After a one weekend NCAA tournament for Auburn, Mustapha Heron declared for the draft in early April with intent to sign with an agent. Heron is a 6’5 wing with good strength and long arms. Heron was a top 30 recruit coming out of high school and was the highest ranked prospect on the Auburn roster. His sophomore stat line was as follows: 16.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 0.9 APG, 1.2 SPG, and 2.1 TOPG on splits of 44/33/80.
Tools: Scoring, defense
- Very vocal- always pointing to teammates where to be and where to go. Team first guy
- Good rebounder for his position
- Spot up shooting potential
- Solid athlete
- High motor
- Quick first step;
- Good defensive IQ
- Gets to the line at a high rate. He attempted 6 free throws per 40 minutes in his two seasons at Auburn.
- Good frame
- Excellent in transition both with and without the ball
- Shot still a work in progress- good follow through, but poor base; missing open 3s he should be making
- Needs to improve consistency in mechanics
- Must improve scoring off the dribble
- Poor shot selection at times
Overall: Heron is a left hander that can play both 2 and 3. Has the defensive decision making and defensive tools to become a two way player. His high FT% indicates that he can become a better shooter than he was in college. He is a natural scorer that doesn’t need to force anything to get his buckets or to be a positive impact on the team. At the least, Heron could be a defensive specialist off the bench, a la Dorian Finney-Smith. At his best, he’s a 3&D wing off the bench on a winning team. Heron does a lot of the little things well and has a good understanding of how to succeed in a defense. While he needs to improve his production, his shot has the makings to succeed with an NBA shooting coach.
NBA Comparison: floor: Dorian Finney-Smith; ceiling: Josh Richardson
Projected draft range: 40-60
Fit with the Mavericks: Heron could take Dorian Finney-Smith out of the long term picture if his shot thrives early on. With Finney-Smith having only a partially guaranteed contract for 2018-19, Heron could be intriguing. Heron should be able to play in an NBA rotation right away off the bench. Under Rick Carlisle, he should be able to use his heady play to his advantage and easy mesh with the roster and the coaching staff.