Mavericks' hidden gem who needs more minutes is staring them in the face

Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers
Dallas Mavericks v Portland Trail Blazers / Amanda Loman/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks have been injury-riddled for the last couple of weeks, and unfortunately, their health woes are starting to catch up to them as the team approaches the new year. The Mavericks have dropped two straight games to Western Conference powerhouses in the Denver Nuggets and LA Clippers, and they looked helpless at times defensively in both contests.

Dallas is starting to patch some of their issues up at the point-of-attack on defense, especially with Date Exum playing more of a featured role in the lineup. However, Dallas' defense on bigger wings has been abysmal as of late, as Grant Williams and Derrick Jones Jr. have had to take on added offensive responsibilities with all the injuries in the lineup.

That's not to say that Dallas hasn't been facing some real dynamic lineups recently, but Dallas will have to step up against deeper teams and find ways to win during this crucial stretch until the new year, even if they have been dealt the injury card. Surprisingly enough though, one potential answer to a variety of Dallas' issues could come from one of their two-way players down in Frisco.

Mavericks' hidden gem who needs more minutes is staring them in the face

In 11 games for the Texas Legends so far this season, 22-year-old Greg Brown III has posted averages of 16.6 points per game, 7.3 rebounds per game, and an astounding 3.6 blocks per game.

Brown III has been a versatile chess piece on defense down in Frisco, as his energy and effort coupled with his 7-foot-1 wingspan has jettisoned one of the best defensive campaigns in the entire G League this season. Brown III ranks second in the entire G League in blocks per game, and he's showcased the ability to defend 3-through-5 on defense.

Brown III is certainly playing with something to prove and you can tell with his demeanor on the court. The former highly touted 5-star-recruit out of Vandergrift High School in Austin Texas, had an unexpected start to his NBA career in Portland the last two seasons, but Brown III wants to find a home in Dallas, and he showcased that hunger by playing extremely aggressively offensively in Dallas' loss to Denver the other night.

Brown III is taking his game to another level with the Legends this year. He's expanded tremendously upon his dribble-drive game and the added strength that he's accrued since coming into the league has done leaps and bounds for his ability to finish through contact.

Brown III is a tantalizing athlete at his frame, and it provides the opportunity for him to play small-ball center minutes if the Mavericks were to need him to. Dallas has predominately rolled with Markieff Morris in the frontcourt with the absence of Lively II and Kleber in this recent stretch, but Brown III would likely do a much better job given his verticality.

Optimally though, Brown III could be plugged into Dallas' rotation as a wing off the bench once Lively II returns, as Dallas doesn't have any wings on their roster with the athleticism and length that Brown III has.

Brown III already talked to The Smoking Cuban about how he could best fit with Luka Doncic and the rest of the Mavericks back during training camp, and he's delivering upon his word when it comes to how he's played in Frisco so far this season. Brown III will need to improve his 3-point shot as that is his biggest drawback as a player, but he's shooting a career-best 31.3 percent from downtown in the G League and has shown marginal growth as a shooter since coming into the league.

Given Dallas' defensive deficiencies and Brown III's ability to guard multiple positions, he should certainly be on head coach Jason Kidd's radar as a candidate to get more playing time. Brown III seems poised to contribute to an NBA rotation and is ready for the next step whether it's with Dallas or another team, but Dallas may have a much scarier player than what was originally expected if Brown III can continue to make his three-pointers with increased effectiveness.

We'll see if Dallas opts to give Brown III or any of their other two-way players increased minutes during this injury stretch, but regardless we'll have you covered through it all, so stay tuned.