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Mavericks sign AJ Lawson; waive Tyler Dorsey

The Dallas summer league standout returns

2022 NBA Summer League - Dallas Mavericks v Chicago Bulls Photo by Bart Young/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks signed AJ Lawson to a two-way contract, waiving guard Tyler Dorsey in the process, the team announced Monday.

Lawson played on the Mavericks summer league team earlier this year, and was easily the standout player on the roster — he averaged 15.6 points, six rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game. Dorsey was the one who ended up snagging the Mavericks final two-way roster spot, and Lawson has spent a majority of this season in the G-League.

Dorsey made three appearances this season for the Mavericks, most notably his debut when he scored nine points in the final four minutes of the Mavericks dominant win against the Grizzlies back in October. He’s been lighting it up in the G-League, averaging 24.2 points per game with the Texas Legends on 45.7 percent shooting from three.

It might be curious then why the Mavericks would waive Dorsey, considering his G-League numbers, but this likely comes down to the injury situation the Mavericks face. Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Green are both still injured, and perhaps this signing indicates one or both of those key rotation wings will still be out a little longer. If so, Lawson, at 6’6, 224 pounds, can soak up emergency minutes at the wing better than Dorsey, who is listed at 6’4 and under 200 pounds.

Lawson himself told Mavs Moneyball during the summer league that he considers himself a versatile player, and his time on the Mavericks summer league squad was all about improving himself to earn a shot in the league.

“Especially this summer, I worked a lot on changing speed, changing pace,” Lawson said. “I’m just in the lab, in the gym with my trainer and my coaches trying to get better working on that, playing with tempo. I feel like I’m getting better and I’m doing just that.

“For my game itself, I’m just a big guard. I can play 1-2-3, sometimes even 4. I can defend 1 through 4 for sure. That’s just me. I’m a versatile player. I feel like it’s always been that way my whole life since high school when I had my growth spurt.”