The Dallas Mavericks acquired Moses Brown from the Boston Celtics as part of the Josh Richardson trade, a move Dallas made to create maximum salary cap flexibility in the hopes of a fruitful free agency period. Whether or not fans believe the Mavs delivered on that potential, they did, at the very least, acquire an intriguing young big worthy of developing.
Brown drew considerable buzz around the league last season, thanks in large part to a 21-point, 23-rebound performance against the Celtics. That wasn't his only statement, however, as Dwain Price detailed for Mavs.com, Brown also posted the following jaw-dropping stat lines.
20 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks versus Chicago
20 points, 12 rebounds against Toronto
19 points, 12 rebounds versus Memphis
18 points, 12 rebounds against Golden State
12 pints, 15 rebounds versus Utah
18 rebounds against Minnesota
18 rebounds versus New Orleans
24 points, 18 rebounds, seven blocks against the LA Clippers
How Tyson Chandler can help Dallas Mavericks center Moses Brown take the next step
That is certainly enough to spark intrigue in front offices across the league. While Brown's size and athleticism are tantalizing, there's a reason he is with his fourth franchise since coming into the league in 2019 as an undrafted free agent.
While that's not to say he can't continue to develop and grow into a respectable rotation piece for the Mavs, it does bear mentioning for fans who might otherwise fixate on the dominant numbers above and anticipate an All-Star caliber big suiting up for Dallas this coming season.
Brown's professional career began in Dallas in many respects as a member of the Texas Legends by way of the Portland Trail Blazers, who don't have a G League affiliate. As such, the July trade to Dallas was a bit of a homecoming for Brown. He's shown himself dominant at the G League level, both as a member of the Legends and Oklahoma City Blue, and he's shown himself capable of being an impact player as a member of the Thunder.
He needs guidance to take that next step in his development. As it so happens, he's found that mentorship from former Mav and potential future assistant coach, Tyson Chandler.
As a player, Brown's length and athleticism allow him to not only rebound well and clean up around the boards but bother shots on the defensive end. His inexperience and at times lackluster focus can result in him becoming lost on possessions. He also isn't as physical as fans would like for a 7'2, 245-pound center. The biggest potential issue, granted one that has improved over time, has been an inconsistent motor.
If that quick scouting report sounded harsh, fear not because there is good news!
These are all instances of either bad habits that can be coached out of Brown, or areas in which he can improve with directed attention from Chandler, who has become a mentor of sorts to the new Maverick.
As for the player, Tyson's hard-nosed defense and leadership helped elevate the Mavs to their first and only NBA championship. Since his departure(s), Dallas has struggled to find its next defensive anchor.
As a motivator and a voice, Brown is not Tyson Chandler, but then not many guys in the league are. As a player, both in terms of his playstyle and physical makeup, there are some similarities, as Mavs coach Jason Kidd acknowledges.
"It’s a great comparison. I think there are some similarities there and I think that you’re going to see similarities of Tyson one way or another."- Jason Kidd
Al Whitley, the GM for the Legends, says Brown has grown immensely as a player since he was last in Dallas. More importantly, in his two short months back around the facility, he's continued to make strides. His workouts with Tyson are already paying dividends, and if the two continue working together, Brown might yet have himself a significant role within the Mavs rotation this season.
It also leaves the door open for Tyson Chandler to eventually accept Jason Kidd's standing off to join his coaching staff, making this arrangement a win/win for the Dallas Mavericks.