparison you hear most is to former Knick Anthony Mason. Outstanding all-around skills; knows how to get his shot up and score. A superb passer, especially out of the low post. The Mavericks have not had a player who passes this well out of the post since Mark Aguirre. However, he is a poor free throw shooter and there are the huge questions about his fear of flying. He seems to have allayed a lot of fears about that and his dismissal from Minnesota at the combine.

Previous prospects
Terrence Jones, Kentucky
Meyers Leonard, Illinois
Kendall Marshall, North Carolina
Fab Melo, Syracuse
Quincy Miller, Baylor
Arnett Moultrie, Mississippi State
Austin Rivers, Duke
Terrence Ross, Washington

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
21.3 4.6 1.6 34.0
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.6
AssistsR. Rondo 9.0
StealsR. Rondo 2.0
BlocksT. Chandler 1.4