The Dallas Mavericks struck gold when they drafted Olivier-Maxence Prosper with the 24th pick in this year’s draft. Nicknamed “O-Max,” the 21-year-old rookie will have a lot to offer for the Mavericks. Standing at 6’8 and possessing a 7’1 wingspan, Prosper has quickly become someone to keep an eye on next season.
After a season where the Mavericks were embarrassing defensively, drafting Prosper was a great step in the right direction in bringing high-energy and relentless hustle back to Dallas. In the Mavericks’ four Summer League games, Prosper has shown flashes of how he may be able to contribute to the Mavericks in the upcoming season, leaving fans hopeful for what’s to come.
Dallas desperately needs players that know their role on the team and can consistently execute it on a nightly basis. In Prosper’s first four Summer League games, he has shown great defensive versatility, solid three-point shooting, an ability to drive to the basket, and an ability to draw fouls in the paint, averaging 5.8 free throw attempts per game. He is more than the traditional 3-and-D wing and these skills will allow him to “prosper” (editor’s note: I’ll allow it) next to Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving, who lacked a defensive forward next to them during their time together last season after the team traded away Dorian Finney-Smith to acquire Irving.
Prosper’s ability to drive to the basket is one of my personal favorite things to watch him do. He can attack closeouts and uses his strength to muscle his way into the paint, which are a couple more skills the Mavericks lacked last season.
Forwards that possess the same skill-set as Prosper are a dime a dozen in the NBA, which excites Mavericks fans to see what the rookie can become for this team. Fans enjoy high-energy players that can make plays on both ends of the floor and Prosper checks that box. Here is a clip that shows the defensive toughness that Prosper can provide for Dallas next season:
Mavs rookie Olivier-Maxence Prosper had some intriguing defensive plays against the Thunder. A lot to like about his versatility.— Grant Afseth (@GrantAfseth) July 10, 2023
-Contains Chet Holmgren in isolation by walling up drive, then contesting the jumper.
-Helps at the nail to contain drive to force a pass, contests… pic.twitter.com/2OBwXhM4Gx
Prosper will do whatever it takes for his team to win. Though his impact on the game isn’t necessarily always reflected on the box score, his high-motor and versatility are already coveted by Mavericks fans. His impact will come from the little things that have been missing on this team for a while. Since the Mavericks are still lacking in the forward department, Prosper should get a decent amount of playing time on a nightly basis.
The rookie has surely made a name for himself on the floor during Summer League, as he is now getting recognition on the national media scope for what he can bring to the table for the Mavericks next season.
Bringing in young, new faces is always a fun experience as a fan. It may have it’s ups and downs as that player learns to find their footing in the league, but with an upside like Prosper has, fans now have a new fan-favorite and a player to look forward to watching.