Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd was not shy about sharing his expected starting five this summer where he noted that JaVale McGee and Spencer Dinwiddie would join the opening group. It appeared McGee would replace Dwight Powell, and the Mavs wanted to keep two ball-handlers on the floor, so they promoted Dinwiddie to take over for the departed Jalen Brunson, but things have changed.
According to Landon Thomas, coach Kidd is moving Dinwiddie back to the bench to lead the second unit. The Mavericks only have two traditional ball handlers on their roster, so it makes sense to stagger the minutes of Luka Doncic and Dinwiddie.
Having Dinwiddie come off the bench opens up a place in the starting five, but who takes over? Coach Kidd was non-committal on who would start next to Luka in the backcourt, but it may not be who fans expect.
Dallas Mavericks rumors: Spencer Dinwiddie to come off the bench: Starting lineup unsettled
According to Thomas, Kidd mentioned the second unit of Dinwiddie, Tim Hardaway Jr., Christian Wood, and Maxi Kleber. That means THJ is still expected to come off the bench and leaves just three rotation pieces that are in the running for the final starting spot.
Jaden Hardy started next to Luka Doncic in the team’s second preseason game on Friday night. It was Luka’s first contest, and Hardy struggled by scoring just six points on two of ten shooting from the field. The 20-year-old rookie has the talent, but he is still raw.
Josh Green and Frank Ntilikina appear to be the other two players in the running. Green is ahead in that battle, and he impressed during training camp live. The 21-year-old worked hard on his game this summer, including improving his jumper and increasing his confidence.
Spencer Dinwiddie is still likely to be part of the closing group, and he projects to play more minutes than whoever stars in the backcourt next to Luka. It will be a similar situation to Christian Wood and JaVale McGee at the five with JaVale opening the game, but C-Wood getting the majority of the minutes.
Who starts for the Dallas Mavericks on opening night? Head coach Jason Kidd has not decided, but fans should expect the rotations to be fluid throughout the season. The Hall of Famer will ride the hot hand and make tweaks to try to get the team playing their best heading into the playoffs. Stay tuned to The Smoking Cuban for all the latest.