With the offseason about to end, or at least the possibility of any significant upgrade gone, the Dallas Mavericks have their roster almost set for next season.
Assuming no trades and no signings take place, the Mavericks will likely keep their current 15-player roster through training camp.
Their roster consists of 15 players, of which only three are expected to get insignificant playing time: DeShawn Stevenson, Alexis Ajinca, and Ian Mahinmi, whom won’t be mentioned in this article. That leaves almost 240 minutes to distribute among 12 capable players. Not an easy task, to say the least.
In an attempt to make this article more readable, the allocation of minutes is presented per player, rather than per position.
Regardless of Kidd being a starter throughout the season or not, his minutes per game will have to decrease. Kidd is going into his 17th NBA season, and coming off a season where he averaged 36 minutes per game.
Although capable of playing such amount of minutes on a nightly basis, it proved to have taken a toll on him by season's end during the playoffs last year. I expect his minutes per game to be limited to around 30.
Last year, the Mavericks showed versatility by using unconventional lineups against specific teams at specific moments during the game. A lineup that commonly saw time together was a three guard line-up where, depending on the complementary players, Kidd saw time at shooting guard as well as small forward.
Taking these factors into account, a good guess would be that Kidd would be playing about 20 minutes at the point and splitting 10 minutes evenly between shooting guard and small forward.
Although the Mavericks will keep developing Roddy as a point guard, his ability to score will have him seeing playing time at both guard positions. Playing alongside Jason Kidd, and at times Jose Barea will help him play the point while not being solely responsible for point guard duties.
I expect Beaubois to see as much as 15 minutes at point guard per game as well as about eight minutes at shooting guard for a total of 23 minutes of action.
Beaubois development will take a hit on Jose Barea’s numbers this coming season. While Barea showed great potential as a backup point guard, it is in the Mavericks' interest to develop Beaubois.
Barea saw time at both guard positions last year, especially with the Kidd-Terry-Barea small lineup, and at times started at shooting guard. This is unlikely to happen this coming season, as rookie guard Dominique Jones will also be integrated in.
Because of these reasons, Barea will be seeing a major decrease in minutes from over 19 minutes per game, to about 13. Hopefully he accepts the reduction in playing time and continues to provide the consistent production the Mavericks have come to expect.
Now this is a tough one here. There have been rumors going around that Butler might be brought off the bench or start at his natural small forward position, bringing Shawn Marion off the bench.
My opinion is that starting Caron Butler might be the best idea, considering the Mavericks are lacking a backup power forward behind Dirk Nowitzki. Shawn Marion has played power forward in the past, and is known for being able to guard this position, despite his size.
Regardless of weather he starts at small forward or shooting guard, he will likely see his bulk of minutes playing small forward. In bigger lineups where Marion is in the game along with Dirk and a center, Butler is more than capable of playing shooting guard.
Assuming these remarks, Caron Butler should be seeing about 28 minutes per game, where about 20 will be played at his natural small forward position.
Jason will be playing a big chunk of the shooting guard minutes for the Mavericks. As a pure shooter, he is a perfect compliment for Dirk Nowitzki, whom he has mastered the pick-and-pop with.
In small lineups he might, at times, slide to small forward while playing next to two point guards in Kidd, Barea, and Beaubois. This is something that happened at times last season, and I can see happening again for about four or five minutes per game at critical times.
The rest of his minutes will be at shooting guard for a total of about 26 minutes per game off the bench or as a starter if Butler moves to small forward.
Dominique showed in the summer league that he belongs in this league. He showed his ability to get to the rim and finish with both hands, while also showing good passing skills.
As a rookie, his minutes will surely be limited, especially on a very talented Mavericks team. Due to lineup versatility, he should see time both at shooting guard and small forward for about 14 minutes per game.
The Mavericks are in need of a backup power forward behind Dirk Nowitzki. With the market almost out, their best choice might be bringing Marion off the bench to back Dirk up. Just like Butler, his versatility will allow him to swing from small to power forward at times.
He should be able to provide tough defense and athleticism for about 15 minutes at power forward and 10 minutes at small forward.
Dirk has been Dirk for the past 10 years, and will be the same Dirk next season. Given the talent base in this team, fans can only hope for Dirk’s minutes to be decreased slightly to prevent wear and tear as well as injury.
During last season, Dirk averaged 37.5 minutes per game. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to see that number down to 33 next season.
Haywood signed a six-year contract with the Mavericks to be the team’s starting center. Haywood will get what he was guaranteed.
There will be no Erick Dampier next season. But there will be Tyson Chandler. That being said, don’t expect Haywood to average much more than what he did last year for the Mavericks in 30 games.
Although his minutes will likely stay at about 26 to 27, his production should slightly increase from eight points and eight rebounds by being more familiar with the system.
The Dallas Mavericks used the famous “DUST” chip on Tyson Chandler. Either they ran out of options, got tired of asking New Orleans for Chris Paul, or saw something in Chandler others did not. I rather stick to the latter.
Chandler’s play in the USA Basketball camp has been outstanding. He has looked every bit like the athletic center that averaged a double-double for New Orleans just two years ago. He can definitely prove to be a under rated addition to the Mavericks front-line.
Teaming up with Haywood, his minutes will likely be around 22 per game. If he is able to produce at the rate he did in New Orleans, he should be able to post averages close to that of Haywood and provide a double-headed dragon capable of producing 15 points and 15 rebounds per night.
The table below shows a summary of the information given above. Some minutes might fluctuate to fit in garbage time for I. Mahinmi, A. Ajinca, and D. Stevenson, but for the most part my intuition and experience tell me it would be like this.
Expecting something different? Want some more Roddy Buckets, Jose Barea, or maybe some more Dirk Nowitzki? Voice your opinion in the comments section. Feedback is greatly appreciated.