Brandon Jennings Would Propel Mavericks into Western Conference Playoff Race

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Brandon Jennings Would Propel Mavericks into Western Conference Playoff Race
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
Brandon Jennings is one of the NBA's young and promising point guards.

The Dallas Mavericks are reportedly interested in Brandon Jennings.

According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com:

In addition, per Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com:

He [Jennings] arguably fits Mark Cuban’s description given for potential trade targets.

“I’ll analogize it to Steve Nash,” Cuban said Monday, speaking in generalities about the type of player the Mavs would target. “Whatever we saw in Nash and (Michael) Finley with Donnie (Nelson]) back then, same type of thing. There’s been lots of players we've picked up over time that weren’t All-Stars that turned into cornerstones. We’d take those. 

“They don’t have to be proven. They’d have to be someone we think it’s just a question of time or system or coaching or whatever.”

Mark Cuban definitely makes a point, because regarding Jennings, the guy has been impressively consistent during his young career.

Since first suiting up for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2009-10 season, Jennings has averaged 30-plus minutes, over 15 points and above 80 percent from the line every year. He has also dished the ball around more and more with 2012-13 being his best thus far at 6.1 assists per game.

Obviously Jennings must improve defensively, because he takes too many chances and puts the rest of the team at risk. Not to mention the Mavericks already give up an average of 102.8 points per game (ranked No. 28).

Consider that, however, part of the development process as Jennings is only 23 years old.

For his ability to become a more well-rounded point guard, Dallas will evolve him into a pass-first player. Then again, with marksmen in Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter and O.J. Mayo, Jennings need not worry about scoring too often.

USA TODAY Sports

He can defer elsewhere, focus on defense, anticipate rebounds more consistently and when needed, take advantage of an open lane to drive. The Mavericks remain a sound offense, but Jennings' threat as a scorer would amplify Dallas' ability to push the pace even more.

Plus in an article by Lang Greene of HoopsWorld.com:

While [Darren] Collison is having a solid year for the Mavericks, production wise, it isn’t a secret the team isn’t remotely sold on his ability to lockdown the reigns of the point guard spot long term.

The Mavericks have just under $49 million in salary commitments on the books for next season which puts the franchise in a solid position to incorporate someone of Jennings’ caliber (market value).

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As for a postseason run, the Mavs' sit 5.5 games back of the Houston Rockets in the division.

On the bright side, Dallas defeated Houston twice earlier this season and has two more against its rival. The Rockets also struggle defensively and adding Jennings would allow Dirk and Co. to up the tempo. 

Include other Southwest Divisional games against the Memphis Grizzlies (two) and New Orleans Hornets (three), and Dallas has plenty of opportunities to catch back up. Jennings may not appear to be a perfect fit right now, but his potential and current talent will get the Mavericks rolling down the stretch.

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