Dallas Mavericks training camp officially begins today!
With the Rangers clinching the West and the Cowboys on a bye, you can spare a few minutes to read up on the Mavericks, can't you? Maybe even impress somebody by your limited knowledge about former Iowa Hawkeye Adam Haluska. No? Your loss. All the ladies love Haluska. Trust me.
In any case here's a breakdown of the Mavericks training camp roster and storylines to watch for in training camp...
Here is the official Mavericks training camp roster-
Alexi Ajinca- Acquired in a trade from the Bobcats along with Tyson Chandler, he is unlikely to make the team and will likely spend the season honing his craft in the NBDL with the Texas Legends.
Ian Mahinmi- Signed as a free agent. Mahinmi should be a name Mavs fans are familiar with, as he spent the last few seasons in a Spurs uniform. Should make the team and be a decent center/power forward option off the bench.
Tyson Chandler- Acquired from the Bobcats. Depending on his health-and by all accounts he is fully healthy-he should help form one of the leagues best center tandems along with Brandon Haywood.
Brandon Haywood- Showed some flashes last year before conflicts about the starting job caused friction. Reportedly promised a starting gig to go along with a brand new 6 year $55 million contract to begin the year. One can only help this doesn't bring on lackadaisical effort from him ala Dampier.
Brian Cardinal- Signed as a free agent. Ah yes, you're typical NBA journeyman spare. I would have liked them to go with the younger more athletic Diogu here but they went with Cardinal. He'll probably be cut before the season starts.
Steve Novak- Signed as a free agent. I like this more than the Cardinal signing. Novak can do one thing well-shoot 3's. If he can do that, he has a spot on this team. If he can't, he'll be cut. Simple as that.
Shawn Marion- Matrix is not so much the Matrix anymore as he is the play good defense and dominate on put backs but can not hit a jumper to save his life-ix but he still plays a very valuable role on this team.
Dirk Nowitzki- What more can you say? Nothing? Ok.
Adam Haluska- Signed as a free agent. Former Iowa Hawkeye, spent last year playing in Israel. Likely to get cut but young enough to stash away in the D League if he shows anything in training camp.
Deshawn Stevenson- Brought some toughness to this team last year and showed that he can contribute when called upon. Look for him to fill the same role this year.
Dominique Jones- Mavericks traded up for him because he attacked the rim and in limited summer games, he did just that. Jones even showed some ability to play point guard. Small sample size, but the early returns on Jones look promising.
Dee Brown-- Signed as a free agent. Has struggled to make a name for himself since leaving Deron Williams and Illinois in 2005. With JJ Barea still on the roster, the 6'0 or under roster spot is already filled, so it's not looking good for him.
JJ Barea- Had a pretty good summer playing with Puerto Rico. A Carlisle favorite, should see plenty of time in 2 and 3 guard lineups much to the demur of many Mavs fans.
Rodrigue Beaubois- High expectations tempered a bit with his unfortunate left foot injury this off-season. Get well soon.
Jason Kidd- Getting older but still as steady as ever. Hopefully Beaubois and/or Jones can help manage his minutes at the point this year.
What to watch for in camp:
Beuabois' foot- He should be ready for the start of the season but this was a very important summer for Beaubois. Losing a whole summer of development had to put a damper on the Mavericks off-season no matter what they say to the contrary. With a starting shooting guard spot in his reach, the Mavericks will be relying heavily on Beaubois to take them to the next level and for that to happen, he needs a healthy left foot.
What role will Jones have?- Being a rookie your role is always uncertain and Carlisle was hesitant to play Beaubois many minutes last year. It's going to be interesting to see if he has the same attitude with Jones or if he changes course. I'm hopeful it's the latter.
Caron Butler's weight- He lost ten pounds and looks lean and healthy. Will it translate to the more agile rim hunting tenacious player that was on display in Washington? We'll find out.
Will Terry bounce back? Terry had one of his worst shooting seasons last year and was at times the worst player on the floor for the Mavericks. That has to change this season. The Mavericks need him to return to his sixth man of the year level of play and not his '05 tweener guard level of play.
And that's about it for now.
Happy Mavericks Training Camp Day!