It's the epitome of unsurprising to hear a professional basketball owner, even a true maverick like Mark Cuban suggest they would draft coveted Baylor center Brittney Griner if given the chance.
That is until you realize Cuban does not own a WNBA team. He's talking about the imposing 6-foot-8 Griner joining his NBA property, the Dallas Mavericks. Cuban also claims this is no stunt. From the Dallas Morning News:
Mark Cuban was talking about NBA prospects and a young Asian guard in particular. He gave his stock answer. “If he’s good, we’re looking at him,” Cuban said. “I don’t care if the guy is from Upper Slobovia. If he can play, we’ll take them. If Brittney Griner can play, we’ll take her with our second-round pick. I don’t care.” And with that, the can of worms officially got ripped open.
More from Cuban, who said he's seen Griner play several times.
Cuban said he’s serious about the possibility of bringing in Baylor’s 6-8 star now that her college eligibility is done. “If she’s the best on the board, we’ll take her,” Cuban said. “If we have the 60th pick and she’s on the board, we still might take her.” The quick reaction to Cuban’s comments is that this is a publicity stunt that he would even think seriously about Griner, who dominated the women’s game at the college level. But he promises he’s not simply blowing smoke.
“I’ve thought about it already,” he said. “Would I do it? And right now, I’d lean toward yes, just to see if she can do it. “You never know until you give someone a chance. And it’s not like the likelihood of any late-50s draft pick has a good chance of making it. If we had tryouts, I would have no problem inviting her to work out and see how she did. No problem whatsoever.”
Griner dominated the college game during her four years at Baylor, winning the National Championship with an undefeated 2011-12 campaign. One WNBA league source told me if given the opportunity to start a franchise with any player currently in the league or in college, it's a no-brainer, Griner. If I spoke to dozens more sources on the subject, dozens more would likely say the same. In fact Griner is good that Cuban can make such a claim then state he's not being outlandish by doing so - and we can kinda , sorta, believe him, ish..
Overnight Griner responded on Twitter: “I would hold my own! Lets do it”
For what its worth, the Wizards currently own two second-round picks. Hey, just talking out loud...
Also worth noting, bringing Griner to D.C. would surely make former Baylor star Robert Griffin III very happy. For this town, not sure anything is more important.