When Jalen Brunson signed with the Knicks, the Dallas Mavericks go into next season having lost some major offensive firepower. They went ahead and acquired Christian Wood, which should add another dimension to their offensive front court.
However, the loss of Brunson will likely cause a hit to their backcourt production. The Mavs will look within their roster for wings to take on a bigger role. Spencer Dinwiddle is expected to slide into Brunson’s role as the secondary playmaker behind Luka Doncic. He showed glimpses in the postseason last season of potentially thriving there.
Tim Hardaway will be back from his foot injury and should slide back into his old role as a three-and-D wing alongside Reggie Bullock. With Dinwiddle likely the only other reliable ball handler, the Mavs will need some more players to step up within their roster.
Can Josh Green Take the Next Step Forward?
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report recently came out with a list of the best-kept secrets of all 30 NBA teams, and his pick on the Mavs is interesting.
Now entering his third season, Josh Green was tabbed as someone whom fans should be on the lookout for.
While his efficiency flat-lined in the playoffs and cost him his rotation spot, he still shattered his previous bests at every level during the regular season and finished with a 50.8/35.9/68.9 slash. His explosiveness means he’ll always add value in transition and timely cuts, but if he keeps progressing as a shooter and defender, he could go from meh to interesting really quick.
It will be a tall task to ask Green to provide meaningful rotation minutes, considering he has not done much on the floor to have fans or pundits salivate about his potential. However, he only averaged 14 minutes in his first two seasons in the league, and one can only wonder how big of a statistical jump his game could have if those minutes doubled next season.
Per 36 minutes for his sophomore season, his averages go up to 11.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.7 assists a game. Those numbers are standard for key role players. If he can provide that sort of production for the Mavs, it would surely be a blessing for the team.
‘I’m Ready to Play’
Considered somewhat off the radar, Green should not feel the pressure to come in and provide assistance for his teammates, especially with Doncic commanding all the attention.
Regardless, Green must understand that the shelf life of NBA players is usually not that long, and he has to start showing more progress if he hopes to have a longer NBA career.
He recently sat down with Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News, and talked about the different things he has done this offseason, in hopes of improving his game.
“Shooting has been a big focus for me this offseason, trying not to do the ‘stanky leg’ no more on my right side,” Green points out. “That’s just been building up my core strength and just yeah. Building up core strength and changing my shot a little bit, and I’ve seen it be a little more consistent, but really I’m just going in ready to go. I wish training camp started tomorrow. I’m ready to play.”
It sounds like Green is ready to showcase his new shooting ability. However, there is still over a month and a half for camp to begin, so Green should plenty of time before he shows his teammates the improvements he’s made.