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Dallas Mavericks: Ceilings and floors for the rookies

Dallas Mavericks Josh Green Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Mavericks Josh Green Mandatory Credit: Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks Tyler Bey Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks rookie Tyler Bey has a ceiling of Draymond Green-lite

Draymond Green is one of the most unique players in NBA history. While he’s not as flashy and doesn’t post the earth-shattering box scores of Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson, he’s just as valuable of a piece to the Golden State core. Without Draymond, there would be no vaunted “death lineup.”

What makes Green the prototypical skeleton key player is his perfect versatility on both ends of the floor. Green can guard all five positions. He allows Kerr to play him at the five whenever the Warriors need to play small. His lower body strength holds up banging down-low against true post centers, while his agility and lateral quickness allow him to chase guards around the perimeter with ease.

On offense, when Draymond’s outside shot is falling, there’s no stopping the Warriors’ attack. But even when he’s cold, Green’s playmaking, IQ, and screening make him an asset. He’s one of the best passers at his position in league history and is the self-proclaimed best screen setter of all-time.

Tyler Bey has the potential to mirror Green’s skill set and role for the Mavericks. He’s a better pure shooter than Green but probably will never match the all-time great’s defensive versatility. Still, at 6’7, Bey is a giftedly fluid athlete with the speed, quickness, size, and the vertical to guard all five positions aptly.

In the above clip, Bey sniffs out the pick-and-roll early and rotates over before the roll-man can even catch the ball. Once Kenyon Martin Jr. catches and elevates to shoot, Bey uses his size and hops to challenge him at the rim. Bey shows perfect technique staying vertical and was credited with the block on the play.

Few players in the league could replicate that rejection. Not many have the blend of agility, size, and vertical to make that closeout and challenge successfully.

Once Bey gets more playing time and makes more plays like that on the regular, he should become a key feature in the Mavs rotation.

Dallas Mavericks rookie Tyler Bey has the floor of Jordan Bell

Jordan Bell, like Bey, was an undersized college phenom who played bigger than his size. The Warriors made a draft-day trade to acquire Bell, probably to have a successor for Green in place.

Unfortunately, Bell quickly earned the infamous “tweener” label, bounced around the league, and has now rejoined the Warriors in what could be his last chance to stick in the NBA. Bell is one of those players who could do a little bit of everything but so far hasn’t become good at really anything.

Without prototypical size, not being elite at any one skill makes him expendable. The same could happen to Bey if he doesn’t sharpen his skills and make his versatility an asset.

Next: Nate Hinton