Mavericks Summer League MVP - A.J. Lawson
The biggest surprise on the list, before, and even after Summer League, is A.J. Lawson being the best overall player on the court. Prior to Summer League beginning, I anointed Jaden Hardy as the Mavs Summer League MVP.
However, I expected Hardy to shoot around 50% from the field and 40% from three while proving to be a more than viable playmaker. Hardy fell short of these expectations, shooting less than 36% from the floor and less than 25% from three.
Although Hardy was the go-to guy on offense, he didn't put up efficient numbers this summer. It would have been nice to see Hardy average five or more assists per game due to his shot not falling consistently.
Again, before Hardy steals the spotlight, the MVP is given to Lawson, as he exceeded expectations, arguably more so than other Mavericks (sans Jordan Walker).
Other Mavs, including rookies Lively II, Prosper, Miles Jr., and Walker were deserving of this spot, but I ultimately decided it was Lawson who was worthy of the Mavs' best player this summer due to his consistency, statistical output, and a bevy of highlight plays.
Lawson played with composure and exhibited an all-around game. Rather than being "just another guy," which some veterans may succumb to, Lawson made numerous highlight plays and proved to be a good and efficient scorer.
Lawson's best game was his 24-point performance, where he shot 10-for-12 from the floor against the Indiana Pacers. Lawson finished the game with a +20 plus/minus.
Summer League Coach Jared Dudley lauded Lawson's ability after the Pacers game. He compared the former Gamecock to former Maverick and 13-year NBA veteran Corey Brewer.
Although the comparison might not impose the utmost confidence in Lawson as an above-average contributor on the Mavs roster, it's important to keep in mind that Lawson is an undrafted free agent who has bounced around the G-League in recent years.
Furthermore, Lawson displayed his defensive prowess by recording multiple steals in four out of the five games played. His best performance came against the Hawks, where he recorded four steals.
Lawson is still under contract for the 2023-24 season, as he is one of the Mavs' two-way players. It will be an intriguing storyline during the upcoming season to see if Lawson will earn some regular season minutes from his outstanding summer league play.