After traveling the world to play basketball, the Mavericks’ Jonathan Gibson may be looking at his best shot at making an NBA roster, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. The 27-year-old point guard is among seven players fighting for the last two spots on the Mavs’ roster. He entered camp with a fully guaranteed rookie salary of $543K and the knowledge that Dallas is looking for a younger guard to help back up Deron Williams. Gibson played last season in China, where he averaged 42 points per game but finished second to Jordan Crawford in the scoring race. Basketball has taken him to five countries, including a 37-day stay in Iran. “The people were nice,” Gibson said. “It wasn’t like it looks on TV. Going over there, I was [worried]. But once I got there, it was OK.”
There’s more news out of Dallas:
- Quickness is the main concern for veteran guard Devin Harris after undergoing three offseason surgeries, Sefko writes in a separate piece. Harris began the summer by having his left foot repaired, along with ligaments in his left thumb, then later had another surgery on his foot to straighten his big toe. “I’m in decent shape, but the first couple days out here, I was watching and thought, ‘These guys are moving fast,'” Harris said. “I haven’t gone that fast in a while. So I just have to get back to that speed. It’s different doing sprints as opposed to getting in real game shape.” Harris is confident that he will be fully ready by opening night.
- The Mavericks made a huge financial commitment to Harrison Barnes even though he wasn’t their first choice in free agency, notes Jonathan Tjarks of The Ringer. Dallas entered July hoping to land Mike Conley, Nicolas Batum and Hassan Whiteside, but when they all made other choices, the Mavericks turned to Barnes and are now hoping he can become the star he was projected to be out of high school.
- Despite their additions over the past two seasons, the Mavericks don’t look like a team that can contend after Dirk Nowitzki retires, contends Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News.