Now that the deal with Nerlens Noel has finally taken place, the Dallas Mavericks announced the Training Camp Roster for this year. No real surprises but, with only 15 spots to fill, who do the fans need to be aware of?
When the Dallas Mavericks announced the training camp roster today, it became even more clear that the final move of the offseason was all about Nerlens Noel. Although that wound is still fresh, let’s focus more on who the Mavs will be bringing to training camp this year, and a guess at what the final roster will look like.
Earlier today, Earl Sneed (@EarlKSneed) announced the 20-man roster for the Dallas Mavericks in this year’s training camp. Many of these names are familiar as they have been with the Mavs for awhile, but some are newer and have not been talked about very much yet. Sneed also includes the players height, weight, age, NBA experience, and Twitter handle.
At first glance, there are three distinct categories that players fall into in my mind. The first one is the group of roster locks. These guys are not going to be missing a roster spot no matter what happens. They will represent the core of the Dallas Mavericks in the upcoming season.
The second group is the bubble group. A handful of players that sit on the fence where this training camp will make all the difference for them. These players are less numerous largely because of the number of roster locks for Dallas, but things can always change. Even if they do make the roster, I would still expect most of their time to be spent on the bench or in the G-League.
The final group is the players who are not going to make the final roster. These are the guys that got invites because we see future potential but have no intention of throwing them in with the wolves right off the bat. These guys will have mostly partial contracts with the team which is usually a sign that Dallas is just giving them a quick glance.
In the group of roster locks, I have the following players: Dirk Nowitzki, Harrison Barnes, Dennis Smith Jr., Wesley Matthews, Seth Curry, JJ Barea, Devin Harris, Yogi Ferrell, Josh McRoberts, Jeff Withey, Nerlens Noel, and Dwight Powell. These guys are all higher class talents and will undoubtedly make up the big part of the rotation for the Mavericks.
In the second tier, fighting for the last few spots, I have: Dorian Finney-Smith, Salah Mejri, Brandon Ashley, Jonathan Motley, and Maxi Kleber. DFS and Salah Mejri definitely have the best case here as they are both very experienced in NBA play at this point, but they still have a lot to prove. After them, Brandon Ashley could give some depth at the wing, Motley is awesome but his two-way contract complicates things, and I still know very little about Maxi Kleber.
In the last tier, I have: Gian Clavell, PJ Dozier, and Maalik Wayns. Of these three, I think Dozier probably has the best shot at a roster spot simply because of his size, but these three are all new guards on an already guard-heavy team. It just seems unlikely that the Mavs would clog the backcourt more than it already is.
It will be interesting to see how all these guys do and what the end result will end up looking like, but the fact is that Dallas set themselves up with options and each one of these guys will get a chance to prove they belong here.