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Cuban says he’d consider drafting Brittney Griner

Apr 3, 2013, 8:44 AM EDT

Brittney Griner AP

Mark Cuban knows marketing.

He also knows that the players picked in the second half of the second round of the NBA draft almost never stick, so it’s a good time to take some big risks.

In a wide ranging pregame conversation before his Mavericks lost to the Lakers Tuesday night, Cuban said that he would consider drafting Baylor women’s college basketball star Brittney Griner in the second round of the NBA draft.

“If she is the best on the board, I would take her,” Cuban said. “I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about it already. Would I do it? Right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. You never know unless you give somebody a chance.”

Griner is up for it she said on twitter.

Griner has been a dominant force in college basketball — she’s a three-time All American, is the national player of the year, she has good size at 6’8” and is a shot blocker who can score inside or out. She will be the top pick in the WNBA draft. She can flat out play ball, do not sell her short. That said, I’m not sure she’s ready for the NBA. She’s athletic but the NBA is a whole different level.

Drafting her would be a publicity stunt, but one the NBA has seen before — UCLA star Ann Meyers tried out for the Pacers in 1979.

What would be both good marketing and more of a test to see how she could do at a higher level would be to put her on the Mavericks’ Summer League team in Las Vegas. The marketing potential would be big, something Cuban admitted, and Griner could see if she fit. The more I think about it, the more I like that idea. While it would pull her away from the WNBA season for a few weeks what that could do for that league’s marketing would be huge. It would be fun for everyone.

  1. goraidersgospurs - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    first she can take elton brand # then his spot!!!

  2. royhobbs39 - Apr 3, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    I would like to see how a tryout/workout goes.

  3. dylude - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    I’m pretty close to being a male feminist, I think we need more women politicians and CEOs in our society.

    But this isn’t about that, Griner isn’t even a big in the NBA, she’s a wing. It’s not just about height because 7’0″ Euro players struggle in the post, Yao struggled in the post early on before getting some girth and aggression. Millsap would abuse her on the court, any center getting 5+ mpg currently would abuse her and clearly all NBA wings could blow past her. What are we talking about? Lets be serious. Nice idea, impossible in reality.

    Griner could not hold her own, she is a wing with slow feet. She would be murdered in the NBA. Completely dominated. She could get points up, but the +/- would be atrocious.

    • starks3 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      How would this be any different than say a Steve Novak. He doesn’t board or play D. He just shoots 3’s for a big and spreads the floor. I don’t see why a tall female player couldn’t emulate Novak’s game and be effective.

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        because tall female players typically play post positions in college. Steve Novak has probably always been tall, but not athletic so he has always been a shooter. For Griner to change her game that drastically seems unbelievable. She was a great player, and she’ll continue to be, but in the WNBA. Even at the highest levels, female athletes can’t keep up with their male counterparts.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      I am by NO means a “male feminist” but if Jaron & Jason Collins can make it in the league all these years. Then Brittney has a shot!!! & She can’t be any worse then Scalabrine!!!

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        LOL!!! That’s cold blooded, jack! LOL

    • eventhorizon04 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Agreed.

      Just looking at her as an NBA prospect, 6’8″ really isn’t great height for a post-player in the NBA. Guys around that height can do it if they have terrific strength (think Charles Barkley, or LeBron James when he’s at the 4), but Griner doesn’t have the strength to either bully her way into the paint against bigs or keep opposing bigs out of the paint.

      So then you’re stuck making her a wing player. She lacks the ball-handling + passing skill and the foot-quickness to play either guard position, so she’d have to play small forward. Even then, she’d have trouble scoring in the post against NBA small forwards and defending post-ups unless she gained some strength. Also, she wasn’t asked to take many 15+ foot jump shots at Baylor, so she’d have to work on her jumper since I still don’t think she’d have the quickness get past small forwards.

      I think she’d be dominant in the WNBA, but her height advantage is completely gone in the NBA, and without that height advantage, she lacks the speed to check wings and the height + strength to check post players.

      • 00maltliquor - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        Thanks dylude and eventhorizon04 for those post, saved me a lot of time typing. Both right on. 100% agreed.

  4. kelsey412 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    She would not be able to compete in any men’s professional league. She is not good enough

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      I don’t think it has to do with being “good enough”, there’s just too much of a difference between top male and top female athletes. I’m sure she would own any male-ran gym team – but NBA are professionals. I don’t think she’d be that effective in male college ranks. Again, this has nothing to do with Griner – just simple differences between men and women.

  5. spthegr8 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    I bet he would draft her. She would go too WORK on Elton!! She would give him 20-10 @ this stage in his career!! Not too mention she has a NASTY right hand!!

    • jerze2387 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      According to eddy currys driver, he had a NASTY right hand too, but that didnt keep him in the league..

      (http://www.insidehoops.com/blog/?p=3034) if you dont get the reference

  6. yuwannano - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    6’8″ and 208lbs IS impressive, but put her against 245-265lbs behemoths like Carlos Boozer or LBJ and she could get seriously hurt. Nice try though.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:46 AM

      Only way Boozer would hurt her is by committing an Offensive foul. Cuz we ALL KNOW Boozer ain’t playing NO D!!!!!

  7. saint1997 - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    I don’t like this ‘she could get hurt’ argument because it implies she somehow needs protecting above the other people with similar measurements entering the league HAVING SAID THAT I believe she should go WNBA because coming to NBA is a tacit admission that WNBA is worse and I would think it would be better that more people are watching a star in the WNBA than a bench warmer in the already high ratings NBA

    • LPad - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      I understand what you are saying but a lot of players that size in the league either put on 20 pounds of muscle a year or two into their NBA career or they get hurt. For example, Josh Howard, Marquis Daniels, Shaun Livingston, etc.

      • LPad - Apr 3, 2013 at 9:54 AM

        The lack of weight for those type of players also tends to hurt their draft stock.

    • yuwannano - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      I’m not trying to imply that Brittney is some sort of a delicate flower, but the average size of a NBA player is 6’7″ and 225. Not exactly similar measurments. I also think guys would have a problem “pummeling” a woman on the court in the same way they do the other guys. In any case, she will definately have a promising career in the NBA.

      • yuwannano - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:02 AM

        WNBA

    • mckaymatt - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Similar Height and Weight measurements, but I’d imagine those men are quicker with their feet and can get out of their own way…the speed of the NBA compared to women’s college ball is a completely different level…her measurable’s aren’t bad, but she would get caught with someone coming down the lane…I just don’t think it would be good…

  8. nyheels29 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    This really is just a ridiculous argument. There’s no chance she could come close to holding her own in Men’s college basketball, let alone the NBA.

  9. dadawg77 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    While I don’t think she will be able to make it, it makes sense too do it. Dallas will cut who ever they pick with their second round pick so why not create some buzz and revenue with it. Season ticket holders will see the trash they are forced to buy, preseason games, become much more of an asset. For her, nothing to risk and everything to gain.

  10. metalhead65 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I am sure all the left wingers and feminists loving this now will be singing a different tune when she does not make the team. are you ready for all the exploitation charges and sex discrimination lawsuits as well as the orientation ones Mark? will it be worth the publicity this sideshow brings?

    • Kurt Helin - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      I think everybody involved realizes she isn’t making the team. But why not give her a shot at Summer League? During the lockout I watched WNBA players jump into NBA player pickup games and hold their own just fine. Doesn’t mean they can play in the league, but they weren’t embarrassed either. Don’t be a fool and make it political and overreact. What are you so afraid of?

      • metalhead65 - Apr 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        so I am a fool for pointing out that even thought this nothing but a publicity stunt certain groups will not be using this as some sort of equal rights agenda topic? where did I say she should not get the chance to make a fool of herself? and you are kidding yourself if you think she can hold her own even in summer league games for more than a couple of min. at best.shouldn’t you be writing another I love lebron and heat story instead of insulting someone who subscribe to your left wing views? I did not think I even made it political just pointed out the obvious.

      • metalhead65 - Apr 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        so I am a fool for pointing out that even thought this nothing but a publicity stunt certain groups will not be using this as some sort of equal rights agenda topic? where did I say she should not get the chance to make a fool of herself? and you are kidding yourself if you think she can hold her own even in summer league games for more than a couple of min. at best.shouldn’t you be writing another I love lebron and heat story instead of insulting someone who subscribe to your left wing views? I did not think I even made it political just pointed out the obvious.

  11. frankiebooboo - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Why is no one discussing the 800lb gorilla in the room?

    I think anyone with an Adam’s apple should play in the NBA. Someone playing in the WNBA with an Adam’s apple puts the other players at a disadvantage. Sure it might be fun to watch Griner dunk on a bunch of women. But is it really fair? She belongs in the NBA with her equals.

    • 00maltliquor - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      @ frankie

      I’m glad someone brought that up, and I’m prolly gonna get murdered on here for speaking my mind, but…no lie, I swear she’s a man. That voice, that adam’s apple, her features, I mean SCREAMS male. I want to see a birth certificate. That just maaaay be a tranny. I’m really not tryna be mean or a jerk but I am being serious.

      • cowpiesnotcowboys - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        People tend to think of male and female as black and white, clear cut categories. In reality, there are quite a few possibilities for “shades of grey” in between that aren’t fully male or female. These occur naturally, not from transsexual surgery. It is quite possible that Brittney has the outward appearance of a female (including the outward appearance of sex organs) but still has XY sex chromosomes.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

      @Frankie
      LMFAO!!!! I agree with you on that. But all jokes aside. She would get MAMED in the league. She doesn’t have the strength, speed or athleticism too make it with the BIG BOYS!!!

  12. echech88 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:53 AM

    Honest question: What would happen to her WNBA draft eligibility if she took up the Summer league offer?

  13. bryco9 - Apr 3, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    I say give her a shot, worst case scenario, she sucks and goes to the WNBA with a nice chunk of Mr. Cubans money. She’s going to absolutely dominate the WNBA for the next 10-12yrs anyway.

  14. borderline1988 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I don’t think she’d be as terrible as people think…6″8 players who have the ability to finish around the basket and hit short/midrange jumpers could get the occasional rebound or finish a poorly-defended pick and roll play. Any player at that size could contribute something to a professional mens league if s/he had basketball smarts and is coordinated.

    Although she would never get off the bench in an actual NBA game, because her defense would be non-existent. I’m not even talking about lateral quickness – there are plenty of NBA bigs who get beat by perimeter players b/c they are slow (ie Andrea Bargnani).
    The difference is that any post player in the NBA could just back her down and overpower her in the post, or seal her out and receive a lob pass. She’s only ~200 pounds, but even more so, women don’t have the muscle power men have, so even a 6″8 200 pound NBA player would abuse her in the post.

    And she’d be giving up offensive rebounds every play. There’s just no way she could box out a forward like Carlos Boozer or Carmelo Anthony. Maybe Chris Bosh though.

  15. mannyicey - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    I think she have all the skills to play in the NBA. Here’s my big issue: Being a big in the NBA means you are getting punished constantly, beat up and I don’t know if she can take that sort of abuse.

    I’m thinking that Britney Griner would be a beast… in the WNBA. And I think that she may be the biggest star that the WNBA would ever have. She can be the Michael Jordan of the WNBA- complete with a fat shoe contract and other big ad contracts.

    What I would like to see her do is participate in the All-Star Dunk contest, though. She gotta put more flash in her package, though.

    • savvybynature - Apr 3, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      Sheryl Swoopes = WNBA GOAT

      Actually there are good arguments to be made for Lisa Leslie or Cheryl Miller too, but I always thought Swoopes was the most entertaining (and had the coolest name). Am I missing anyone?

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        Believe it or not, but Cheryl Miller actually never played in the WNBA. She was already 33 when the WNBA held its inaugural season. Most people tend to agree that she is the greatest player in the history of women’s basketball regardless though.

        As far as the greatest WNBA player ever, I think most people would agree that Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes are the top two. Some people might throw out names like Tamika Catchings, Cynthia Cooper, Lauren Jackson and Diana Taurasi however.

  16. jj871 - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:35 AM

    Griner is a great female basketball player, but she has 0 chance of succeeding in the NBA. Much of her greatness results from the fact that her size allows her to overpower and dominate her fellow female college basketball players. Not only would that advantage be negated in the NBA, but she would actually be at a disadvantage in the post. At 200 lbs she wokld
    be, by far, the smallest person in the post. And at 6-8 she certainly does not have quickness or agility to play on the perimterer.

    While I do believe that a female player could one day succeed in the NBA (a dead eye shooter type, basically a female Steve Novak), Griner has no chance.

  17. lavoysboy - Apr 3, 2013 at 11:37 AM

    She would have to play power forward or even center because of her lack of foot speed and athleticism necessary to play the 3 position, which would be ideal for her height and body frame. In my opinion, with her having to play the 4 or 5 position she would get eaten alive. One, she is not taller than everyone else on the court, and will be outsized in the NBA. Two, she is not strong enough to play down low in the NBA (she would really have to hit the weight room). Three, the talent swing from NCAAWB to the NBA is one of the biggest leaps in sports (how would she react with guys who dunk on a regular basis [when it is a miracle when she dunks a basketball every time] and who can block her shot with regularity [something she has probably never seen].

    Cuban is just doing this for marketing purposes (like mentioned above). There are too many factors that go against her, and too many question marks are in place.

  18. fotydaze - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    She would get destroyed against top high school boys, be serious!

  19. thenew013 - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    wait. so a woman can play in the nba? i didnt think that was allowed. i would definitely watch that. even if she isnt as good. i would love to see woman and men players compete as equals. i got schooled by a few chicks on the court before. its fun.

  20. thenew013 - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    if u can understand the game and have the proper skills to be successfull or at least productive then i dont see why u cant play at the highest level. any dude or chick can get stronger if they have the will

  21. thraiderskin - Apr 3, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    The second round of the NBA draft is a joke anyway, might as well throw a pick her way. I do think she would get killed, 208 pounds at 6’8″?

    • jaerba - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      The problem with this argument is that there’s currently NBA players around the same area, namely Amir Johnson and Tayshaun Prince. Prince does get beat by stronger forwards, but he’s still a servicable NBA player at 6’9″ 215lbs. Him and Griner both have pretty extraordinary length for their height. And he’s also not a particularly quick player.

      People keep bringing up the Boozer’s and Lebron’s, because they are the bulkiest players in the NBA, but don’t forget that there’s also thin and lanky players in the NBA and not all of the are injury prone.

      I don’t think her post game will translate to the NBA very well, but if she’s got some range it might be a possibility.

      • thraiderskin - Apr 3, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        fair enough, I didn’t think of Prince.

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:36 PM

        Prince also has better foot speed.

      • borderline1988 - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:13 PM

        I don’t know about Tayshaun Prince, but Amir Johnson is WAY stronger than Griner – the guy is ripped. I’d bet he could bench-press 2.5X as much as Griner. There’s just no comparison. And Amir is an excellent athlete.

        Admittedly, I haven’t seen Griner play, but I just can’t believe Griner could compete with Amir Johnson in the post.

        Like I said in a previous post, Griner could set some screens and pop out for a jumper, or finish a poorly defended pick and roll. But she would just get abused on the boards, and forwards would be salivating at the chance to back her down in the post. There’s no way she could contain 90% of NBA forwards in the post.

        Imagine Demarcus Cousins backing Griner down. Cousins is a load for anyone, but he would average no less than 2 points per possession against Griner.

  22. cowpiesnotcowboys - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    If Brittney gets drafted into the WNBA, does “she” need to prove that “she” is biologically female in order to compete?

    When Brittney deferred from the olympics, many guessed that might have been why.

  23. albertmn - Apr 3, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    From what info I could find, the MAX contract in the WNBA is just over $100,000. The minimum NBA contract next year for a rookie appears to be just short of $500,000. No one believes that Griner would be a star in the NBA. But, could she be good enough to be the 11th or 12th player on the bench? I see almost 400,000 reasons for her to try if someone would give her a shot, even for a season or two.

    Which of us wouldn’t take an extra $400,000 (even if worst case we knew we were more sideshow than earning it) for a year or two, knowing we could still go back to our other job if it didn’t work out? I would. Sign me up!

  24. metalhead65 - Apr 3, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    so if she gets a shot shouldn’t guys who have no chance to make it in the NBA be able to play in the wnba?

    • mannyicey - Apr 3, 2013 at 4:46 PM

      “so if she gets a shot shouldn’t guys who have no chance to make it in the NBA be able to play in the wnba?”

      “So why would a guy want to play in the WNBA? I mean, you want to be the only man in an all-female league?
      From what info I could find, the MAX contract in the WNBA is just over $100,000. The minimum NBA contract next year for a rookie appears to be just short of $500,000. No one believes that Griner would be a star in the NBA. But, could she be good enough to be the 11th or 12th player on the bench? I see almost 400,000 reasons for her to try if someone would give her a shot, even for a season or two.

      Which of us wouldn’t take an extra $400,000 (even if worst case we knew we were more sideshow than earning it) for a year or two, knowing we could still go back to our other job if it didn’t work out? I would. Sign me up!”

      So this makes more sense. I can add, though, that I think Britney’s going to make more money is she goes to the WNBA and not the NBA. Why? Because she’ll be a superstar in the WNBA. She’ll ride pine in the NBA. Playing and winning championships will yield publicity contracts in the WNBA. Riding pine in the NBA may have you riding pine in D-League.

      • metalhead65 - Apr 3, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        hey if a guy wants to play pro ball and can make a 100 grand why not?

      • albertmn - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        I don’t care how big of a star she is in the WNBA, she wouldn’t make up the extra $300,000 in endorsements that she wouldn’t lose as opposed to being a bench player in the NBA (which we don’t even know if she could make it). WNBA players don’t get that kind of endorsement deals. Besides, if she did make the NBA, she would get plenty of different endorsement deals that would likely be just as lucrative.

        And, no metalhead, guys can’t play in the WNBA. Quit being a silly, backward thinking rube.

      • mannyicey - Apr 4, 2013 at 2:37 PM

        I agree with you to a point, Albertmn. But I think that she could probably get that sort of endorsement money. The reason why is because she’s a different kind of player. She dunks in games. She swats shots and growls. I mean, why else would we even care to know her name?

        Those kinds of antics could yield big bucks if marketed right. Why? Because people would pay to see her play when they wouldn’t pay to see a normal WNBA game.

  25. 13arod - Apr 3, 2013 at 3:43 PM

    shes fine

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