With the season coming to an end, it looks as though the Dallas Mavericks might miss out on the postseason. After making a run to the Western Conference Finals last year, it’s easy to say that this year has been a complete disappointment.
Dallas traded for Kyrie Irving at the deadline in an attempt to get Luka Doncic a co-star, but that experiment hasn’t paid off quite yet. And with the fact that Irving will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Mavericks’ future needs to be called into question.
If he returns, then the issue becomes finding ways to surround Doncic and Irving with more talent. And if Irving leaves, then the problem becomes greater because the Mavericks will have to scramble to add pieces around Doncic do he doesn’t grow even more frustrated.
That being said, the Mavericks may already have a (partial) solution to their issues on the roster, and his name is Josh Green.
Through the first two years of his young career, Green earned playing time little by little. And so far this year, he’s earned serious minutes, showing flashes of top-notch potential.
He’s one of the best defenders on Dallas’ roster, and when given the opportunity, he’s shown some chops as a scorer and playmaker as well. If he can continue to develop and grow, there’s no telling how good he could be.
At the very least, he’s a top role player on a Doncic-led team that does all the little things and takes on the hardest defensive assignment. But the best-case scenario is that Green’s development goes better than expected, and he turns into a top-tier starter that is also the team’s best defender.
Josh Green Stabilizes Mavericks Future
With how uncertain Dallas’ future is, having a guy like Green is a huge bonus. He’s a stabilizing force on a roster with a lot of players who play very niche roles. Tim Hardaway Jr. is a sparkplug scorer. Dwight Powell is a backup interior big. Reggie Bullock is a three-and-D wing.
Green is a top-tier defender who can guard guards, wings, and forwards alike. He’s growing into a solid shooter from the perimeter and has even shown some ability to get into the paint and create his own shots inside. Plus, he gives the Mavericks some of the intensity they need in crucial moments. And at just 22 years old, he’s still adding stuff to his game.
No matter if Irving leaves, Christian Wood bails, or the team has to restructure their roster completely, Green will be around. He’s still under team control next year (in the final year of his rookie deal), and the Mavericks will be able to match any offer he gets in restricted free agency after that.
Mavericks Clearly Believe in Josh Green
And if the Mavericks’ trade deadline activity is any indication of their fondness for Green, he’s a big part of their future plans. According to Tim Cato of The Athletic, Dallas refused to include Green in any deal for Irving when they were negotiating a trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
No matter which direction the Mavericks choose to, or are forced to, go in, Green has the potential to be the missing link. If things go right, he could be the extra piece they need to compete in the West, and if things go wrong, he could develop into an ideal co-pilot for Doncic in Dallas.
Doncic will be the one to get the Mavericks to their ceiling, but Green can help determine the floor.