As the 2021-22 season goes on, the Dallas Mavericks continue to struggle. They’re currently ninth in the Western Conference with a record of 14-15.
Hovering below .500, the Mavs have lost six of their last ten games. For the majority of the season, the reason Dallas has struggled is due to injury issues.
Unfortunately, it’s only getting worse.
On Tuesday, the Mavericks will play the Minnesota Timberwolves for the second-straight game. However, they could be without nearly half of their roster.
The Mavericks released an updated injury report on Monday afternoon with seven players listed.
- Kristaps Porzingis: Questionable (right toe soreness)
- Luka Doncic: Out (left ankle soreness)
- Eugene Omoruyi: Out (right foot injury)
- Willie Cauley-Stein: Out (personal reasons)
- Reggie Bullock: Out (health & safety protocols)
- Josh Green: Out (health & safety protocols)
- Maxi Kleber: Out (health & safety protocols)
Not only will the Mavs be without a ton of players due to health and safety protocols, but their two best players in Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis have foot injuries.
What will the Mavs need to do in order to stay afloat?
Calling in Reinforcements
With the surge in players entering health and safety protocols, the NBA is now allowing teams to sign players to temporary hardship contracts to fill out rosters.
As such, the Mavericks have signed two players to their active roster.
For starters, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Dallas had signed Theo Pinson. A player with NBA experience, he should be a solid acquisition.
As first reported by Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the Mavs have also signed Marquese Chriss. A former lottery pick, he’s still fairly young and has upside.
Pinson has spent time in the NBA with both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. With 68 career games under his belt, the 26-year-old is a solid defender, but has always struggled to shoot the ball.
On a Mavs roster that needs help defensively, Pinson could prove useful. To this point in the season, he’s spent all of his time in the G League for the Maine Celtics, where he’s averaged 16.4 points per contest.
Chriss was the No. 8 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, but has struggled early in his career. The last time he played a fully healthy campaign was in the 2019-20 season, when Chriss was having a great year with the Golden Stare Warriors, producing 9.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game.
An athletic forward, he could be well worth the risk if he’s able to make noise with the Mavs. Just 24 years old, Chriss is still a fairly raw player with quite a bit of upside.
While it’s not ideal, the Mavericks will have to lean pretty heavy on lower tier players for the foreseeable future.
Could Pinson or Chriss end up finding a place on the roster long-term?
The Mavericks have four games over the next seven days, and can’t afford to slip further below .500 on the season. It’s to the point in the season where they’ll need to determine what they have on the roster before making moves at the trade deadline.
Over the next week, Dallas will play the Minnesota Timberwolves and Milwaukee Bucks at home followed by the Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers on the road. All four of these games will be very tough tests against solid teams.
The depth of the Mavs will be truly tested over the next week, as their role players will be asked to do more than ever.