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2014 Dallas Mavericks Summer League Recap

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.

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Ricky Ledo on the right path to becoming a pro

It’s often said about players drafted in the second round that they’re facing an uphill struggle just to get their professional careers off the ground. Everything is earned — a training camp invite every season, every minute of playing time, a second contract. Nothing is easy for players who essentially start their careers behind the eight ball. Whether or not it’s correct or fair is up for debate, but that’s the reality.

If there’s one player to whom all of the above applies, it’s the Mavs’ second-year wing Ricky Ledo. Drafted 43rd overall last season after spending more than a year away from competitive basketball, Ledo has taken as humble a road as a hot prospect can through one season, and his battle hasn’t stopped yet.

He played just 33 minutes for the Mavs last season, as ahead of him on the depth chart at the 2-guard spot were proven veterans like Monta Ellis and Vince Carter. As a result, he spent most of the 2013-14 season with the Texas Legends, the D-League affiliate of the Mavericks, where he scored 13.3 points per game in 39 contests and added six boards and three assists. He was assigned, recalled, then reassigned back to the D-League six times last season, an extended back-and-forth ordeal that routinely saw him take private planes to the Northeast to join the Mavs and then a commercial flight out west with his D-League teammates all in the span of 72 hours. It’s not a glamorous way for a young player to earn his stripes in pro ball, but in Frisco Ledo got exactly what he needed: minutes on the floor.

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Mavs got their man in Chandler Parsons

The Mavs’ acquisition of Chandler Parsons on a three-year deal answers nearly every hole the team had left to fill at this point in the off-season.

Dallas had two key needs following the Tyson Chandler trade, and another opened up once former Mav Vince Carter signed with the Memphis Grizzlies, and Parsons fulfills all three. The Mavs were chasing a wing player who could shoot. Yep, Parsons, check. Dallas needed youth. Well, Parsons is only 25. Finally, Carter left behind a playmaking void after signing with Memphis, but Parsons solves that problem, too. Any way you slice it, the Parsons deal is a great move for both parties. The Mavs identified their man early on in free agency, and they got him. Here’s what the forward will bring with him.

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2014 Dallas Mavericks Summer League Roster Breakdown

We’re just a few days away from the beginning of the Las Vegas Summer League. The Mavs will play in the tournament opener against the New York Knicks on Friday, July 11, at 1 p.m. PT. The game will be aired on NBA TV.

Summer League games are anything but meaningless exhibitions. Teams are made up of rising talents and hungry veterans desperate to prove they have what it takes to earn a training camp invite or, better yet, an NBA roster spot.

The Mavs’ roster epitomizes the typical Summer League squad. From players with just a year of NBA experience, like Gal Mekel and Ricky Ledo, to players wanting to get back into the league, like former Atlanta Hawk Ivan Johnson, the Mavs’ ninth trip to the LVSL is sure to feature some good basketball under first-time Mavs Summer League coach Kaleb Canales. Here’s what to watch for from some of the biggest names on the squad.

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Tyson Chandler’s return sends shockwaves through Metroplex

He’s baaaaaack.

Dallas on Wednesday reacquired former Maverick Tyson Chandler from the New York Knicks, along with point guard Raymond Felton.

During Chandler’s first and only season with the Mavericks in 2010-11, he anchored the defense of the NBA champions. You know the names that Chandler helped to slow down: LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Of course, Chandler was valuable to that title team for more reasons than just those pertaining to his on-court play. The big man was a vocal leader in the locker room, a favorite of Dirk Nowitzki’s, and a favorite of just about every Mavericks fan. We were all sad to see him go following that magical run to the title.

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Examining the Expert’s Mock Drafts

During typical years, there’s somewhat of a drop-off from lottery players to late first-rounders, and another from them to second-rounders. However, this year’s draft is said to have unprecedented depth, meaning players will still be on the board in the second round that would normally have been taken much, much earlier in the evening.

Ahead of tomorrow night, Mavs.com took a look around the web at some of the most prominent NBA sites to see who analysts project Dallas to select with the 34th pick. As you’ll see, different mocks have the Mavericks approaching the draft from different directions. Some analysts project Dallas to pick a “draft-and-stash” player — a younger, commonly European player who currently plays overseas and might not immediately be ready to play in the NBA. There are certainly advantages to drafting that type of talent, but we’ll get into that later.

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Stocking Up In The Second Round

Draft night is always exciting. Whether you’re at a draft party with friends, following it on the radio or geeking out at home with your stat sheets and mock drafts, it’s always a night Dallas Mavericks fans look forward to.

The 2014 NBA draft is scheduled for June 26 and there was a collective sigh when the realization hit that the Mavs don’t own a pick in the first round. Instead, they have two picks in the second. But wait, before you allow indifference to set in, let’s take a look back at what Dallas has done with second round picks in the past.

The fun starts in the Mavericks’ second draft as a franchise — when they landed both Jay Vincent and Elston Turner in round two. Vincent spent five seasons in Dallas and was Rookie of the Year runner-up in ’81-82, averaging 21.4 points and 7.0 rebounds. The 6-foot-7 forward was a member of Dallas’ first three playoff teams and scored 6,464 points in his Mavericks career.

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Why Dallas? Part 3: The Staff behind the Scenes

Up to this point in the “Why Dallas?” series, we’ve covered both the advantages the Mavs’ organizational culture and the team’s head coach, Rick Carlisle, could provide to prospective draft choices and free agents.

But as with all teams in the NBA, organization attractiveness depends not just on the culture, and not just on the head coach, but also on the other men who sit on the bench during the games. Every head coach leans on his assistants and the rest of his staff throughout the season for countless reasons. Assistants have a hand in developing offensive and defensive strategies, scouting current and future opponents, and even tracking very specific stats during and after games — more than just minutes and fouls.

Carlisle has earned a reputation as one of the best head coaches in the NBA, and two members of his coaching tree, Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts, both led teams to the playoffs this year and finished in the top-10 in Coach of the Year voting. Both of Carlisle’s current top assistants, Monte Mathis and Kaleb Canales, are coaches held in high regard. Mathis engineers the defense and prepares players for games with thorough scouting reports, while Canales — one of the youngest active coaches with head coaching experience — heads up the offense.

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How Dirk and the Mavs gave the Spurs their toughest test

The San Antonio Spurs put on three consecutive clinics en route to the franchise’s fifth championship since 1999, playing the best basketball we’ve seen in a while along the way.

But the lingering thought among Mavs fans — and many others, for that matter — is how were the Mavericks able to contain San Antonio for so long? Dallas, after all, beat the Spurs three times during the teams’ first-round matchup, including once in San Antonio, one of only two times the Spurs lost at home all postseason. After Game 7 of the first round, the Spurs rattled off 12 wins against just four losses, winning every game in convincing fashion. That was not the case against Dallas, a team who fought valiantly and could have very well won the series. So how’d it happen?

Two main theories have prevailed. The first is that San Antonio was sleepwalking through its first-round matchup until Dallas took a 2-1 series advantage on Vince Carter’s buzzer-beating three-pointer to win Game 3. But that argument objectively and subjectively makes no sense. The reasoning goes that many of San Antonio’s main rotation players were almost too rested heading into the playoffs and it took them a few games to get back into the swing of things. However, that wasn’t the case last season, or the season before, or the season before, or during any season in which San Antonio has been one of the top seeds in the West heading into the playoffs. Head coach Gregg Popovich is too good a motivator to allow complacency from his team.

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