1. Dante Exum
Whilst he may have not had a prominent role through the first few games of the season, Dante Exum has proved to be an invaluable rotation piece for the Mavericks after spending last year in Europe. Exum didn’t clock a double-digit minute total through the first seven games of the season for Dallas, but things have changed dramatically for him in the last nine games that he’s played.
Exum has clocked nine or more minutes in each of his last nine contests, and his shooting 52 percent from the field through that stretch as well. Exum is in a precarious position on this Mavericks roster because of the number of guards Dallas has, but he’s warranting some consistent time from head coach Jason Kidd because of his defensive capabilities.
Exum has proved to be a disruptor at the point-of-attack for Dallas on defense, and he’s done a good job at pushing the pace on the other end. Exum has been excellent in transition opportunities for Dallas this season, and his tertiary playmaking has been needed in Dallas’ second unit.
Exum has admittedly struggled shooting the three-ball this year, but he still has time to turn things around in that department if he commands more playing time. In the Mavericks' most recent game versus the Houston Rockets, Exum had 12 points on three of four shooting from the field, and he even canned a 3-pointer.
Exum’s defense is bound to be a stabilizing force for Dallas off the bench, but if Dallas makes any moves this season Exum may have to be prepared to take on a bigger role. Nonetheless, Exum is most certainly turning the page in Dallas as far as his NBA career goes and he has improved steadily since the season started.
Dallas next plays tonight versus Memphis, so stay tuned as we’ll have you covered.