It’s time to continue our series breaking down the Mavericks’ roster.
Rather than just running down the assets and debits of each player, we’re going to approach this year’s roster evaluation a little differently.
With a sound track.
Since the Mavericks reached the Western Conference finals last season and have made it clear that championships are the only measuring stick they will use moving forward in the Luka Dončić era, it’s time to analyze what they need from each player to someday make that a reality, preferably sooner than later.
And there’s a theme song, sometimes more than one – basketball’s version of walk-up music, if you will – for each player.
So here we look at each player (in alphabetical order) and what they must accomplish for the Mavericks to be title worthy. We’ll assume good health for everybody, which is always the No. 1 issue.
Next up is Jaden Hardy.
THEME SONGS: Hot Stuff by Donna Summer and Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up The Funk) by Parliament.
STAT FROM 2021-22 THAT MUST IMPROVE: Watch for his turnovers. He averaged 3.5 turnovers per game at the G-League level last season (in 32 minutes per game) and often that’s a big factor in young players who may not be trustable for meaningful playing time.
BREAKDOWN: “I for sure I had a chip on my shoulder. I really wanted to prove myself. I didn’t really care about proving other people wrong. I wanted to prove myself right.” That’s what Hardy said during the summer league in Las Vegas. And when you go from being one of the top recruits in the world coming out of high school, straight to the G-League and then you aren’t a first-round draft pick, there’s ample reason for that chip on his shoulder. But let’s not forget that Hardy is barely 20 years old, having reached that age on July 5. He’s got lots of room for growth and part of that growth will be reining in his exuberance and harnessing all that God-given talent. The 6-4 guard could take over games at the G-League level. He could also disappear at times. That’s normal for most young players. The key for the Mavericks and for Hardy is to let him grow naturally. Don’t force feed things. Keep it simple. And if the work ethic remains, then he’ll blossom quicker than expected. Don’t get too high with the dazzling dunks or his slice-and-dice quickness. He will tear the roof off the place from time to time. He’s got a world of potential. But being willing to roll with the ups and downs that come with being an NBA rookie at his age is part of the process.
NEXT: Maxi Kleber.
Tim Hardaway Jr.: https://www.mavs.com/hardaway-profile/
Josh Green: https://www.mavs.com/green-profile/
Dorian Finney-Smith: https://www.mavs.com/finney-smith-profile/
Tyler Dorsey: https://www.mavs.com/dorsey-profile/
Luka Doncic: https://www.mavs.com/luka-profile/
Spencer Dinwiddie: https://www.mavs.com/dinwiddie-profile/
Reggie Bullock: https://www.mavs.com/profiles-bullock/
Davis Bertans: https://www.mavs.com/profiles-bertans/