Dirk Nowitzki, entering his 20th season with the Mavericks, will have a lot of questions surrounding his health and productivity. While the 39-year-old was still productive in 54 games last season, averaging 14.2 PPG and 6.5 RPG, his shooting (.437% )from the field was the lowest figure since his rookie season. As Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News writes, the legendary Maverick could become a bench player in 2017/18.
Sefko notes that coming off the bench would help keep Nowitzki’s legs fresh and perhaps prevent long term injuries. The German-born All-Star missed several games last season with Achilles tendon issues and considering the mileage on his body, pushing the near 40-year-old legend could only result in further damage.
However, the Dallas scribe is adamant in mentioning that if Nowitzki did not feel he could help, he would not play. “He will probably split time again between power forward and center, and the long-talked-about scenario of him coming off the bench might finally be in the cards, although he still seems better suited to start, keeping those creaky old legs from stiffening up after pregame warmups,” Sefko writes.
Below you can find additional notes surrounding the Mavericks organization:
- While Salah Mejri found his way into 73 games for Dallas last season, Eddie Sefko writes in a separate piece that he will have to prove himself in 2017/18 if he wants to remain with the Mavericks. Mejri averaged just 2.9 PPG last season and entering the final year of his deal, he will need to show improvements across the board.
- While he does not figure to get much NBA playing time, Johnathan Motley, who signed a two-way deal with the Mavericks, feels he can provide energy and size if called upon, NBA.com’s Earl K. Sneed writes. Motley enjoyed three good years at Baylor and went undrafted this year but could see time if the Mavericks are struck by injuries.
- Once from Sefko, he writes that Motley’s role with the team is uncertain but the two-way deal gives Dallas a choice to shuttle him between the NBA and G-League. If he stays healthy and proves he can be effective in the NBA’s minor leagues, he will get a look from the team, Sefko adds.