Dallas Mavericks: Sorting Out the Back Court
The Dallas Mavericks are bringing in a plethora of guards to camp this fall, but how will everything shake out?
Going into the offseason, Dallas had three returning guards that were three of the six players under contract for the Mavericks: Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea, and Devin Harris.
Their starting point guard from last season, Deron Williams, was hitting unrestricted free agency along with Raymond Felton, who logged the third most minutes for the Mavs last season. Questions surrounding the Mavericks’ back court loomed, and Dallas made the moves to build it back up.
After missing out on Mike Conley, Dallas brought back Deron Williams on a generous one-year, roughly $10 million dollar deal. Williams comes back as the unquestioned starter at point after a resurgent season under Carlisle.
For Felton, it was a different story as Dallas decided to go in a younger direction this summer. Felton found himself signing with the Los Angeles Clippers as he looks to grab backup point guard minutes with Austin Rivers.
The younger route that Dallas decided to go down instead of Felton consisted of giving 25-year-old Seth Curry a two-year deal worth around $6 million. Curry is coming off a season in Sacramento where many think he just “scratched the surface” as he displayed his silky shooting stroke off the bench.
In addition to Curry, Dallas went the partial-guaranteed contract route to bring three other guards to camp. Summer League sensation Jonathan Gibson, BYU triple-double machine Kyle Collinsworth, and LSU sharpshooter Keith Hornsby all find themselves coming to camp this fall in hopes of making the final roster.
So how will it all shake out?
As far as the roster goes, it’s safe to say that Williams, Matthews, Barea, Harris, and Curry are locks for the final roster. By the hints and comments that Cuban has given this summer, it looks as if Gibson is on track to grab one of those last roster spots, but nothing is for certain.
This would leave Hornsby and Collinsworth on the outside looking in going into camp.
It’s also safe to say that Williams and Matthews will be the unquestioned starters on opening night in Indiana. After that, it’s up for debate.
Personally, I believe Dallas will plan for Curry to step directly into the Raymond Felton role as combo guard off the bench. He’s not the penetrator that Felton is, but he has the ability to play both guard positions on a nightly basis and could step into a fill-in starter role when needed.
For Barea and Harris, it should be a replica of the 2015-16 season in regards to minutes. Barea finished the season averaging 22 minutes while Harris averaged 20, both minutes affected by Deron Williams missing 17 games.
If Gibson does indeed make the final roster, I would expect him to spend time in the D-League or at the end of the bench in street clothes. Unless there is a bigger injury or trade that ships out one of the guards above him on the depth chart, Gibson probably won’t see a ton of time this season. This is no diss to Gibson’s talent, I just don’t see him taking minutes away from the veterans in Barea or Harris.
Next: Carlisle Earning His Paycheck With Young Cast
So for the back court in Dallas for the 2016-17 season, it looks to be a replica of last year with Curry taking the role of Felton in the rotation.