2021 Dallas Mavericks Depth Chart
|Point Guard||Luka Doncic||77||Jalen Brunson||13||Trey Burke||3|
|Shooting Guard||Josh Richardson||0||J.J. Redick||17||Josh Green||8|
|Small Forward||Dorian Finney-Smith||10||Tim Hardaway Jr.||11|
|Power Forward||Kristaps Porzingis||6||Dwight Powell||7|
|Center||Maxi Kleber||42||Willie Cauley-Stein||00||Boban Marjanovic||51|
The Dallas Mavericks have not been a successful team over the past couple of seasons, finishing 57-107 over that span, but part of that was by design and that plan paid off big time for them over the past two offseasons. The addition of Dennis Smith Jr. last season, and drafting Luka Doncic this season, has shaped the franchise for the better for years to come, giving the Mavericks and their fans plenty to look forward to. The Mavericks also drafted Kostas Antetokounmpo this year, brother to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jalen Brunson and added DeAndre Jordan through free agency. This will also be an emotional year for the Mavericks and their fans as Dirk Nowitzki will return, once again, for what is likely to be his last season in the NBA. While making the playoffs is a goal for the Mavericks, one that may be out of reach right now, developing their young duo of Doncic and Dennis Smith Jr. is a focus for head coach Rick Carlisle and having a wealth of veterans around those two young stars is a luxury for the organization.
Dallas’ offense will be spearheaded by All-Rookie Dennis Smith who returns for his second season after averaging 15.2 points and 5.2 assists per game while shooting just 39.5 percent from the floor. Smith showed the ability to effectively lead the Mavericks’ offense last season and is an excellent playmaker that leads a very deep group of point guards for this team. Dallas has veteran J.J. Barea behind Smith and is an important sparkplug off the bench, while Jalen Brunson will likely soak up a few minutes per game if he isn’t spending time in the G-League. It has yet to be determined who will share the backcourt with Dennis Smith Jr. come opening night but head coach Rick Carlisle has some interesting options he can choose from. The obvious choice would be to start Luka Doncic at the shooting guard position as his size and athleticism will create nightmares for opposing wing players, but he isn’t the only option they have and his versatility allows for him to play multiple positions. Both Devin Harris and Wesley Matthews could start at the two, as well, so the Mavericks have plenty of depth in the backcourt this season.
At the small forward position, Rick Carlisle once again has plenty of options he can go with and that starts with Wesley Matthews. Matthews is listed as the team’s shooting guard but plays better at the small forward position in small lineups but rookie Luka Doncic could also spend some time there. Behind Matthews and potentially Doncic, Dorian Finney-Smith looks to earn a decent number of minutes. Finney-Smith has had struggles scoring in his career but he is an excellent defender whose ability to switch onto opposing guards will help secure his minutes. Harrison Barnes is likely to start at the power forward position for Dallas, despite being listed as the team’s small forward, and leads a very deep group of forwards at the position. Veteran Dirk Nowitzki could end up coming off the bench behind Barnes this season, a role that Carlisle was hesitant to use him in last season, while Dwight Powell, Ray Spalding, and Kostas Antetokounmpo all provide the Mavericks with a young group of options at the end of the bench. How Carlisle decides to hand out his minutes to a large group of players that should all be starters will be interesting to see and something that needs to be monitored throughout training camp. I expect to see small-ball lineups with Barnes at the four, Matthews or Doncic at the two and three, and a combination of Barea and Smith Jr. to be some of the most used lineups this season. There is certainly no question who will start at center for the Mavericks this season and that is DeAndre Jordan. After being spurned by Jordan a few free agencies ago, Dallas was finally able to ink the dominating big man to a contract and he brings a much-needed rebounding presence to the floor for Dallas. The Mavericks were outrebounded 45.8 to 41.3 by opponents last season but bringing in Jordan who finished last season second in the NBA with 15.2 rebounds per game should help correct that issue. He will also help anchor a defense that ranked 17th in the league with a 109.5 defensive rating. The Mavericks will deploy Salah Mejri and Maximillian Kleber at times behind Jordan this season while also playing some small-ball center lineups that could feature Dwight Powell or Dirk Nowitzki.