The Dallas Mavericks are going to have a much different look in the 2013-2014 NBA season than they did last year. Having a new starting backcourt comprised of Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon is one of the most obvious changes this team has undergone, as well as the addition of Samuel Dalembert at the center position and solid players like Devin Harris to their reserves.
However, even with the rebuilding that the Mavs have done this summer, whether you think they headed in the right direction or not, there still seems to be se shallow areas on this Mavericks’ roster at the small forward position. As of right now, aging veteran Shawn Marion and the young, unproven, Jae Crowder are the only players with guaranteed contracts at the position.
Coming into training camp, their lack of depth at the position could be something the team could address by putting one of their camp invites on the final roster. Looking at their invites, that likely means the battle for the third small forward spot will come down between Renaldo Balkman, Devin Ebanks and D.J. Kennedy.
Balkman and Ebanks have more of a reputation than Kennedy for their time spent in the league, but Kennedy may actually be the most interesting player of the three.
Kennedy played college ball at St. John’s from 2007-2011, but went undrafted in 2011 as well. He spent most of the season in the D-League, but did play two games for the Cleveland Cavaliers, putting up a combined, 12 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals on 5-12 shooting.
Over the past two years, Kennedy has played a total of 93 games in the D-League. Overall he has averaged 16.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game while shooting 44.2 percent from the floor and a decent 36.6 percent from beyond-the-arc.
Kennedy brings a lot of things to the table in terms of offensive versatility, solid rebounding from the position, and serviceable defense. He may be a bit undersized for playing the three, but he also could bring a lot of unique things to the position as well. Considering he would be more of a project than anything else, the 23-year-old is interesting heading into camp. He could wind up earning himself a spot on Dallas’ final roster.
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