The Dallas Mavericks typically trot out an experienced collective of players. Throughout the 2000s and the 2010s, Dallas was led by superstar Dirk Nowitzki. And with Nowitzki on the roster, the Mavs rarely had the opportunity to draft a top prospect.
From 2000 to 2016, the Mavs only drafted two players in the lottery. And neither of those players played a game for Dallas. From 2017 on, the Mavs have selected three players in the lottery. With an aging Nowitzki in the late 2010s, the Mavs found the new face of their franchise in 2018 with third-overall pick Luka Doncic.
Since the addition of Doncic, the Mavs have seemingly prioritized experience to maximize their title window with Doncic on the roster. However, the youth movement became apparent after Dallas hired Nico Harrison to take over General Manager duties.
Since Harrison took over in 2021, the Mavs have added Jaden Hardy, Dereck Lively II, and Olivier-Maxence Prosper all through the draft.
Although Dallas is still one of the oldest teams in the league with an average age of 26.5, they'll likely play six players who are 24 or younger. Doncic and Grant Williams will start, while the others will contribute in other ways.
Jaden Hardy, Dereck Lively II, and Olivier-Maxenc Prosper are all recent Dallas draftees who should receive ample playing time this season. Green has the opportunity to start on the wing, while Lively II is the future at center in Dallas.
Both Hardy and Prosper should contribute off the bench in completely different roles. Hardy will look to score in bunches, while O-Max will be thrust into an energizer role.
Other than the aforementioned draftees, Dallas has two undrafted players on the roster who will likely split time between the Mavericks and their G-League affiliate, the Texas Legends. Mike Miles Jr. and AJ Lawson.
All of these youngsters have yet to even graze their ceilings. Players like Green came into the league unpolished, especially on the offensive end. Lively II and Prosper will likely follow in Green's footsteps as athletic defenders, yet underdeveloped on the offensive end to begin their careers.
As many of the young Mavs are unproven to this point, we'll take a look at the best case scenario for each of these young talents.
6. Josh Green
The Mavs selected Josh Green with the 18th overall pick in 2020 out of the University of Arizona. Green started every game for the Wildcats and averaged 12.0 points per game while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and 36.1 percent from distance. Green was profiled as an excellent defender with a strong 6-foot-6 frame and a freakish 6-foot-10 wingspan.
Coming into the NBA, Green looked lost on offense, primarily in the half-court. He only suited up in 39 games as a 20-year-old rookie and scored 101 points across those appearances.
The former wildcat made a leap this past season. He started in a third of his appearances en route to averaging 9.1 points per game. Green also played with extreme efficiency. He shot 53.7 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from three.
Now entering his fourth season, Green looks to take his game to another level. He'll only be 23 years old with multiple years of experience in the NBA.
Where Green can improve most is his assertiveness on offense. He lacks a complete offensive repertoire which may be the reason he appears tentative on offense. But he has the athleticism and ball-handling ability to broaden his offensive bag.
On offense, Green has the potential to become a spot-up threat that can also provide secondary ball handling. He has above-average passing instincts now, so a future where Green averages three or more assists per game isn't difficult to foresee.
On defense, Green profiles as an elite perimeter defender. He has the foot speed and hustle to keep up with the quickest guards and wings in the league. Additionally, Green has the length to defend bigger forwards.
The best-case scenario for Josh Green would be to become a longtime starter who contributes on both ends of the floor. Although an All-Star appearance would be a long shot, an All-NBA Defensive Team appearance isn't out of the question.