The Dallas Mavericks are still expected to get a quality prospect at no.9 on the draft board. According to several NBA Draft insiders, the Mavericks are looking at several playmaking prospects such as Frenchman Frank Ntilikina, Kentucky’s Malik Monk, and North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr. There are also rumblings about the Mavs picking project like Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac, who has incredible ceiling offensively and defensively.

The mystery of French playmaker

According to Jonathan Wasserman of Bleacher Report, the Mavericks are one of at least four teams (The New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Sacramento Kings are the others) that spent most of the time scouring Ntilikina in the French League.

Ntilikina is ranked no.10 among all prospects in this year’s NBA Draft, per Jonathan Givony of the

The Mavericks are in search for their point guard of the future. Dallas thought they found a gem in Yogi Ferrell after the former Indiana Hoosiers playmaker put up solid numbers (11.3 ppg and 4.3 apg across 29 games) in his rookie season. However, the Mavs’ front-office wants another playmaking prospects on its roster in case their Yogi experiment doesn’t pan out well in its second season.

The 18-year old Ntilikina was one of the most promising prospects out of France the last 2-3 years. Listed at 6-foot-5, he helped France win the U18 European Championships by averaging 15.2 points, 4.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 steals in the tournament.

Why pick Jonathan Isaac at no.9?

Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News thinks Jonathan Isaac of Florida State is a can’t miss prospect for the Mavericks at no.9. Isaac, who averaged 12.0 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in his only season in Florida State, possesses an incredible potential, both defensively and offensively, because of his rare combination of length and quickness at 6-foot-10.

Although Sherington is aware the Mavericks want to use their pick for point guard in this draft, he thinks Isaac’s ceiling is hard to ignore.

“If Jonathan Isaac, the forward from Florida State, slides to nine, I think I'd have to do that. The Mavs need a point guard, no question, but there are some available in free agency. They have to take the best player they can get in the draft, not only because that's the smart thing to do, but they could use talent just about anywhere,” according to Sherrington.

Dirk’s front-office role

Dirk Nowitzki, who basically has the power to change the Mavs’ free-agency plans this summer, is now assuming a bigger role in the team's scouting department. According to Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban, Nowitzki with the help of his shooting coach Holger Geschwindner has been providing key insights on several European talents in this class.

The 38-year old Nowitzki has expressed his desire to play another season with the Mavericks. He has a player option for 2017/18 season worth $25 million, but he can opt out and re-work a much cheaper deal to sign key free-agents this off-season.