The Dallas Mavericks continued their trend of adding younger, more athletic prospects to their roster Friday, signing undrafted free agent forward Dorian Finney-Smith to a partially guaranteed deal.
With the Mavericks continuing to fill out the rest of their roster, Dallas turns their attention to an undrafted forward out of the University of Florida.
Much like Salah Mejri‘s contract last year, this looks to solidify a spot at training camp for Finney-Smith this fall where he will compete for a final roster spot.
Finney-Smith was a productive player during his four-year college career, averaging 10.7 PPG and 7.1 RPG during 134 games for the Virginia Tech Hokies and the Florida Gators. Buried behind a small forward rotation of Harrison barnes, Justin Anderson, and Nicolas Brussino, Finney-Smith faces a tall order to make the Mavs roster.
Dorian Finney-Smith had all the physical tools necessary to be drafted the night of June 24th, but all 30 teams passed on him due to a very inconsistent offensive repertoire. At 6’8 and 220 pounds, Finney-Smith does not possess enough lateral quickness or a good enough handle to attack the rim or create his own jump-shot.
Finney-Smith needs to add bulk and ball handling ability to sustain his drives to the basket in order to leapfrog either Brussino or another camp invite to possibly secure a roster spot. Finney-Smith’s lanky frame however, did suit him well in other areas.
Finney-Smith’s athleticism does not jump off the highlight reel, but his long-strides and leaping ability made him one of the best fast-break scorers in the SEC. While his handle limits him some in the half court, 45% of Finney-Smith’s field goal attempts came on catch-and-shoot scenarios.
While his shooting release is unorthodox and he seemingly takes eons to let the ball go, he shot a decent 41% from three-point range this past season. His 72% free-throw shooting isn’t exciting either, but Finney-Smith can be a decent spot-up shooter when his teammates draw defensive help from the arc.
Defensively, Finney-Smith is extremely versatile, but still lacks some of the basic fundamentals with one-on-one perimeter defense. With the ability to defend four different positions, it would appear that Finney-Smith could be a solid defensive boost off of an NBA bench.
But the 23-year-old struggled to defend quicker guards off of penetration and gave up way too many points defending the post against power forwards and centers. Finney-Smith’s length alone helps him get his fair share of blocks and steals, but his perimeter defense could be the difference in his fate when it comes to final roster cuts.
The Mavs continue to look for younger, more athletic wings that can provide a defensive boost on the perimeter while helping seal the defensive glass and knock down the open jump-shot. Dorian Finney-Smith is not the next Wesley Matthews by any stretch, but has the potential to develop into a rotation player on the Mavs roster. He will have no shortage of defensive-minded wings to learn from, as Harrison Barnes and Wesley Matthews will provide valuable examples to the raw newcomer.
The Mavericks will trust their player development staff with Finney-Smith, something the Mavs have very little experience doing over the last ten seasons.