Mavericks: Battle for Roster Spots to Continue During Preseason Play


Preseason NBA basketball is far from the real deal, but it can still be fun. That is, unless you’re one of the umpteen Mavericks unsure of your future with the franchise. For young guys like Maurice NDour, Jamil Wilson, and Brandon Ashley, or older guys like Jarrid Famous, Samuel Dalembert, JaVale McGee and Salah Mejri the Mavericks’ preseason schedule will be a pressure-filled, Hunger Games-like atmosphere as they continue to battle for roster spots.

It’s already been reported that Mavericks rookie Justin Anderson will see plenty of action during Dallas’ warmup competitions as a means for the youngster to start earning himself some minutes. The same could likely be said for the maybe-Mavericks listed above, only they aren’t just fighting for minutes. They’re fighting for a job.

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Especially the plethora of Mavericks big men. Zaza Pachulia is assured a roster spot and will probably be the opening night starter at center but after that it gets a bit murky.

The Mavericks are familiar with Samuel Dalembert and by my estimation that’s the only reason he’s likely to “earn” himself a spot on the team. The guy had over nine months between the time he was waived by the New York Knicks in January and the time he reported to Mavericks training camp, and he still showed up out of shape.

But if he is ineffective or doesn’t seem to be progressing physically, and someone like Salah Mejri or Jarrid Famous impresses the coaching staff, the Haitian big man could be in some hot water.

JaVale McGee hasn’t yet been cleared for basketball activities and though the Mavericks would like to give him a shot to get healthy, if it doesn’t appear to be happening they may have to part ways with the talented but inconsistent and oft-injured big man, opening up another slot in Dallas’ center platoon.

Rick Carlisle doesn’t need to see what Dirk or the rest of the seasoned vets can do. And with the injured Mavericks on the wing fourth-year shooting guard John Jenkins might as well be holding an immunity idol in his back pocket. But for everyone else, playing well, or in McGee’s case playing at all, could be the difference between a paycheck and a pink slip.

Next: Could the Mavericks Pry Whiteside from the Heat?

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