Eighth in 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.
The Pac-12 was so bad last season that Terrence Ross probably didn't get his proper due.
At 6-foot-7, he's a prototypical NBA shooting guard. Combine his quickness, athleticism, shooting ability and improving defensive chops, he should be able to slip into a rotation immediately.
With plenty of holes on the Mavs' roster and no way of knowing who will and who won't be on the roster until Deron Williams makes up his mind once free agency starts Sunday, finding a player that you know can fill a rotation spot from the jump is critical this year.
Here's a look at our next draft prospect:
School: Washington (2 years)
2011-12 stats: 16.4 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 37.1% 3FGs
Why he would fit: Like Austin Rivers, Ross has the size, athleticism and scoring ability Dallas has long craved at shooting guard. He's also developed a defensive reputation and would give Shawn Marion needed help against top wing players.
Why he wouldn't fit: While other shooting guards have been receiving more attention, it's still doubtful that Ross will slide all the way down to the Mavs at No. 17.
Chad Ford's thumbs up, thumbs down: Up -- Explosive athlete ... Excellent shooter with range ... Very good leaper ... Can get to the basket with a quick first step. Down -- Needs to improve his handle, shot selection ... Needs to add an in-between game ... Can sometime overly defer to teammates ... Needs to add strength.
Coop's comment: Ross can really shoot it, and observers tell me he comes off screens as well as anyone. But there is no handle in his game and thus very few drives to the basket to try to draw fouls. He has very good length at 6-foot-7 and almost 200 pounds, and there are those who believe he has the ability to be an elite defender, as well.