By Sally Egan
Former Stanford point guard Tyrell Terry was selected 31st overall in the 2020 NBA draft by the Dallas Mavericks, the second Cardinal player to be selected in the first 35 picks in two years, with K.Z. Okpala going 32nd overall to the Miami Heat in 2019. Terry was the first overall pick of the second round, a mild disappointment given his recent pre-draft hype, but still very respectable.
With his selection, however, Terry becomes Stanford’s first ever one-and-done basketball player.
As a freshman last year, Terry was awarded All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and All-Pac-12 Freshman Team awards as well as receiving Stanford’s Block “S” Outstanding Freshman Award. He led the Pac-12 in free throw shooting percentage at .891, which was good for 12th in the nation. Terry was second on the team in points, rebounds and assists per game as he averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Despite being one of the smallest players on the team at only 6’2″ and 160 pounds (according to the Stanford roster), Terry declared for the NBA draft soon after COVID-19 cancelled the remainder of his season. At first thought to be a potential second round pick, Terry took advantage of the long off-season to build his draft stock, and by the time draft night came around, most mock drafts had him going somewhere in the middle of the first round.
Over the off-season, Terry bulked up, putting on an additional 10 pounds to weigh in at 170 at the NBA combine in October. He also reportedly broke a record for the basketball IQ test that several teams administer throughout their pre-draft process, although this was never confirmed. Terry will likely need to continue putting on weight, but his three point skills shouldn’t keep him off the court for long.
Although some mock drafts had Terry going as high as 16th overall, as the night wore on, it became apparent that teams were likely more worried about his size and inexperience than it initially seemed. A great example of this was Oregon’s Payton Pritchard being drafted 26th overall by the Boston Celtics. Pritchard wasn’t as highly regarded in the skill category as Terry, with most mock drafts viewing him as falling to the second round, but Pritchard had over 30 pounds on Terry despite being the same height. The durability of Pritchard likely contributed to his selection over Terry’s.
Terry joins a Mavericks team that finished 43-32 last season, good enough for a No. 7 seed in the Western conference. Dallas already has a young budding star at point guard in Luka Doncic, selected third overall in 2018 by the Atlanta Hawks. Doncic averaged 28.8 points per game in 2019, which ranked sixth in the NBA, as well as 8.8 assists per game, which was the third best mark in the NBA. The Mavericks’ first selection was fellow Pac-12 guard Josh Green, a shooting guard from the University of Arizona, who was selected 18th overall. Terry will be the second Stanford player on the Mavericks roster, as he joins starting center Dwight Powell ’14, a second round pick in 2014.
Terry will see his first professional basketball action in just over a month, as the NBA is set to start its season Dec. 22.
Contact Sally Egan at egansj18 ‘at’ stanford.edu.