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Player previews: JaVale McGee, Maxi Kleber, Frank Ntilikina, and Jaden Hardy

Let’s discuss the first four guys we rolled out in our player preview series

2022 NBA Playoffs - Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images

With Media Day come and gone, we’re slowly rolling out some of our pre-season coverage we’ve been planning since late August. That starts with our player preview series, where we talk about players and their range of outcomes.

They’re straightforward and have the same format, allowing us to talk about these players under the same set of standards. Each player has a big question, best case scenario, worst case scenario, and a goal. During week days, we’ll have one a day until we’ve gone through the entire roster.

On Thursday night, Ben Zajdel and I talked about the first for players we have previews up for: JaVale McGee, Maxi Kleber, Frank Ntilikina, and Jaden Hardy. Though it’s not the sexiest group to lead off with, three of the four are rotation players and it’s worth getting into.

McGee leads our discussion and we try to set reasonable expectations for the journeyman who is also a multiple time NBA champion. At age 34 he probably doesn’t have a ton in the tank, but at seven feet tall with a 7’6” wingspan, he’ll put up stats next to Luka Doncic.

Then there’s the French Prince, a former lottery pick entering his sixth year with some interesting expectations. The Mavericks expect Frank Ntilikina to play some back up point guard, but he played reasonably well last year in an off guard or wing position. But he’s young, so he may still have significant improvements to make in his game.

Maxi Kleber is up next, a player who Dallas probably relies upon too much and will likely have to do again this season. Maxi Kleber’s health and shooting streaks could help determine how Dallas plays this year.

We end on Jaden Hardy, a rookie who we shouldn’t see too much in the NBA this year, but has flashes of talent and potential that the Mavericks can hopefully develop in the coming season.

All that and more on this episode of After Dark.

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