Wesley Iwundu has yet to make an impact with the Mavericks, but he knows it’s just a matter of time until the opportunity arises.
It always does in Rick Carlisle’s system.
And it could come sooner than later.
With the Mavericks fighting a slew of medical issues that will leave them shorthanded tonight against Orlando, Iwundu could be in line for more playing time against his former team.
So far, the 6-6 Iwundu has only seen action in half of the Mavericks’ eight games, playing modest minutes in each.
But he knows there is one rule to live by in the NBA: always be ready.
To that end, Iwundu recently said his primary goal for this season is “landing on a bigger stage.”
“And also doing it with a more consistent role,” the fourth-year forward said. “Coming to Dallas, the focus on winning is higher. You have a better team, better players and it’s just something you got to come in with that mindset that you want to get better each and every day.”
Iwundu knows a thing or two about waiting his turn, doing things slowly, then making the most when given the chance.
The Kansas State product played his first three seasons with Orlando and gradually increased his scoring average each year, to the point that he averaged 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds last season with the Magic.
That led to Iwundu signing a two-year, $3.5-million deal during the offseason.
So what can the Mavericks expect if they see a bigger dose of Iwundu tonight?
“I bring energy all the time,” he said. “Defensive stops and being versatile on the offensive end are important to me.”
One of Carlisle’s strengths, and one of the reasons he resonates with all sorts of players, is that he will give anybody a chance to get on the court if they have earned it. So with Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson and Jalen Brunson out tonight for medical and safety protocols, a player like Iwundu could be the next man up.
As could rookies Josh Green and Tyrell Terry.
There was some good news on the injury front as Trey Burke (illness) was upgraded to probable for tonight’s game.