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Dallas Mavericks officially sign Frank Ntilikina: What does it mean?

Dallas Mavericks Frank Ntilikina
Dallas Mavericks Frank Ntilikina / Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks are still trying to improve their roster as the 2021-2022 season approaches. Marc Stein dropped the rumor that the organization was close to signing Frank Ntilikina on Sept. 14, and the Mavs made the move official on Thursday evening.

Ntilikina was the eighth overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. The Mavericks were rumored to be interested in drafting him at ninth overall, but the Knicks grabbed him one spot ahead of Dallas’ selection. The 23-year-old played the fewest minutes of his career last season and averages just 5.5 points, 2.7 assists, and 2.0 rebounds in 19.5 minutes per game over his first four years combined.

The Mavs do not announce contract details, but the deal with Ntilikina is rumored to be a minimum contract. Let us take a closer look at what that means for Dallas as they head into training camp.

Dallas Mavericks officially sign Frank Ntilikina: What does it mean?

Signing Ntilikina gives the Mavs a full 20-man roster with training camp set to begin on Sept. 28. Dallas will have to cut their roster down to 15, plus two two-way contracts before the start of the regular season. If the Ntilikina received a guaranteed deal, the Mavericks will have 16 of those heading into camp and will need to trim one before the games begin to count.

The battle for the final roster spot comes down to Ntilikina, Moses Brown, Trey Burke, and Tyrell Terry. The Mavericks have a glut of centers on their roster, and they could look to make a two for one trade during training camp.

Terry is likely first on the chopping block if the organization was to cut a player. The second-year guard failed to impress during the Las Vegas Summer League, and Dallas wants to win now. Filling the roster with capable rotation players is important as they try to move up the standings and win a playoff series for the first time since taking home the title in 2011. Terry is just not ready for an NBA role right now.

The battle for the Dallas Mavericks final roster spot is one of the many things to watch during training camp. Please, check back to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest on the team this season.

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