Don’t Develop: A.J. Lawson
This isn’t fair to Lawson. He was waived by the Timberwolves in December of 2022, and the Mavs quickly picked him up on a two-way contract. He played just 106 total NBA minutes and did not get a real shot until the final two games of the regular season where he averaged 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in 22.8 minutes per game.
Beyond that, Lawson dominated the G League by averaging 18.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 1.3 steals in 26.7 minutes per game over ten regular season contests. The 6’6 wing proved he is too good for that level.
If Lawson dominated the G League and showed promise when given an opportunity in the NBA, why shouldn’t the Mavericks be focused on his development? It is a simple numbers game. Dallas added Grant Williams, Seth Curry, Dante Exum, and Olivier Maxence-Prosper to play on the wing this summer. All four of those players are ahead of Lawson in the pecking order, and that leaves off returning talents like Josh Green and Jaden Hardy.
The Dallas Mavericks do not have minutes to give the 23-year-old wing. A.J. Lawson is back on a two-way contract, and the franchise should keep him around and let him dominate the G League, but they should not prioritize his development.