5 questions Dallas Mavericks must answer after the All-Star break

Tyler Watts
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports
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What impact does Maxi Kleber make on the Dallas Mavericks when he returns from injury?

Kleber is closing in on a return from his hamstring surgery. He has been spotted working out before games and increasing his activity. There is no guarantee that he plays in the first game after the All-Star break, but he should be back over the next few weeks.

Kleber has a unique skill set that the Mavericks need more than ever after the Kyrie Irving trade. He can defend on the perimeter, protect the rim, and knock down open shots. Dallas desperately needs his defense and shot-making as they look to construct a contending team around Luka Doncic and Kyrie.

General manager Nico Harrison made it clear that the team is counting on Kleber (subscription required), but that is a massive ask from a player that just missed over two months following hamstring surgery. It is an uncommon basketball injury, and it will take some time for the 6’10 big man to get back to 100 percent.

Do the Dallas Mavericks have enough time to ramp Maxi Kleber up to full strength before the playoffs? How will he fit on the new-look team? Can Kleber cover up the Mavs' defensive issues? Does head coach Jason Kidd use Kleber primarily at the five or can they find him minutes next to another big man like Christian Wood? The Mavericks need Kleber back in the lineup and making an impact, but how much can he give them?