A little over a year after the fact, Josh Green, Tyrell Terry and the other Mavericks who just completed their first season are about to get a good dose of rookie orientation.

If it sounds a little backwards, that’s because it is.

Under the guidance of one of Jason Kidd’s assistant coaches, Greg St. Jean, the Mavericks’ summer-league team convened for their first practice on Tuesday.

Green, the Mavericks’ 2020 first-round pick, wasn’t part of it. He’ll be with the Australian national team until their run in the Olympics ends. They face the U.S in the semifinals on Wednesday night.

But Green is on the summer roster and is scheduled to join the team at some point when they are in Las Vegas for the NBA summer league games starting this weekend.

This will be the second-year players’ first taste of summer-league action. The coronavirus wiped out last summer’s activities, meaning rookies didn’t get a chance to learn the ropes and get repetitions.

This summer, they’ll be learning a new system as Kidd replaced Rick Carlisle and the summer league will represent the first glimpse of how the Mavericks will play under their new coach.

“I’m not going to get too much into specifics about the difference between last year’s Mavericks compared to what we got going on,” St. Jean said. “But we’re really looking to create an unselfish brand of basketball and get guys playing better in the drive-and-kick game and multiple paint touches is going to be a mentality for us.”

In many ways this is a crash course, he said.

“It is a short amount of time for practice, from an install-standpoint,” St. Jean said. “(We’re) trying to make sure that we’re creating the (right) habits for our young guys. But it’s also an opportunity to evaluate in some capacity what we have.

“A lot of these guys we have in the gym haven’t played a lot of heavy minutes, especially at the pro level. But it’s a great opportunity for us to try to continue to build what we started these first few weeks on the job. We’ve had a lot of our players in the gym so far.”

The players with NBA experience on the summer roster are Green, Terry, Nate Hinton, Tariq Owens and Robert Franks. Franks and Owens each played fewer than 10 games. In addition, Devonte Patterson, who was on the Mavericks’ training camp roster last season, and SMU product Feron Hunt are among summer campers.

Of all the returnees, perhaps Terry has the most to gain from summer league. He played just 11 games last season and made mostly cameo appearances.

But he did return from a prolonged absence to be with the team in the playoffs.

“It was important for me to come back and experience the playoffs,” he said. “But the biggest thing was the open arms everybody gave me. Nobody judged me (after returning from the layoff) and it was that much easier to get back into the swing of things.”

And the first day of summer practice?

“It felt great to get back out there with all the guys and coaches, getting better together,” Terry said.

Said St. Jean: “Tyrell has been in the gym since the first day I got here. He’s here to learn. He has not played a lot of professional basketball, so this is going to be a really important next two weeks from a foundation building standpoint. We think he’s super-talented. And he’s a better competitor than people give him credit. We’re excited to explore what we have with him.”

St. Jean said that the summer team will be working closely with the Texas Legends of the G League. They are the Mavericks’ affiliate and head coach George Galanopoulos and his assistant Nelson Terroba are on the summer-league staff.

He said the expectation is that the Legends and Mavericks will work “hand-in-hand” to maximize the opportunities of the young players who make the Mavericks’ final squad, as well as those who don’t.

The Mavericks’ opening summer-league game in Las Vegas is Monday at 3 p.m. (Dallas time) against Philadelphia’s summer squad. It will be aired on NBA TV.

Twitter: @ESefko


No. Name              Pos.     Ht.       Wt.    Prior to NBA/Home Country

1 Tyrell Terry               G        6-2       170      Stanford/USA

8 Josh Green             G/F     6-6       210      Arizona/Australia

9 Carlik Jones              G      6-1        185       Louisville/USA

14 Nate Hinton            G      6-5        210       Houston/USA

16 Feron Hunt              F      6-8        195       SMU/USA

18 LJ Figueroa             G      6-6        195       Oregon/USA

19 Devontae Shuler     G      6-2       185        Mississippi/USA

21 Eugene Omoruyi     F      6-6       235        Oregon/Canada

25 EJ Onu                    F/C   6-11     240        Shawnee State/USA

26 Robert Franks          F     6-7      225        Washington State/USA

27 Devonte Patterson   F     6-7     205          Prairie View A&M/USA

28 Tariq Owens             F     6-10   205          Texas Tech/USA

Head coach: Greg St. Jean (Wesleyan University).

Assistant coaches: Travon Bryant (Missouri), Pete Crawford (University of Minnesota Duluth), George Galanopoulos
(Indiana), Brian Grant (Oklahoma), Peter Patton (DePaul), God Shammgod (Providence), Nelson Terroba (Texas)

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