The Dallas Mavs brought Dwight Powell back on a big contract over the next four years. Will we be able to utilize his talents?
The Dallas Mavericks have definitely thrown some curveballs at the fans and NBA followers in general this summer. It started with not only the pursuit of Hassan Whiteside and Mike Conley, but the actual meeting with each of them and being the second option for each player.
Then after that, the Mavs appear to lose themselves in the movement of the NBA free agency and really don’t talk with anyone for the next few days. All appeared lost for awhile as Dallas might have finally been forced to bite the bullet and rebuild.
However, as luck would have it, a man named Kevin Durant changed the fates of not one, not two, but three franchises in the wake of his decision. Oklahoma City was left in turmoil, Golden State rejoiced with the biggest free agent signing of the season, and Dallas snuck in and worked a deal to get a few great players to fill in some missing pieces.
Adding Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Seth Curry, and all the rookies we did were good moves from a team that was likely going to be looking up from the bottom of the western conference at the end of next season. But we made some other moves that haven’t been mentioned much.
The Dallas Mavericks chose to bring back restricted free agent forward, Dwight Powell, on a four-year, $37 million contract with a player option in the final year. This puts a minimum salary player and inconsistent court presence from last year locked in at about $9.25 million each year.
In light of all the other crazy contracts being thrown around, most people didn’t think twice about the Mavs throwing some money at the supremely athletic yet slightly erratic young forward. But, at over $9 million a year, Dwight needs to justify that contract on the court.
So where exactly does Powell fit in for Dallas?
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Although it is a lot of money for a player that found himself in and out of the rotation for the Mavs last year, Dallas did the right thing by bringing him back. In a league where the pace continues to get faster and faster, a player like Powell is very useful.
Dwight Powell is not the biggest forward, he doesn’t have the best shooting stroke, and his catching ability is definitely below average. But what Powell does bring to the court is an excellent compliment to our star, Dirk Nowitzki.
Dirk is not very fast, a bit of a liability on defense, and getting older everyday. But he can shoot the lights out of the gym. Powell is not the shooter but he can run the court the entire game, will grab rebounds on both ends of the court, and can be a threat above the rim as well.
With that in mind, I would really like the Mavericks organization to use Powell as much as possible. Powell is 25 years old and 6’10 with a lot of room to grow in his basketball play. If he can start to develop his game more, the dream would be for him to come in and get Dirk back under 30 minutes per game.
If we could do that and have a healthy Dirk at the end of the season, this team could make a splash in the playoffs as that is where Nowitzki thrives.
Aside from Dirk being 38, Andrew Bogut is 31 with some injury history. As the pace of the NBA increases and small ball becomes more and more utilized in the league, Powell could be our answer as a small ball 5 with Harrison Barnes at the 4.
If we could get that lineup to run the court together well, our team becomes that much more dangerous. Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, and Justin Anderson joining those two in the post could make for interesting matchups across the board and I think the Mavs should utilize that.
Whatever the case and however the Dallas Mavericks choose to use Dwight Powell this season is up to Coach Carlisle and the staff, but I think we all have seen the potential that he brings to the court and the opportunity we have to prove the big contract we offered him this year.