After just two days of training camp, all things remain fluid for the Mavericks.
That said, Jason Kidd said his starting lineup already has started to take shape.
For the moment, anyway.
Kidd brought the Mavericks together on a couple occasions this week and had some candid conversations about roles. The bottom line is that – for now – Dwight Powell is the starter alongside Kristaps Porzingis at the two big positions, center and power forward.
As Kidd explained Wednesday: “I talked to some of the players about that position. And today, we opened up (about) who would start and we had that conversation and Dwight Powell was the one we came up with that would start.
“So in camp right now, he’s our starting center. That can change. But today, talking with some of the players, we’re going to have Dwight in the starting five.”
Powell will be in his second season back after rupturing his Achilles tendon during the 2019-20 season.
It’s assumed that Porzingis, Tim Hardaway Jr., Luka Dončić and Dorian Finney-Smith would fill out the opening-tip lineup.
There might be some wiggle room there for Kidd should he toy with the idea of starting Reggie Bullock, although he and Finney-Smith measure up to be very similar in terms of skill set, as well as size.
There also is the option for Kidd to switch Porzingis to the center spot defensively and still have him playing the power forward role on offense.
In addition, the more important question might be who will be in the finishing lineup for Kidd during close games. That’s not always the same as the fivesome that starts the game.
“(Management has) given me the opportunity to have different combinations and be versatile,” Kidd said. “Looking at KP not just at the four, but the five, you can play four smalls. Unfortunately, I don’t know if you can call Luka a small. But you can go with a perimeter-oriented team. You can go with a defensive team.
“We can put KP around a lot of different guys, which will be fun. Early on we’ll do that to see what combinations work.”
Personal choice: On Monday, Kidd said that the Mavericks were probably above the “90 percentile” in terms of having players and staff fully vaccinated to fight the COVID-19 virus.
One of the players who is not fully vaccinated is guard Trey Burke, who talked extensively about his thoughts on that matter.
“That’s something I’m talking to the coaches about,” Burke said. “It’s a personal choice that I’m still figuring out. Me and my family are still talking about it, doing the research on it. I feel like everybody has their own personal choice. I’m just continuing to do more research to make a reasonable decision.”
Burke had a serious bout with the coronavirus in June, 2020, which kept him isolated for nearly a month.
“For me, it’s something I think about long term as well as short term,” he said. “I know basketball is our job, it’s something we do on a daily basis. But I have a life after basketball as well. I’m just trying to look at all the facts into what it could be and how it can affect me long term. I’m not trying to rush into a decision.”
Practice visitors: Kidd opened up his practice Tuesday to a crew from NBA Entertainment. He said he considered it an honor, to some extent.
“NBA Entertainment is part of the family,” he said. “When they asked, I’ve always had an open-door policy. They’ve come to Milwaukee (when he coached the Bucks). I don’t know if we were good enough to come to Brooklyn.
“I’ve always believed if they show up, that means that you’re good. So they were here at practice. And they didn’t get in the way.”
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