As next season approaches, the Dallas Mavericks have been busy filling out their roster. While they may have lost Jalen Brunson in free agency to the New York Knicks, they have been active in adding depth to their frontcourt throughout the offseason.
Dallas made a big-time trade for Christian Wood, sending a first-round pick and various players to the Houston Rockets. After that, they inked veteran center JaVale McGee to a three-year contract, and he will likely be their starting center for next year.
But while the majority of their rotation may be set, that doesn’t mean they can’t continue to explore other options on the free agency market. And since the veteran free agency market has dried up, taking a chance on some young players could be smart. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, that’s exactly what they’re doing.
“The Dallas Mavericks are signing guard McKinley Wright IV and undrafted Pittsburgh forward Mouhamadou Gueye on training camp deals to compete for a roster spot, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium,” Charania reported on August 14.
Wright was a member of the 2021 NBA Draft class, while Gueye went undrafted in 2022, as noted by Charania. Each of them could potentially have a chance to earn a full-time roster spot.
Role Wright Could Play for Mavericks
As the Mavericks look to replace Brunson’s production in the rotation, Wright could have a chance to earn his stripes. After the 2021 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves signed Wright to a two-way deal, and although he only played in five NBA games, Wright proved to be a solid G League player.
The 6’0 guard appeared in 18 games for the Iowa Wolves, playing 36.9 minutes per contest. In those games, Wright averaged 18.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 7.3 assists on 44.6% shooting from the field and 34.3% shooting from behind the three-point line.
His defensive intensity is impressive, too, as he’s constantly battling on that side of the floor.
Having an extra ball-handler on the roster could be a very useful asset for the Mavericks. Even with Jaden Hardy on the roster, it’s unlikely that any of their young players are able to step into a big-time role immediately, but keeping multiple young guards around allows for a higher likelihood that one is able to stick.
Meanwhile, Gueye will provide the Mavericks some depth in a different area.
Role Gueye Could Play for Mavericks
Despite adding both Wood and McGee this summer, the Mavericks could look into adding more big man depth in the form of Gueye. The 6’10 big man played well during his time at Stony Brook and Pittsburgh in college, and at the very least, he could be an intriguing prospect to keep around in the G League for Dallas.
In his final year at Pittsburgh, Gueye appeared in 32 games, starting 28, and playing 29.2 minutes per game. He averaged 9.8 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 2.1 blocks on 43.5% shooting from the field and 36.4% shooting from distance.
Gueye is an extremely intriguing prospect due to his unusual mix of three-point shooting and solid interior defense. His jump shot has a ton of potential to translate to the NBA level, and his athleticism allows him to be a force on the defensive end.
Only time will tell if those skills can translate, but both he and Wright will have an opportunity to show of their skills and compete for a spot on the Dallas roster.