TrueHoop: Brittney Griner
April, 4, 2013
By Ryan Feldman, ESPN Stats & Information
Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY SportsCould Brittney Griner hold her own in the NBA?
Could Griner play in the NBA? Would it be wise for the Mavericks to use a second-round pick on the Baylor superstar?
Mavericks don’t draft well
Since Cuban became the majority owner of the Mavericks in 2000, the team's 22 draft picks have a grand total of one career All-Star appearance. That was 2003 first-round pick Josh Howard, who was an All-Star in 2007.
Since 1995, the Mavericks are the only NBA franchise whose draft picks have fewer than two combined career All-Star appearances (other than the Bobcats, whose first season was 2004).
The Mavericks have selected 16 players in the second round under Cuban. Of those picks, 10 never played a game in the NBA and just two – Dan Langhi (2000) and Kenny Satterfield (2001) – even scored more than 200 career points.
Those 16 second-round picks have a combined 295 career games and 945 career points. Based on this track record, it appears the Mavericks aren't so great at finding the "sleeper" second-round picks.
The success rate for second-round picks isn't very high league-wide. From 2000 to 2011, only 30 percent (108 of 356) of second-round picks have played at least 100 career games in the NBA.
Griner is different than most female players in that she can play above the rim. Griner has 18 career dunks, more than every other woman in Division I history combined. Griner dunked three times in one game, while Candace Parker is the only other woman to dunk more than three times in her entire college career.
Griner led all women’s players in points per post-up play, points per play overall, points per play allowed and opponent field-goal percentage this season. She held opponents to 23 percent shooting as an on-ball defender.
Of course, men's college basketball is a completely different game than Griner's competition. Griner doesn't face the same size, athleticism and strength that she would face in the NBA.
But for what it's worth, if Griner posted the same numbers in the men’s game, she would’ve led the country in points per post-up play, points per play allowed and opponent field-goal percentage.
She wouldn’t be the first
If Griner were to be selected, she wouldn't be the first woman ever selected in the NBA Draft. In 1969, Denise Long was selected in the 13th round by the San Francisco Warriors.
Long was a high school player who averaged 62.8 points per game during her senior year. However, the NBA later voided the selection because they felt it was a publicity stunt.
In 1977, Lusia Harris was selected in the seventh round by the New Orleans Jazz. The Delta State star officially became the only woman ever picked in the NBA Draft, although she never actually played in an NBA game.