The Dallas Mavericks' big-man rotation has been constantly evolving since the beginning of the season. Dereck Lively II has started essentially every game for Dallas since their second game of the season up until recently when he suffered a lower back contusion against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dwight Powell has been solid off the bench for Dallas as a rebounder recently, but the improved level of defense he showed the first few games of the season is reverting back to the norm. Lively II and Powell have basically comprised all of the Mavericks’ center rotation through 16 games, but Dallas has gotten some positive minutes out of Richaun Holmes in the last two games after Lively II’s injury.
Mavericks fan-favorite big may not have a spot in the rotation anymore
Holmes has proved to be a serviceable defender who understands his role to a tee on offense, even if he doesn’t look like he’ll be the explosive rim roller that he was a few seasons ago while in Dallas. Despite their big-man rotation being in a state of flux at the moment, things will look to stabilize for Dallas as Lively II’s injury doesn’t seem to be anything too serious.
Lively II could be back as soon as Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets, but with Holmes and Powell currently presumed to get most of the minutes at backup big off the bench once Lively II returns from injury, it leaves another Mavericks’ big man in a particularly precarious position.
Maxi Kleber hasn’t played for Dallas since November 1 against the Chicago Bulls where he suffered a right toe dislocation, and before that, he was playing some of the worst basketball of his career to start the season for Dallas.
Kleber is Dallas’ only big on the roster that can stretch the floor, so he’ll inevitably get a shot to play at some point when he returns from injury, but whether or not Dallas will use him on a nightly basis is up for discussion. Kleber looked extremely hesitant offensively in his few games and hasn’t shown to be nearly as dynamic on defense as we’ve seen in seasons past.
Once all of Dallas's big men our healthy, it’s plausible that Kleber could become a situational player for Dallas and a prime candidate to get traded as well. It would be illogical for the Mavericks to carry four bigs on the roster if not all of them can contribute at least something positive on the court, and Kleber may be the odd man out in Dallas if he can’t prove his value upon his return.
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