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NBA Draft Rumors: Dallas Mavericks Work Out Will Barton

The good news for the Dallas Mavericks, a team desperate for perimeter athleticism, is that shooting guard is one of the top positions in the 2012 NBA Draft.

Dallas has been linked to several of the top wings in the draft, including UConn SG Jeremy Lamb and Washington SG Terrence Ross, and, according to a report from's Sam Amick, recently worked out Memphis SG Will Barton.

Barton, whom Amick calls one of the draft's top sleepers, is an athletic 6'6 175 shooting guard from Memphis who has slipped under the radar for most of the pre-draft process. While his thin frame is a concern, he displayed an extremely well-rounded game while leading the Tigers to a first-round berth in the NCAA Tournament.

I ranked Barton as the No. 5 shooting guard in the draft:

5. Will Barton, Memphis

There are two questions about Barton's game: his very thin frame (6'6 and 175 pounds w/a 6'10 wingspan) as well as an inconsistent outside shot. He'll need to put on some weight to survive forays into the paint in the NBA, but his three-point shot improved from 26 percent as a freshman to 35 percent as a sophomore.

If he can sustain that, he could put himself in the same discussion as the top 4 SG's in this draft. As a sophomore, he ably handled a huge offensive load for Memphis, averaging 18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 1.4 steals on 51 percent shooting.

He would be an ideal fit in Dallas, as his still shaky perimeter jumper would not be a huge concern on a veteran Dallas team, while his athleticism and play-making from the wing would allow him to step in and contribute immediately. The Mavericks haven't had a shooting guard with as much talent as Barton since Michael Finley.

If both Ross and Lamb are taken earlier, Barton would be a great fall-back option for Dallas at No. 17.

A highlight tape from his sophomore season:

For more on the Mavericks draft plans, stay tuned to the SB Nation Dallas storystream as well as Mavs Moneyball.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.