The Dallas Mavericks signed point guard Dante Exum on July 14th after spending the last two seasons overseas with EuroLeague clubs F.C Barcelona and Partizan NIS Belgrade. Exum has been the antithesis of consistency throughout his NBA career, but after recently agreeing to a contract with the Mavericks for the 2023-24 season, he's poised to attempt to revitalize his NBA career after two strong seasons overseas.
It's no secret that the Mavericks have experienced many woes in the draft department up until these past two off-seasons. However, Nico Harrison has shifted the impetus in regards to the Mavericks' willingness to get better via the draft versus strictly free agency these past two off-seasons.
Dante Exum's road back to the NBA and his pathway to a role with Mavericks
The Mavericks were riddled with off-season dysfunction and a reliance to improve via free agency instead of the draft in the post-2011 championship years, but even in the Donnie Nelson era of management in Dallas, the Mavericks continually showcased the ability to revitalize different role players' careers as well as the ability to find talent in the undrafted realm.
The Mavericks have yet another opportunity to do that here if they can shift the perception of the former fifth overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Dante Exum. Exum has accrued bust labels for his inconsistency on offense that led him to sign overseas, but he could still be a serviceable contributor off the bench on a team that expects to be in the playoffs next year if the improvements he made overseas translate to the NBA along with his already haunting perimeter defense.
The Mavericks have a track record of being able to turn a player like Exum into a valuable role player, given the uncanny ability of the Mavericks' developmental staff to elevate different guys who weren't looked at as NBA players into valuable role players, seemingly ever since the Mavericks transitioned to the post-2011 championship era.
Just look across the board, assistant coaches dating as far back as the Rick Carlisle era in Dallas worked tirelessly to mold guys like DeJuan Blair, Al-Farouq Aminu, Dorian Finney-Smith, Yogi Ferrell, and Maxi Kleber into competent NBA players. All of whom were undrafted or on the fringe of their NBA career. Many of those guys didn't see nearly as much success once they left Dallas.
Mavericks' developmental coach God Shammgod and the rest of Jason Kidd's coaching staff certainly have their work cut out for them with a slew of rookies and two-way players poised to need lots of valuable time in the lab with them this upcoming season.
But barring just a few misses in recent years as far as player development goes, Shammgod and the rest of the coaching/training staff have proven enough for Mavericks' fans to instill their trust in them after assisting in the development of key role players such as Josh Green and Jaden Hardy thus far.