LAS VEGAS – The Mavericks’ squad at the MGM Resorts Summer League includes 11 players who are desperately hoping to make an NBA team next month during training camp.
It’s also full of 11 players who know the score when it comes to earning one of those coveted spots.
Just getting an invite to camp isn’t easy.
The summer leaguers know that the Mavericks have 15 players under contract, including Tyrell Terry and Josh Green, who are on the summer roster. They also have Nate Hinton, who is playing in Vegas and is signed to a two-way contract.
If things don’t change, that leaves only one open spot on the final roster, although the Mavericks can have as many as 20 players in training camp before cutting down the final roster before the regular season opener in October.
Players like Eugene Omoruyi, Tariq Owens and Robert Franks would seem to have the best shots at being invited to camp, but obviously the situation is fluid.
The auditions continue Saturday at 2 p.m., Dallas time, when the Mavericks play their third summer-league game. Their opponent, the Denver Nuggets, are 0-3, so one of the teams is going to get their first win in Las Vegas.
But the Mavericks aren’t basing their success purely on wins, although they are competitors and winning is the bottom line. But, as coach Greg St. Jean said: “It’s just a close-knit group. I’m watching it as a coach. The energy in that gym . . . it’s a competitive group and they are having fun playing together. So you can’t ask for much more than that.”
The Mavericks were far more competitive in the double-overtime loss to Utah on Wednesday than they were in their summer opener, a blowout loss to Philadelphia.
On Saturday, they’ll get an up-close look at Bol Bol, Denver’s slender 7-2 center who is entering his third season and is averaging 21.7 points in the Nuggets’ three summer games.
Future overseas trip possible: The Mavericks are expected to announce their preseason schedule soon, and the NBA also plans to unveil the regular-season schedule sometime later this month.
One thing that won’t be on the Mavericks’ plate is an international preseason game. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be one overseas in the near future.
Owner Mark Cuban said that the Mavericks have had talks about an exhibition game at Real Madrid, the team Luka Dončić played for before being drafted by the Mavericks.
“It’s still in the discussion because of COVID, but hopefully once we’re past that, we can do it,” Cuban said.
Any trip to Europe likely would include a side trip to Slovenia and, perhaps, Latvia or Serbia, the home countries of Kristaps Porzingis and Boban Marjanovic.
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