Wesley Matthews says he’ll be ready to play in the Oct. 30 opener. His head coach maintains that the Mavs will be patient and careful with their new guard, even if it takes until “Christmas.”
Regardless of who is right, the bottom line is there is plenty of minutes to be had at shooting guard early in the season. Now, are there any players capable of turning them into quality production?
While Matthews and his $70 million contract recover from Achilles surgery, rookie first-round pick Justin Anderson will likely get first shot at the job that last year belonged to leading scorer Monta Ellis. Biggest problem? Rick Carlisle is notorious for not liking to count on rookies.
Devin Harris has played two guard in the past. So to with co-veteran J.J. Barrea, who started at the position the final three games of Dallas’ triumph in the 2011 NBA Finals. And athletic free agent John Jenkins, formerly of the Hawks, will get a look during training camp.
“Oh, there's about six guys,” Carlisle said during Media Day about his team’s shooting-guard plan. “We're so far from a decision on that it's not even in the conversation yet. We could go a lot of different ways. We could go with a younger guy. We could go with a more experienced guy. We could go with a bigger guy. We could go with a smaller guy – a lot of possibilities.”
At some point it will be Matthews’ full-time job. Until then – like the Cowboys replacing DeMarco Murray – the Mavs will fill the void by committee.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.