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Will Mavs Small Forward Position Be By Committee?

Shawn Marion might be the best all-around option at the small forward position but he is unlikely to be the starting 3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Shawn Marion might be the best all-around option at the small forward position but he is unlikely to be the starting 3. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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As noted here, the Mavericks are expecting Peja Stojakovic to arrive in Dallas early next week.  That means that the team will have Shawn Marion, Sasha Pavlović, DeShawn Stevenson and Stojakovic as viable options to play the small forward position.  The position has newly created depth with Caron Butler's season ending injury but doubt still remains in regards to how that position will actually play out. 

Signs seem to indicate that the player with the longest tenure, Marion, will likely be the one who is out of the mix.  Coach Rick Carlisle likes the versatility that Marion and Jason Terry bring off of the bench.  "I felt that we played our best as a team when those two guys were in that role (coming off the bench)," Carlisle said. "We don't have a sixth man, we have two sixth men, really. Those two guys come in the game the same time virtually every night, and they complement each other."

Stevenson has shown that he is capable to play the small forward position.  In the Mavericks offense, the small forward tends to play on the soft-side of the offense and will spot up and be ready to shoot open shots.  With Terry staying on the bench, Stevenson is likely to stay as the starting shooting guard.  That means the Mavericks are likely to have a player who has been on their roster for less than two weeks be their starting three-man.

Pavlović has started the last two games for the Mavericks and everyone has seen the good side out of the 10-day contract player as well as the ugly side.  He had his best all-around game with the Mavericks in their game against the LA Lakers and he followed that up with his worst game against the Chicago Bulls.  Pavlović has shown that he can be an asset to the team on both sides of the floor; it just appears that overall consistency could be an issue.

There is a major sense of the doubt in regards to the health of Stojakovic's sore left knee.  The forward has missed over 25 straight games due to the injury.  Despite that, the Mavericks made a very solid move in acquiring the former three-time All Star for virtually nothing.  Stojakovic has been one of the league's most lethal shooters from beyond the arc and all he will have to do now is just run to spots, set up and shoot.  Based on the attention Dirk Nowitzki can attract and Jason Kidd's ability to find the open man, this could be the easiest opportunity for the 33-year-old forward to play to his strength.  The sharpshooter does have an incredibly smooth and sweet release on his jumper and being 6-foot-10 can help as well.  Clearly, he will be a one-dimensional player as he is a major liability on the defensive end of the floor.

Coach Carlisle will need to careful in picking his spots with both players in regards to their minutes.  Both players will be capable of stretching the opposing defense which will help open things up for their teammates.  It's hard to imagine either player getting more than 15-20 minutes a night.  With all of the acquisitions and potentially more on the way, it appears there will be a revolving door at the small forward position.