Dallas Mavericks: Where Does Corey Brewer Fit in Plans?

Ethan GrantAnalyst IDecember 3, 2011

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 10:  Forward Corey Brewer #13 of the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center on March 10, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We don't know much about the way rosters will shape up until Dec. 9. Until then, we can only speculate on the roles free agents and current players on the Dallas Mavericks will have come opening night.

But one of the 10 players currently under contract no matter what is Corey Brewer, the young guard/forward the Mavericks were able to sign after he was cut by the New York Knicks last season.

The Mavericks gave him a three-year, $7 million deal, signaling they wanted him to be a part of the future, not just a midseason, minute-eating player.

So the question becomes: Where will Brewer fit come Christmas day? He was pivotal in the Mavericks Game 1 win over the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals. When he came on the court in the third quarter, the Mavericks trailed 60-44 and when he left the game midway through the quarter the Mavs only trailed by two.

He didn't contribute much else during the rest of the postseason, only playing in three of the remaining 14 games. But as the Mavs enter 2012 full of questions, it isn't far-fetched to think Brewer could be a major contributor on a team looking to inject youth on an aging roster.

Caron Butler has already stated that his return to the team is questionable at best, and newcomer Rudy Fernandez's role on the team is undefined due to the lockout and his overseas activities. Brewer could enter training camp as a candidate to start at shooting guard or small forward, giving the team the rugged defense and timely scoring that DeShawn Stevenson was able to provide last season.

A starting lineup that included Jason Kidd, Fernandez, Brewer, Dirk Nowitzki and Brendan Haywood could very well be the five that start the game Christmas day. That would allow Shawn Marion to stay fresh off the bench, a move that Rick Carlisle liked early in the season before the injury to Butler forced Marion into the starting lineup.

With the team in a state of uncertainty in terms of free agency, this could only be wishful thinking. The Mavs very well might make a play for Butler or Stevenson, and Brewer could return to the end of the bench.

If not, he has a chance to be a major contributor to a team looking to win now, regardless who it takes to make it happen.