The Dallas Mavericks entered the offseason with a couple of glaring weaknesses which needed to be addressed. Through free agency and the NBA draft, they were able to upgrade substantially in the center and point guard positions. The point guard position, however, has seen the biggest change. The Mavericks drafted Shane Larkin out of the University of Miami and signed Gal Mekel, Jose Calderon, and Devon Harris.
Things were looking good for the Mavericks with all the acquisitions until Larkin broke his ankle during a Summer League practice in July. The early prognosis was Larkin would be out at around three months, which would put his return right before the season opener. However, the Mavericks may have their rookie point guard sooner than expected. According to a tweet by Tim Reynolds of the AP, Larkin will be ready when the Mavericks open training camp in a few weeks.
If this is true, that’s great news for both Larkin and the Mavericks. Rick Carlisle was excited about drafting Larkin because of his ability to run the pick-n-roll to perfection. Teaming him with someone like Dirk Nowtizki who thrives on being able to have a point guard that can get him the ball for a quick shot will benefit the Mavericks greatly.
The sooner Larkin gets on the floor, the better it will be for him and the team. He’s already surrounded by notable veterans in Harris and Calderon, and he also has a former Israili League MVP in Makal. The Summer League was a time that he needed to be out there learning and playing against other NBA prospects, but he had to sit out due to the injury. Having him back for training camp, though, will help him learn the system and give him time to try and gel with his veteran teammates prior to the season opener against the Atlanta Hawks.