The Dallas Mavericks got a much-needed infusion of youth the last two seasons. Jalen Brunson is just one of the young, talented players the Mavericks have added. Here are some expectations for his rookie year.
Jalen Brunson will officially be the Dallas Mavericks backup point guard to Dennis Smith, but in Rick Carlisle’s system, guards get plenty of playing time. There were times last season when three point guards shared the floor. If Brunson shows proficiency with the offense, it’s not unthinkable to believe he’ll be on the court at the same time as Smith and Luka Doncic.
Brunson was a second round pick, which usually tempers expectations. But the Villanova product comes into the NBA a little more polished than most rookies, so the Mavericks will want him to adjust to the league more quickly.
Brunson is a year older than Smith Jr. and has won two NCAA championships. Probably drafted more for his basketball skill and winning background than athleticism, Brunson will prove to be a pro’s pro once he establishes himself in the lineup.
While Smith Jr. and Doncic still have the shine of prospects with enormous ceilings, Brunson will not be expected to carry the Mavericks into a new era of contention. His only job is to run Carlisle’s offense effectively while Smith Jr. or Doncic sit for a rest. There’ll be no pressure in this role, and it’ll give him a chance to learn what it is like to play in the NBA.
Here are three key expectations for Jalen Brunson.