The Dallas Mavericks addressed most of their areas of need this offseason so theoretically everything is supposed to go according to plan to start the season, right?
Well not quite. If we have learned anything about the Dallas Mavericks over the last few seasons as well as the NBA through the midst of COVID-19, it's that you need more than 15 players capable of suiting up in an NBA game on any given night.
Luckily for Dallas though the NBA added another two-way spot and two-way players can play up to 50 regular season games per season as of 2021. The Mavericks could also convert any Exhibit 10 or two-way contract into a standard guaranteed contract if they wanted to, but that doesn't seem likely until after the season starts as the Mavericks completely filled out their full 15-man roster ahead of training camp when they inked Markieff Morris to a partially guaranteed deal.
3 non-guaranteed/two-way players who could crack the Mavericks’ rotation
Dallas has some really talented young wings in their developmental pool, and while the first course of action will likely be to develop them further with the Mavs' G League affiliate, the Texas Legends, injuries or even sheer talent alone could very well thrust one of Dallas' younger wings into their main rotation.
G League and two-way players are great in theory, but Dallas has punted on many of their smaller developmental projects in recent years, and a team typically has to get lucky by hitting on one or two of these types of guys in a championship window.
That being said, here are three non-guaranteed/two-way players that could crack the Mavs’ rotation this year.
3. Greg Brown III
Greg Brown III might have the best athletic toolbox on the Dallas Mavericks roster, and that’s saying a lot considering the Mavericks picked up Derrick Jones Jr. over the offseason. Just look at this monstrous slam below that Brown III had over former Mavs center JaVale McGee during garbage time at the end of a regular season affair this past season.
It’s very easy to see how Brown III was such a highly touted prospect coming out of high school. 6-foot-9 wings who can jump as freaky as he can don’t just grow on trees, but Brown III has plenty of areas he’ll need to improve in if he wishes to become a capable NBA rotation player for Dallas this season.
Brown III looked a little shaky during Dallas’ first two preseason games in terms of being able to defend a position up. Given that he’s been running in lineups with other two-way and Exhibit 10 players, Brown III has been forced to play center oftentimes which admittedly isn’t the most complimentary position to his skill set.
He got pushed around a little by the likes of Luka Garza and Naz Reid in the Mavs’ preseason opener but looked much more formidable on both sides of the ball in the Mavs’ second game in Abu Dhabi against Minnesota.
Brown III’s biggest deficiencies holding him back right now are that he needs to improve his 3-point shot to a respectable clip, and he needs to find other ways to utilize his athleticism on offense by attacking closeouts, cutting, and getting put-back finishes for instance.
Brown III alluded to how he can fit alongside Luka Doncic and company in an exclusive interview with The Smoking Cuban recently, and only time will tell if he’ll showcase a skill set that is multi-faceted enough on offense to crack the rotation in Dallas.
Luckily for Brown III, the athleticism and defensive intangibles are definitely there. However, he may take a little longer to blossom into an NBA-caliber role player compared to our next candidate.