The Dallas Mavericks’ win over the Utah Jazz Monday, was their first of the season without Luka Doncic. Dallas was able to earn the victory thanks to strong performances from both Josh Green and Jaden Hardy.
Green tallied 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists in about 38 minutes against Utah. He was efficient as well, knocking down 10 of his 17 attempts from the field and 3 of his 6 from deep.
Hardy, like Green, also scored 29 points. He accompanied his offensive explosion with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
After Dallas’ win, Hardy spoke to the media, explaining that he and his teammates found motivation in Utah’s late emergence from the locker room before the game.
“We felt like once they came out with 12 minutes on the clock to warm up, they were not taking us seriously,” he said via nba.com. “Once we saw that, everybody locked in.”
The Mavs’ 124-111 over the Jazz brought their season record to 29-26. They currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference, just one game behind the fourth place Los Angeles Clippers.
Mavericks Refused to Include Josh Green in Kyrie Irving Trade
Green balled out against the Jazz on February 6, scoring a career-high in his 12th career start. His strong offensive performance likely made the front office very happy, as they reportedly refused to include him in the Kyrie Irving trade.
According to The Athletic’s Tim Cato, the Mavs did not want to send the young wing to Brooklyn in the deal for Irving, despite the Nets’ “strong interest.”
“Several sources indicated the team prioritized Josh Green, a blossoming 22-year-old wing, to not being included in the trade despite Brooklyn’s strong interest in him,” Cato wrote.
Green has been playing the best basketball of his young career this season for Dallas. He’s appeared in 35 of the team’s 55 games, playing 23.1 minutes each time. The 22-year-old averages a career-high 8.7 points per game, to go along with 2.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. He has also been having the most efficient year of his career, shooting 55.7% from the field and 41.9% from beyond the arc.
Those strong stats make the Australian-born wing even more valuable to the Mavs, on top of his already team-friendly rookie-deal. Both factors likely played a part in the team wanting to keep him out of trade talks.
Green would also be a great piece for the Mavericks to involve in a potential rebuild, like the one that Cato hinted that they could pull off this summer, should they let Irving walk.
“If Dallas doesn’t re-sign Irving this summer, the team would have around $30 million in cap space in an uninspiring free agency market to retool its roster around (Luka) Dončić,” Cato explained.
Mark Cuban Excited About Kyrie Irving Trade to Mavericks
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban discussed his team’s trade for Irving for the first time on Monday. Cuban spoke with Basketball News, expressing excitement about playing “Uncle Drew” alongside Dončić,
“I think this is going to be great for both of them,” he said via Basketball News. “They can play off of each other and given that both can get where they want on the court, it’s going to put a ton of pressure on defenses.”