The Mavericks signed high-flying wing Derrick Jones Jr. on a one-year deal to round out the 15-man roster.
Jones Jr. went undrafted in 2016 but has since made a career for himself with stints in Phoenix, Miami, Portland, and Chicago.
Without question, Jones Jr. brings elite athleticism with him.
The 2020 Slam Dunk Contest champion plays above the rim, measuring at a 46-inch vertical; this is particularly entertaining when you have elite passers like Doncic and Irving in your backcourt.
While he’s most known for his dunking ability, his ability to guard multiple positions will be especially important for this Mavericks team. The subtraction of Finney-Smith was felt heavily last season, so bringing in players like Olivier-Maxence Prosper, Grant Williams, and Derrick Jones Jr. will certainly aid in filling that hole in defensive versatility.
Based on the skillset surrounding Jones Jr, his offense should present itself naturally. It feels like the right opportunity for him to take on a defensive focus, which could push himself as a player, and hopefully the Mavericks as a team, to the next level.
Derrick Jones Jr. will add to the roster depth that was depleted in the latter half of the 2022-23 season.
Previous reports indicated that JaVale McGee would not be on the roster come opening night. It is unclear whether that is still the intention, but if so, I would believe that a stretch and waive is the most likely scenario at this juncture in the offseason. Ideally, Dallas could make a move to upgrade the center position that includes McGee; however, they may have to wait for the trade market to heat up as the season progresses.
As it stands, the Maverick bigs include a tandem of Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber, Richaun Holmes, Dereck Lively II, and JaVale McGee. I would assume that Powell starts, but the distribution of minutes will likely depend on the matchups.
As the season nears, the roster appears to have taken shape for the most part.
With just a few months without the NBA, we have the privilege of FIBA play to satisfy our deprivation of basketball.
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