Jared Cunningham isn't exactly a household name, even after being traded for on Draft night to the Mavericks from the Cavaliers. But the organization seems to be really high on him, and Rick Carlisle even compared the rookie to Russell Westbrook.
We won't get carried away here. Just a look at Chad Ford's analysis for the C+ he gave the Mavericks' draft selections:
Round 1: Jared Cunningham (24, from Cavs)
Round 2: Bernard James (33, from Cavs), Jae Crowder (34, from Cavs)
This was a solid night for the Mavs. I actually like Cunningham a bit. He's a risky pick, as he has to make a position change at the next level, but his elite athleticism combined with his ability to get to the basket are intriguing. If he figures out how to be a real point guard, he could be a nice get here.
I do, however, think the Mavs passed on two better point guard prospects in Teague and Tony Wroten. To me, Teague is much more of a sure thing. Wroten is a risky pick as well, but has has more upside than Cunningham.
I think the Mavs took James to be the poster child for their D-League team -- the Texas Legends. Think this former Iraqi war veteran might sell a few tickets? He can play defense, but at 27 years old, his future in the NBA is pretty limited. Crowder is one of the toughest players in the draft. But he's severely undersized for his position. I like him, but again, the upside is limited. For a team that might be undergoing a major overhaul, I thought there were better upside picks in the 30s like Quincy Miller, Will Barton and -- if you wanted a guy who could play right away -- Draymond Green.