The Dallas Mavericks offseason is set to conclude with the addition of Jameer Nelson, whom will take the 15th and final spot on the Mavs roster once he and the Mavs finalize his contract.
Nelson holds career averages of 12.6 points, 7 assists, and 37.4% from three. But at 30-years old, does the point guard still have much to offer the Mavs?
1. You’ve watched and covered Jameer Nelson for many years now. What will the Magic miss most with his departure?
I think the biggest thing will be his leadership. Jameer was great for the young guys, and it was clear that all of them loved him, and Jameer raved about them equally. During the team’s exit interviews, Victor Oladipo said that “there wasn’t anything he couldn’t learn from Jameer,” during his rookie season, which speaks volumes to how important he was for the team off the court.
On the court, they’ll miss his shooting. While his numbers may not show it, he was one of the team’s better shooters, even with all the bad shots he took. He’s still got some left in the tank and is really underrated as a playmaker, which could be another area the Magic miss him.
2. What will he bring to this year’s Mavs squad?
Balance. He’s going into a situation that won’t require him to really take a huge role, which will be good for him. He’ll be able to work and find a way to score the ball more efficiently while also running the offense at a solid pace. His assist numbers have gone up the last few seasons, and playing with guys like Dirk, Monta and Chandler Parsons could be huge for his numbers across the board.
He’ll also bring another good bit of veteran experience. He’s played in 44 playoff games over his 10 years, and played in the finals once, so that experience could go a long way, even with a veteran heavy team in Dallas.
3. Jameer is expected to start with Devin Harris backing him up. Do you believe he’s still a starting caliber point guard in the NBA?
At this point in his career, I’d say Jameer is best fit coming off the bench. That in no way is a knock against Jameer and his work ethic, but I think that’s just what’s best for him.
He’s 32 and has battled injuries for his entire career basically, so limiting his minutes — he’s played just over 19,000 for his career — could be important. That said, starting him won’t end the world by any means. He’s developed into more of a playmaking point guard as the years have gone on compared to Harris and his more score first mentality, so having his playmaking in the starting lineup could be key to their success.
Whatever role he is in, he’ll do well in, but personally, I’d like to see him off the bench. But you know, do you Mavs, do you.
4. Along with Nelson, the team has brought in Tyson Chandler, Chandler Parsons, Richard Jefferson, and Greg Smith. Where do you rank Nelson’s impact amongst his new Maverick peers?
Third behind Tyson and Chandler. Jefferson and Smith could be nice bench pieces, but the former two and Nelson will have a more long-lasting impact on the team. Plus, if this means you don’t have to watch Raymond Felton, that almost automatically pushes him up the list, right? Smile and nod, readers.
5. How do you see the Mavs fairing in the once again stacked West this upcoming season?
Fighting for one of the 5-8 seeds. The West is in a ridiculous spot right now. There’s so much competition out there that I don’t know what to really think. A lot depends on how the Kevin Love saga plays out in Minnesota, I think.
But, the teams that finished 5-8 last season — Portland, Golden State, Memphis and Dallas — plus Denver, New Orleans and Phoenix, will be fighting to the death for those four spots. All seven of those teams are interesting in one way or another and a case could be made for each to make the playoffs.
That said, I think the balance that the Mavs have added this offseason with Chandler, Parsons and Nelson will vault them up, especially if everyone can stay healthy. Of course, that’s a big if at this point. Also, how does Monta potentially playing off the ball more? Does he revert back to Milwaukee Monta, or do we get last season Monta? Lot of questions to still be answered.