Dallas Mavericks Still Have Plenty Of Youth

Waleed ErshadCorrespondent IOctober 22, 2008

The Mavs have recently been tagged with the “old” label, which is cited as one of the main reasons their championship window has supposedly closed.  But the Mavs have plenty of young playes developing:

Josh Howard

Howard is one of the key players for the Mavs.  Despite his recent controversial actions, no one can argue his talent and his developing skills. 

Even though he has only played for five years, he is 28 years old, because he spent four years at Wake Forest University (he wanted to be the first in his family to graduate from college).  So he is not that young, but he may hit the peak of his career this year and break the 20-point mark this year (he averaged 19.9 ppg last year). 

The addition of Jason Kidd and his passing ability will no doubt help Howard.  Also, Rick Carlisle has stated that Josh Howard will have to show up this year and will play a very important role.  He said Josh will not only be vital offensively, but also defensively.   

Hopefully, Josh Howard’s offseason stupidity will not be a factor in his play this season.

Brandon Bass

In a season filled with drama and disappointment, Brandon Bass may have been the only positive sign last year.  You can say what you want about Mark Cuban, but his pick-up of Bass was genius. 

In the regular season he popped up out of nowhere and started contributing right away.  He is a hustle player who can grab rebounds and play defense.  He can throw down dunks and even shoot the little jumper.  He will no doubt improve with Jason Kidd at the point and the tutelage of Dirk’s offense and Dampier/Diop’s defense. 

Look for Bass to have a breakout year as his minutes increase substantially.

DeSagana Diop

The Mavs lost Diop in the Kidd-Harris trade, but signed him back this offseason.  He doesn’t contribute very much on offense, but he has said he was focusing on “post moves and conditioning” this summer. 

However, we all know he can defend and rebound.  He gives Dampier some well-deserved rest—and we might see a little increase in offensive output, since Kidd likes to reward his centers for running.

Antoine Wright

Wright was sent to Dallas along with Jason Kidd and Malik Allen.  He was the 15th-overall pick in 2005 and is 24 years old.   He is 6'7" and can play the two or the three. 

Many besides the Dallas faithful don’t know anything about Wrigh,t but he looks to contribute this year.  He has started a couple preseason games for Carlisle and he could be the starting two-guard. 

He doesn’t do anything extremely well but is a well-rounded player.  He can defend and that is what may get him the nod over Terry since the Jet can’t guard taller two-guards well.

Gerald Green

We all know his name from the Dunk Contest.  Green was signed by Dallas this offseason after wandering around in the NBA.  He is 6'8" and can play the two or the three. 

The kid has hops but his basketball IQ isn’t very high.  But he is only 22, and he was drafted straight out of high school.  Maybe the veterans at Dallas can shape him up to be a star in the league.  Once deemed the next “T-Mac”, he certainly has the potential.

Shawne Williams

Willaims is a new Maverick.  He was traded for Eddie Jones by the Indiana Pacers, and Carlisle was interested in him because he had coached him there.   He stands 6'9" and is able to play the three or the four. 

Despite his rocky start, he has talent and is still young.  He can get together with Howard and attend “Life Lessons 101” taught by Mark Cuban.