LAS VEGAS--Ray Spalding is quietly performing at Summer League. The big man out of Louisville got lost in the Luka Doncic commotion on draft night and in Las Vegas he doesn’t have the celebrity or cult status of some of his peers. However, the Dallas Mavericks’ late second round pick is doing what’s asked of him and and not making mistakes. It speaks volumes.
In three games, Spalding is averaging 8.3 points on 59 percent shooting and 5.3 rebounds. They aren’t gaudy numbers but they’ve helped the Mavericks to a 2-1 record, which plants them in the winners bracket as tournament play begins. Beyond the box score, Spalding is active around the rim, cleaning up missed shots, and knows his role defensively. His efforts haven’t gone unnoticed.
”He’s been really good,” Mavs Summer League head coach Jamahl Mosely said. “He’s been really good. The great part about him is that his demeanor is so calming and quiet. He doesn’t get over-rattled. He just plays the right way. He plays hard. He’s just got a smoothness to his game. He’s done so many things that you ask him to do. You know he’s been well coached.”
Against the Golden State Warriors on Monday, Spalding posted eight points, nine rebounds--leading the team, and was a plus-12 in just under 20 minutes. Perhaps more important than his numbers is Spalding’s consistency. It’s what’s earned him the staring center nod for the past two games.
As the tournament progresses--the Mavs will play at least two more games--Spalding’s role will only become more important with Johnathan Motley sitting out for the remainder of his time in the desert. Regardless, he’s earned the role.
Next season, it’s likely that he’ll spend a lot of time in Frisco with the Texas Legends. He’s still a player that has a lot of growing to do, after all. However, Spalding’s showing at Summer League is a good sign for his future development.
”He does all the right things,” Mosley said. “That’s what I’m really enjoying, seeing him grow and he gets better every single game.”