Rise of Mavericks rookie makes struggling guards extremely tradeable

Detroit Pistons v Dallas Mavericks
Detroit Pistons v Dallas Mavericks / Sam Hodde/GettyImages

On Sunday afternoon, the Dallas Mavericks wrapped up their regular season on the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dallas lost this game by 49 points, but this was due to all of Dallas' starters and most of their role players sitting out.

None of Dallas' usual starters played in this game, and the only rotation players who played were Josh Green, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Jaden Hardy.

Not much can be taken from the Mavs' loss to the Thunder, but one of the Mavs wings proved that he could be a rotation piece moving forward going into next season.

Rise of Olivier-Maxence Prosper makes Tim Hardaway Jr. and Josh Green tradeable

Olivier-Maxence Prosper finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in this game, and his play to start this game was impressive. Prosper drilled a catch-and-shoot three, dunked over Chet Holmgren, and hit a three from the corner after a jab step.

Prosper's improvement as a jump shooter has been evident over the last two games, and he also had a solid performance against the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. He finished with 16 points, six rebounds, one block, and two steals in this game, and his recent rise makes Josh Green and Tim Hardaway Jr. extremely tradeable going into this summer and next season.

Hardaway Jr. is someone who Dallas reportedly shopped at this year's trade deadline, and it seems like they have been trying to move him for multiple seasons now. Hardaway Jr.'s struggles have been magnified since the trade deadline. In the month of April alone, Hardaway Jr. is averaging 8.7 points per game on 26.3 percent shooting from downtown. This was Hardaway Jr.'s worst month of the season, and it's happening at the worst possible time.

While it's unclear if Hardaway Jr. will have a big role in the playoffs, one of Dallas' other guards has also been struggling.

Ever since returning from his ankle sprain, Josh Green has struggled in his minutes. In his three games since returning from injury, Green is averaging 3.5 points per game while shooting 27.3 percent from the field and 16.7 percent from downtown. Green was out for multiple weeks, and slow starts are expected, but he is another player whose playoff minutes aren't guaranteed.

The Mavs could elect to not play Green and Hardaway Jr. much during the playoffs, and the showing from Prosper over the last two games shows how expendable they could be moving forward.

Hardaway Jr. is much more expendable than Green is, but Green's stock could continue trending downward if he can't get consistent. Green is likely someone the Mavs could get solid value for if they moved him, and he is someone teams have been interested in as recently as this year's trade deadline.

Prosper won't be able to contribute as much as Green or Hardaway Jr. right away, but his potential on both ends of the floor is intriguing. Jason Kidd said that Prosper will be fighting for rotation minutes as soon as next season, and he seems extremely pleased with how his development has gone.

The Mavs' next game is game one of their first-round series against the LA Clippers on Sunday.

For all the latest on Olivier-Maxence Prosper's development and the Dallas Mavericks throughout the 2024 NBA Playoffs, stay tuned.