After having a solid showing in the Las Vegas Summer League, former Arizona Wildcat and versatile big man Brandon Ashley recently signed a contract with the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 11.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game in Las Vegas, and before that, he helped lead the Mavs’ Orlando Summer League squad to a championship.
I got a chance to talk with Ashley about his success this summer, his potential role with the Mavs going forward and more:
Q: First off, congratulations on your recent signing with the Dallas Mavericks. Now that it's happened, what are your expectations heading into training camp?
A: Thank you, I really appreciate it. My expectations going into camp are to go in and compete for a spot. Talking to people on the staff, I feel as if I have a legitimate chance of making the team. So, I'm going in with the mindset of having to go hard and compete at a high level, and everything else will take care of itself.
Q: When it comes to Summer League play, most of the talk was about Dennis Smith Jr. in Las Vegas, but you had some good performances as well, including winning the Orlando Summer League championship. How was that experience for you, and what did you take away from it?
A: A lot of the attention was on Dennis this summer, and it's to be expected. You don't see talent and athleticism like that every day. The kid is most definitely going to be special. In terms of winning the Orlando Summer League championship, I only had a small piece of that. I only competed in two of the games before I left to practice with the Vegas Summer League team. But both of the teams I played on were talented and played extremely well together. Although I don't believe I personally performed that well, I was just happy to be back on the court. Having gone a full year without playing before that, my biggest thing was that I was finally able to compete and do what I love again following the separation with the team I was with previously.
Q: Getting away from actual basketball for a second, what are some of your favorite things to do in the DFW area? I’m sure MFFLs would like to know a little bit about Brandon Ashley the person, and not just the basketball player.
A: In terms of my off the court life, I'd say I am a fairly boring person. But I would like to get better at golf, and one of the more pleasant places to do that is at Top Golf.
Q: Branching off of that, are you by chance a video game guy? If so, are you a NBA 2k or NBA Live fan? With updated screenshots/ratings always being released this time of year, you see more and more NBA players showing an interest there.
A: I'm not a huge video game guy, but I definitely play here and there. I've got to go with 2k. There was awhile when NBA Live was definitely the go to, but 2k has had the better game recently.
Q: Which current Maverick are you looking forward to competing with or learning from in training camp?
A: I would say there are a couple. Dirk being the first because of how long he has played and how dominant and successful he has been. Being able to learn from a future hall-of-famer is going to be an amazing opportunity. I'd also like to really learn from and compete with Wes. Learning from him on the defensive side and going against someone that is such an elite defender can only help make you better.
Q: Lastly, if you had to choose one area of your game that you could see helping the Mavs out going forward, what would that be? What kind of role do you see for yourself?
A: I think the thing that I bring to the table that will help the Mavs out is my versatility. Being someone that can play and defend multiple positions, while also being able to space the floor or score from inside has helped me out a lot and put me into this position.
We’d like to give a big thanks to Brandon for taking the time to talk with us. Mavs Moneyball wishes him the best of luck going into this season.