Dallas Mavericks: Summer League Roster, Key Storylines

Adam Friedgood@AfriedgoodContributor IIIJuly 11, 2012

Dallas Mavericks: Summer League Roster, Key Storylines

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    This summer has not gone as planned for the Dallas Mavericks, who will now focus on their Summer League team to fill up their remaining roster spots after striking out terribly during free agency.

    Not only were the Dallas Mavericks not able to sign the player they coveted the most this offseason, Deron Williams, but they also lost two key veterans who played significant minutes for them last season: Jason Terry (Boston Celtics) and Jason Kidd (New York Knicks). The Mavs have still yet to sign any free agents this offseason and will be looking at players on their summer league roster to fill the void these stars left.

    Mavericks Summer League Roster 

    Dee Brown (6'8", 27-years-old, last played at Teramo Basket in Italy, Phoenix Suns)

    Jae Crowder (6'6", 22, Marquette)

    Jared Cunningham (6'4", 21, Oregon State)

    Justin Dentmon (5'11", 26, Toronto Raptors)

    Micah Downs (6'8", 25, Basquet Manresa, Spain)

    Drew Gordon (6'9", 21, New Mexico)

    David Harrison (7'0", 29, Reno Bighorns, Indiana Pacers)

    Bernard James (6'10", 27, Florida State)

    Dominique Jones (6'5", 23, Texas Legends)

    Solomon Jones (6'10", 27, New Orleans Hornets)

    Chris Roberts (6'4", 23, Texas Legends)

    Keith Wright (6'8", 22, Harvard)

    Here are some key storylines surrounding the Mavericks' Summer League team.

Will Bernard James Continue His Amazing Journey from the Air Force to the NBA?

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    When Bernard James was drafted in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft, he received a standing ovation from the crowd in attendance. 

    That’s because prior to pursuing his dream of becoming an NBA player, James served a six-year term in the United States Air Force, where he toured in Iraq, Afghanistan and Qatar. 

    The 27-year-old is not only, by far, the oldest player in his draft class, but also the oldest player to get selected in the draft in the past 20 years

    James may not have the most basketball skills since he only started playing organized basketball in 2003, but he certainly has the work ethic and leadership skills, having joined the Air Force at 17-years-old and quickly working his way up to staff sergeant. 

    You can be certain everyone is rooting for James to make the Mavericks’ opening-day roster and have a successful NBA career. 

Can Dominique Jones Finally Earn a Spot in the Mavericks Rotation?

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    After getting drafted 25th overall during the 2010 NBA Draft, Dominique Jones has yet to find a comfortable spot in the Mavericks rotation. 

    Since becoming a member of the Mavericks, Jones has twice been sent down to the Development League to play with the Texas Legends. 

    He has played in 51 games with the Mavs during his two years in the NBA, but only averages 7.7 minutes per game during that time. Jones has only played at least 20 minutes in six games in his career and has yet to step on the floor with the Mavericks during a playoff game. 

    After all of the losses the Mavs have suffered this offseason, this upcoming year may be Jones’ chance to finally get himself into the rotation. 

Will Jae Crowder Play with a Chip on His Shoulder After Falling into the Second?

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    Jae Crowder had an extremely successful senior season at Marquette, but still managed to get passed over by every team selecting in the first round. 

    Last season, Crowder averaged 17.5 points per game and 8.4 rebounds per game, both totals top 10 in the Big East Conference. 

    After the season ended, Crowder was a unanimous selection as First Team All-Big East. He was also awarded the honor of Big East Player of the Year, becoming the first Marquette player to win the award. 

    Someone who plays so well in such a tough conference should expect to be a first-round pick in the draft, but Crowder wasn’t. He should play this summer with a chip on his shoulder and prove to everyone they made a mistake by passing on him. 

How Will Solomon Jones Fair on His Fifth Team in Seven Years?

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    Solomon Jones has bounced around a lot during his seven-year career in the NBA. 

    After playing in 58 games his rookie season and starting in eight of them, Jones only played 35 games the following season and averaged only 4.1 minutes per game. 

    After another season of coming off the bench with the Hawks, Jones moved on to the Pacers where he finally got his chance to start again. Once again, however, his games played and starts declined to 39 and zero respectively during his second year with the team and Jones was forced to find a new home at the end of the season.

    Last season, Jones split time with two teams, the Los Angeles Clippers and the New Orleans Hornets, where he only got in 21 games combined. 

    After failing to secure a spot in the rotation with another two teams, Jones will once again be finding a new home and hoping to make a lasting impression with his fifth team in seven years. 

Will Jared Cunningham's Injury Keep Him out the Entire Summer League?

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    The Dallas Mavericks recently received more bad news to pile on to their already miserable summer. 

    It is being reported that first round pick Jared Cunningham has a strained hamstring and might be forced to miss the entire Summer League with the team. 

    Head coach Rick Carlisle, spoke with ESPNDallas.com’s Tim MacMahon about Cunningham’s injury. 

    "How much he plays in the summer league, if he plays at all, is to be determined,” said coach Rick Carlisle, who emphasized that the Mavs’ primary concern is making sure Cunningham is ready for the first practice of training camp on Sept. 29. 

    With the Mavericks losing two guards this offseason, Jason Terry and Jason Kidd, and Delonte West still yet to re-sign with the team, Cunningham will certainly have an opportunity to play major minutes right away. Hopefully, this injury turns out to be only minor and he will get a chance to play during the Summer League and be back to 100 percent by the start of training camp.