The Mavericks on Tuesday exercised their option to pick up the fourth season of swingman Josh Green’s rookie contract.
That means Green’s $4.77 million for 2023-24 becomes guaranteed.
It’s usually a formality for rookies unless something goes haywire early in their career.
For the Mavericks, it gives them a relatively inexpensive extension to try to keep Green’s upward progression going. Had they not picked up the fourth year, Green would have become an unrestricted free agent after this season.
The 21-year-old Australian is coming off a second season in which he saw upticks virtually across the board statistically and averaged 4.8 points in 67 games (three starts).
Coach Jason Kidd said he’s hopeful that this will be a breakout year of sorts for Green, who has concentrated on playmaking this summer and through training camp.
“It’s great that we picked up the option,” Kidd said. “This summer, he did everything we asked him to do. Now, for him to continue to build on what he’s been doing, we’re working with him a little more on bringing the ball up and getting us into the offense. We’ll see how he will digest that part of it.
“But we need him to be Josh. We need his energy and to be the guy who comes up with all the 50-50 balls. But the biggest part is to see if he can put us in position to be successful when we call a play.”
It’s the improvement as a ballhandler – as well as his shooting – that has Green hopeful for a bigger role this season.
“I feel like I’m in a good place, physically and mentally,” he said. “Confidence plays a big role in it – just going out there and knowing what I can do.”
When Green came out of Arizona, he was penciled in as a 3-and-D sort of player. But Kidd believes pigeon-holing Green into that role would be a disservice.
And, when it comes to getting his next contract, Kidd knows Green will need a wider array of skills.
“I don’t mind him being 3-and-D . . . (but) look at the value: 3-and-D can get you paid at a certain level,” he said. “But if you’re able to bring the ball up and set the table, that will probably double your pay.
“So when you look at just being a 3-and-D, I think his abilities are a little bit more than than just 3-and-D. He’s one of our best passers on the team, so why not put him in a position to be successful with that.”
The Mavericks will have Green under their tutelage for two more seasons to work on that skillset.
Luka’s sneaky attribute: During his interview session Tuesday, the subject of Luka Dončić’s quickness came up several times.
The 6-7, 230-pound point guard has such a strong physique that it’s presumed widely that he is not particularly fast or quick.
But when he was asked if the rumor of him actually being pretty quick was fact or fiction, Luka said:
“Oh, that’s fact. For sure. Ask these guys at practice.”
For confirmation, Green was asked what Dončić’s best attribute is.
“His (basketball) IQ is off the charts,” Green said. “But his speed, people underestimate it. He can move very fast side-to-side. And with his frame, it’s hard to guard. But his IQ definitely stands out.”
Memories of the president: Kidd was among the group at the Disney World bubble that sat in on a conference call with President Obama.
He said he remembered a couple of things in particular about that meeting.
“First of all, for Chris Paul to be able to call – that was pretty unique,” Kidd said. “That’s a heck of a Roll-a-dex to have that person’s number in your phone. I think LeBron said that even he didn’t have that number in his phone.
“But it was really cool to hear President Obama and his remarks on how to handle certain things. And I thought (the players) did a really good job of making sure, one, we kept playing basketball, but two, have the world hear their message.”
Kidd had one other interaction with Obama, at the All-Star weekend in 2020, when Obama famously told Dončić not to shoot like Kidd did.
Kidd had to remind the president that, by the end of his career, Kidd was a dangerous 3-point threat.
During a session when Kidd and Obama were at a community event and making bookmarks, Kidd said he wrote “I can shoot” on one and “I might have passed it to him.”
Briefly: The Mavericks will have a full-scale scrimmage Wednesday at American Airlines Center. This is in part because of the weeklong break between exhibition games. They will finish the preseason Friday at Utah . . . Forward Davis Bertans remained sidelined with a right knee issue. Kidd has said the Mavericks are simply being cautious with Bertans rather than rushing him back.