Most people had never heard of Gal Mekel until the 6-foot-3 point guard from Israel signed a contract with the Dallas Mavericks this summer. Mekel was born in Petah Tikva, Israel. Having played ball with several different youth teams in Israel, he joined the Wichita State Shockers in 2006.
Mekel played for the Shockers for two years. In his sophomore season, he averaged just under 31 minutes a game and scored 9.3 points per game with 3.7 assists. Mekel Signed his first professional contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2008. For the next several years, Mekel would bounce around from different professional teams in Israel.
Last season, he had a tryout for the Utah Jazz but decided to stay in Israel because he didn’t like the offer.
Donnie Nelson and the Mavericks have always had a knack for evaluating talent over seas. Whether it’s Dirk Nowitzki, J.J. Barea or Rodrigue Beaubois, the Mavericks aren’t afraid to take a chance on an international player. There was something definite that they saw in Mekel because he was a target for Dallas this offseason.
After the point guard woes from a year ago, the Mavericks made it a priority to try and shore up that position. After signing Jose Calderon and drafting Shane Larkin, Dallas still went after Mekel and took him away from Israel.
Calderon will be the starter for the Mavericks and Larkin will probably be the backup. However, with Larkin’s injury, Mekel could slide into that no. 2 slot. Mekel is bigger than Larkin and he has more experience since he does have the professional career behind him.
No matter who backs up Calderon, the Mavericks seem to have solidified the one position that was lacking from a year ago.