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Dorian Finney-Smith looks to build off a career year

The Maverick veteran enters his fifth season with a lot of momentum.

Dallas Mavericks v Sacramento Kings Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Dorian Finney-Smith is the current poster boy for Mavericks’ undrafted free-agent finds as he enters his fifth professional season, all with the Mavericks.

Since entering the league as a 23-year-old undrafted flier, Finney-Smith has seen his box-score stats climb as he posted career numbers across the board last season. Contributing 9.5 points and 5.7 rebounds in nearly 30 minutes per game, Finney-Smith connected on a career-best 37 percent from three which was a boon to the Mavericks historic offense.

Finney-Smith’s offense is the cherry on top of his role with the Mavericks. As a multi-positional defender, he’s tasked with guarding the opposition’s best player each night even if his jump shot leaves him. He’s one of the few Mavericks with a long leash, but his consistency on both ends is a key factor in the team taking the next step as a contender.

Biggest Question

Like many Mavericks in 2019-20, Finney-Smith thrived in a Luka Doncic engineered offense. He posted career numbers, by far, in almost every shooting metric and blossomed as a prototypical 3-and-D wing. Naturally, the biggest question is if he can reach those marks again – or at least come close. As a career 33 percent three-point shooter, Finney-Smith’s four percent increase was a significant leap last season.

Last season Finney-Smith attempted the 14th most wide-open triples and connected on 40 percent of his 3.4 attempts. While many shot attempts were served up on a silver platter, he certainly delivered. Assuming the Mavericks’ offense doesn’t take a significant step back, Finney-Smith will get the chance to prove if his offensive jump was legitimate.

Best Case Scenario

Even if Finney-Smith’s shooting numbers regress some to the mean (which I’d wager is likely), I’d still view it a success if he hovered around 35 percent. He will have to fire away a healthy amount of attempts to keep defenses honest, so connecting somewhere around league average would still be a positive feat.

With the arrival of Josh Richardson, the Mavericks’ long-time defensive chess piece, if you will, finally has some help on the perimeter. Finney-Smith should spend less time chasing the Kawhi Leonard, Damian Lillard, and James Harden type offensive dynamos freeing him up to be more aggressive on both ends, which includes soaring in for offensive rebounds like he’s prone to do.

Worst Case Scenario

All of a sudden the Mavericks are flush at the wing position and the Mavericks may not have to play Finney-Smith out of necessity. Should he slump offensively and Rick Carlisle decided to reduce his minutes, the Mavericks could go any number of ways if the team chose to. That’s the beauty of having a bunch of wings on the roster.

That is the doomsday scenario for Finney-Smith because he’s almost a shoe-in starter with a wealth of respect and trust from Carlisle in a condensed season. His spot in the rotation is not in jeopardy. The worst-case scenario is if he reverts to his career 33 percent mark from deep and sucks up a chunk of spacing on the offensive end. Doncic will serve him open shots, so it’ll be up to Finney-Smith to keep defenses honest.