4 Mavericks whose stocks are rising, 4 that are falling before Thunder series

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving / Sam Hodde/GettyImages
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6. Rising: Derrick Jones Jr.

In the Dallas Mavericks' series against the LA Clippers, it was clear that their wing defenders were going to have to step up. Playing against Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, and Paul George is no easy task, and the Mavs handled LA handily as they won in six games.

One Maverick who was huge in the series against the Clippers was Derrick Jones Jr., and he was arguably the third-best player on the Mavs for the series. Jones Jr. averaged 8.8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game while shooting 38.5 percent from downtown in the Clippers series, and his defense was phenomenal.

He spent time guarding all of the Clippers' stars in this series, and he was locking down everyone who was in front of him. Jones Jr. was clearly the best defender for Dallas in this series, and he'll have another tough assignment in the series against the Oklahoma City Thunder as he'll have to guard Jalen Williams and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.

Jones Jr. enters every defensive matchup with confidence and intensity, and he takes pride in playing tough-nosed defense. There isn't a defensive assignment that Jones Jr. is afraid of, and he is showing the rest of the NBA that he is worth way more than a veteran's minimum contract.

Jones Jr. will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, and he has been elite ever since Jason Kidd opted to insert him into the starting lineup over Josh Green.