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 Maxi Kleber.

THEME SONGS: Operator by Jim Croce and Call Me by Blondie.

STAT FROM 2021-22 THAT MUST IMPROVE: While it didn’t seem like because he had some heavy contributions at times, Kleber had a poor shooting season. He fell below 40 percent overall (39.8) in the regular season and was 32.5 percent from beyond the arc. All of that was muted by his showing in the playoffs, when he hit over 50 percent from the field and 43.6 percent from the 3-point line. Still, he needs to have a more consistent regular season.

BREAKDOWN: Kleber loves to hold the telephone to his ear when he connects from long range, which is something we need to see more of. But it’s going to be interesting to see how he can operate this season with the addition of Christian Wood and JaVale Mcgee, both of whom figure to be ahead of him on the center depth chart. The good news for Kleber is that he’s perfectly capable of sliding over to a forward spot to play alongside Wood or McGee. The same goes for Dwight Powell, too. The bottom line is that the Mavericks should be much deeper on the front line than they were last season, when they were exposed in the playoffs. One other thing Kleber must improve this season is his health. After playing virtually all the time his first three seasons, he missed 22 games in 2020-21 and 23 games last season. The best ability is availability. Admittedly, it’s hard to blame anybody for time missed because of COVID-19. And Kleber had a particularly rough case that knocked him out for a long stretch, then impacted him as he was trying to get back into shape. He’s due for a run of good luck in the health department.

NEXT: JaVale McGee.


Jaden Hardy:

Tim Hardaway Jr.:

Josh Green:

Dorian Finney-Smith:

Tyler Dorsey:

Luka Doncic:

Spencer Dinwiddie:

Reggie Bullock:

Davis Bertans:


Twitter: @ESefko

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