Ricky Ledo Dunk
Ricky Ledo catches the hail mary and finishes with authority.
Now that summer league is over the Mavs will turn their attention to finalizing their roster for training camp, which is just over two months away.
While it’s still too early to really forecast who exactly will fill out the entire 20-man roster come October — Dallas could always make more moves, including signing free agents and making trades — some names from the Summer League roster are worth taking a look at.
For starters, Ricky Ledo and Gal Mekel, both of whom performed well in Las Vegas, are under contract with the club and, barring additional roster moves during the rest of the summer, will both make the 15-man roster come November. Ledo averaged a team-high 15.4 points, 3.8 boards, and 4.4 assists — tied for seventh in the LVSL. He also hit 37 percent of his three-point attempts. Mekel, meanwhile, scored 11.5 points on 53 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc, adding 4.3 rebounds and three assists versus just 1.5 turnovers. Those are the types of numbers you expect to see from second-year players in the Summer League, and both looked clearly improved from last season.
The Mavs also announced last Friday the signing of Eric Griffin on Friday, the electric forward who did much more than just put on a dunk show in Las Vegas. He scored 11.4 points and added 2.2 blocks and 1.2 steals in less than 21 minutes per game. Dallas did not reveal terms of the contract, but the deal guarantees Griffin at least a training camp invite with the possibility of making the team. The Mavs pulled off similar moves last summer with Devin Ebanks, Fab Melo, and Mickey McConnell, each of whom spent most of training camp with the team before eventually joining the Texas Legends, the team’s D-League affiliate. Griffin certainly earned his deal based on his play in Vegas, where he was without question one of the most exciting players in the tournament.
Eric Griffin Reverse Dunk
Ricky Ledo passes to Eric Griffin for the reverse jam.
The rest of the roster is where it becomes less clear, as no other Summer League players are currently under contract with the Mavericks. Australian sharpshooter Chris Goulding is reportedly set to move to Spanish club CAI Zaragoza from Melbourne United, his old club. (Melbourne is coached by Chris Anstey, who spent two seasons with Dallas from 1997-99.) But players like CJ Fair, Jackie Carmichael, Ivan Johnson, and, of course, Bernard “Sarge” James would all fit well with the Mavs. The Dallas roster currently stands at 14, leaving six vacancies on the training camp roster. That number will obviously change depending on whom else the Mavs pursue in the coming months, including the player Dallas elects to offer its much-talked-about room exception. But the four names above might all be under consideration moving forward.
Carmichael and Johnson both play power forward and would give Rick Carlisle a capable backup option to play behind Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas added veteran shooter Rashard Lewis over the weekend, who spent time in Miami playing at both forward spots. But you can never be too safe when it comes to adding big men. In four games in Vegas, Carmichael scored five points and added five boards in 18 minutes per contest. Johnson, meanwhile, scored 7.8 points and added 3.8 rebounds in five games. He attempted 21 three-pointers, second-most on the team, which was to be expected. Johnson and Carlisle spent plenty of time together during the practices leading up to Summer League working on his three-point shot, as the 30-year-old Johnson is looking to add a new dimension to his game so he can land another NBA gig.
Fair, meanwhile, is a combo wing who can play either the 2 or 3. He averaged four points and 2.6 rebounds in five appearances in Las Vegas, where he played 13.4 minutes per game. Fair has young legs and can get up and down the floor, but he also played four years of college ball at national powerhouse Syracuse, so he has a solid understanding of the game as well. There’s certainly value in that.
Togashi Turns Heads at Summer League
Point guard Yuki Togashi has quickly become a fan favorite at Las Vegas Summer League.
Sarge had a terrific Summer League, averaging 13.5 points at a team-high 62.5 percent clip, a club-leading 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and 1.8 steals in four games. He’s spent two seasons with the Mavs already and therefore is comfortable in the system. Unless he signs with another team before training camp, it’s a safe bet that he’ll receive a camp invite. He definitely earned it with his outstanding play in Vegas.
More names will pop up in the coming weeks and months. Training camp is just two months away. Dallas has already landed some big names this summer, but the front office’s work is not yet done. Stay tuned.