Mark Cuban told reporters that the Dallas Mavericks would consider drafting Brittney Griner with a second round pick in the upcoming draft. Many people have spoke out against this idea including, Geno Auriema and several analysts among the basketball hierarchy. Now as a fan I’d love if my team had a forward thinking owner like Cuban, plus you have to respect his passion for his team, even if you don’t like him. One other time in NBA history has a woman tried to make an NBA team, that honor goes to Ann Meyers who tried out for the 1980 Indiana Pacers. Meyers was a very good player for UCLA, in fact she even registered a quadruple-double, and still many speculate how sincere the tryout really was. The Pacers, in those years, were new to the NBA, having just merged from that ABA a few years prior, didn’t have the attendance that most other NBA teams had.
This tryout by Meyers was a headline and got people talking about the team, she signed a $50,000 no-cut contract for tryouts but ultimately didn’t make the final team. Obviously the Pacer organization would never come out and say it was a publicity stunt and it is just speculation but, I am completely ok with a woman trying out or even playing for an NBA team, I just don’t think Brittney Griner in the end would be successful at it. In college most of her game was basically being bigger than everyone else, that isn’t a knock I’m all for using your God given advantages, in the NBA however I’m not sure she could really do anything. Brittney Griner is a fantastic shot-blocker and can time her jump with the best of them, but at 6ft 8in she’d be a 3-4 hybrid player. Let’s say they want to use her as small forward well you’re going to be pulling her away from the basket where she does the most damage, she did hit 2 of 5 threes in her collegiate career, not saying she can’t take them, in college they wanted her down low causing havoc.
It makes total sense that she wouldn’t shoot them I just want to point out that the women’s three pointer at 19ft 9in is quite a bit shorter than the NBA 23ft 9in three point line. She does also have a mid-range game, even that has a little bit of a question mark, in the NBA game being guarded by the likes of Shaun Marion or a Caron Butler she’ll be forced to take a lot more of them and would you really draft a player based on something you’ve never really seen too much of? Then you have the defensive side of the ball, first off she can’t guard any of the elite small forwards although not many really can, but you’d have to play a 2-3 zone and if you want to take advantage of her shot stuffing abilities you may want her to patrol the paint, but with the defensive three seconds rule and her not being extremely tall or athletic for NBA standards I’m not sure it’s at the best interest of the team. Let’s say you put her on the wing she’d have trouble staying in front of the like of Landry Fields and be absolutely bullied by a Michael Beasley. Being hybrid what can she bring to the table as a power forward? Well she’s down low so her rebounding would come into play, although scoring wise (again staying away from the elite power forwards) she’d struggle against Brandon Bass in backing him down and a Thaddeus Young would be to quick for her to make a move.
Defensively she would never have the strength to stop a Glen Davis or the leaping ability to bug a Derek Favors. I mean with this kind of scouting report the opposing team wouldn’t guard her until she had the ball then trap her and on the other side of the ball attack her on just about every possession. It’s not mean it’s just what I believe would happen. She lacks the strength and quickness to play in the NBA at her position and if she goes to the NBA she isn’t guaranteed any kind of money as a second rounder and would have to forego the WNBA draft this season possibly sitting out for a year. I think she should be allowed the chance to succeed I just don’t see her making it with her skill set unfortunately and I feel like someone with her prestige going into the NBA and not making it may make it tougher for another woman with less hype, but a more NBA ready style of game, tougher to get the opportunity based on Griner’s precedence if she fails.
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