The Mavs kick off their Las Vegas summer league action with the Bulls today at 3:30PM Central time.
The Mavericks are fresh off of their summer league championship campaign in Orlando, Florida. Now as the focus shifts to Las Vegas, the Mavericks will get their first glimpse of several prospects looking to get a foot in the NBA door. The Mavs have three players who started a combined 64 games last season for the team, making them a favorite for the Vegas championship as well.
Yogi Ferrell, Nicolas Brussino, and Dorian Finney-Smith will all get a chance to further develop their skills in an effort to lock down their roster spots for the coming year. The most exciting part of this matchup however, is Dennis Smith Jr. The Mavs will get their first look at the young rookie since drafting him with the 9th pick in the draft.
The Mavs spent a hefty investment on the rookie from NC State, and will finally get a good look at him against NBA-level competition today. Hopes are high for the 19 year old who is expected to come in and be the new starting point guard for the Mavericks for years to come.
Elsewhere on the Vegas roster are several interesting players that the Mavericks may look to retain for the future. Ding Yanyuhang was this past season’s MVP from the Chinese Basketball Association. The 6”7 small forward is the kind of player the Mavs like to take a chance on. In search of as much forward depth as possible, the Mavs are hoping to find another large, perimeter defending forward to help take some pressure off of Harrison Barnes.
Carrick Felix, another summer league hopeful, makes his debut for the Mavericks today. One of the few players on the roster to have been drafted once before, Felix is looking to resurrect his career after being drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers early in the second round of the 2013 draft.
Perhaps the most exciting prospect on this roster alongside Dennis Smith Jr., is Jonathan Motley. The forward from Baylor shockingly did not hear his name called in this past year’s draft, and now has a chance to play for his hometown team. The youngster’s confidence should be quite high after a successful stint in the Orlando summer league which was capped off by a game-winning buzzer beater in the championship game.
With Smith, Ferrell, Finney-Smith, Brussino, and Motley, the Mavs are in a good position to end up taking home both the Orlando and Vegas summer league championships. What’s more important however, is that the Mavericks will give these young guns a chance to build their confidence and hopefully grab a spot on the Mavs roster as they continue their rebuild.