We are getting down to the top 10 players on the Dallas Mavericks roster and these top 10 guys will be the key pieces that the Mavs are going to need to step up if the Mavs want to compete with the Spurs for the Southwest Division Title.
#9-James Bernard (C)– This 27-year-old rookie will be a great asset to the Mavs. During this past Summer League, he averaged 9 rebounds a game and 2.6 blocks a game. He may be an old rookie, but the way he is built from his time in the military has given him the skills to play in the league for at least another 6-9 years. I believe Rick Carlisle will slowly work Bernard into the starting rotation or to the 6th or 7th spot on the Roster. The Mavericks have never had a legit center other than Tyson Chandler, and if the Mavs play it right, they might turn Bernard into a center that they have been looking for throughout their franchise history.
#8-Vince Carter (G/F)– Think of Vince Carter as an aging Michael Finley. I’m not saying that Finley was every like a young Carter, but he is starting to play more like Finley. You do not know when you can count on Carter. Sometimes he will be lights out and other nights he is stone cold. Last year, he had some games where he put up double digit numbers, but at the age of 35, Carter will have to contribute to this team the way Finley did during his last years with the Mavs.
#7-Chris Kaman (C)– Kaman will probably be the Mavs starting center which is an upgrade from Brendan Haywood. It’s sad to say, as the Mavs have never had a decent center in their history besides for Chandler. Kaman, last year with the the New Orleans Hornets, averaged 13.1 points a game and 7.7 rebounds a game. It may not be much, but with his former Olympic teammate, Dirk Nowitzki, his averages may go up a little. As a starter, Kaman will have to produce for this team in a 30 or more minutes of play. If not, then Kaman may too face a trade before the trade deadline in February, or face the bench as Bernard may make his way to replace Kaman as the starting Center.