With the Mavs having just opened their preseason schedule, it deems that the main part of the rotation does seem full. However, there still remain questions over the last couple of spots on the team. Looking more in-depth at the roster:
As of right now, it seems safe to say that there are 13 spots reserved on the roster for the locks.
Locks: Ajinca, JJ Barea, Beaubois, Butler, Chandler, Haywood, DoJo, Kidd, Mahinmi, Marion, Dirk, Stevenson, Terry
Taking out those locks, there remain 4 players for 2 spots to fill out the Mavs 15 man roster. The candidates:
Dee Brown – A star in college, who played alongside Deron Williams and Luther Head at Illinois, Brown seems to be in a tough position in terms of making the roster. Besides the fact that he has played sparingly in the NBA, he also faces the problem of a number crunch at the guard position. From the locks alone, the Mavs have 3 guards who are below 6-2 in Roddy, JET, and Barea. Adding Kidd, Stevenson, DoJo and Butler to the mix, the Mavs seem to be set at the guard position with what they have now (barring an unexpected trade), which would probably deplete any chance Brown has of making the team.
Adam Haluska – Long story short, it would take a lot for him to make the team. Combining his lack of NBA experience (he’s only played overseas) with the amount of guards the Mavs have, Haluska likely will have very little chance to make the Mavs’ roster. Furthermore, his play in little time against the Wizards really did not inspire much. While not really much of an option at the NBA level, he could be one of those guys that could be an interesting option for the D-League in order to gain some experience and eventually get a chance with another NBA team.
Brian Cardinal - While Cardinal will come nowhere near to matching Tim Thomas’s ability or production, he does provide size, and for 10 minutes a night, would be able to provide an adequate replacement for Dirk. For the most part, though, he does seem to be a very uninspiring prospect at the power forward position and has really had only two above average years. If he does play the way he did against Washington, though, where he held his own for a good portion of the game, he could be set as the backup power forward.
Steve Novak – I’m starting to turn around a little on the Novak train. At first, he seems like Cardinal in terms of being very uninspiring to backup Dirk. However, his ability to stretch the floor while also providing size on defense is very intriguing. While he is coming off an off season with the Clippers, if he can come anywhere close to putting up the numbers he did two years ago, he seems to be the best fit for the back-up power forward position. However, the way things are looking, he may be on the outside looking in as Cardinal seems to be the favorite (though Novak is not doing himself any favors by being a -11 in only 5 minutes of action)
It seems safe to say that the Mavs will keep either Novak or Cardinal in order to back-up Dirk. However, that would only bring the roster up to 14 and, with both Haluska and Brown unlikely to make the roster, will leave the Mavs either searching on the waiver wire for any late pick-ups or beginning the season a man down (though ultimately, that really won’t affect the rotation much at all). At the very least, one of these 4 guys will make the roster and probably will need to play somewhat of a decent role on this team.
Thoughts on who makes the roster?