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News » Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2008-09-09

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2008-09-09

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2008-09-09
Training camp opens later this month and, thus far, it's been a relatively quiet offseason in Mavs-land. Don't expect much to change. The biggest move happened at the top, with Avery Johnson fired less than two years removed from the NBA Finals and replaced by Rick Carlisle.

The former Detroit and Indiana coach returns to the sidelines after a year away, determined to restore the Mavericks to relevancy in the rugged Western Conference. Carlisle said this team will be built around Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd, becoming an up-tempo squad that remains stout defensively.

The signing of athletic swingman Gerald Green and return of center Gana Diop headlined a relatively quiet run through free agency. Green, a high-flyer with long-distance range, is on his fourth team in a year. The 22-year-old was out of the league after being released by Houston despite averaging more than 10 points in 2006-07 with Boston. The thought of Green soaring to the rim on the break to take a Kidd lob is one that has Mavs fans salivating, but the former first-round pick needs to prove he's more steak than sizzle.

Diop, part of the blockbuster Kidd trade to New Jersey, was the Mavs' top target in free agency. During his first stint in Dallas, he split time with Erick Dampier. He's carved out a niche defensively as a good shot-blocker and solid defender, but he's struggled to develop a scoring touch in the paint. Pairing him with Dampier once again should be a competent center rotation.

The Mavs drafted Vanderbilt sharpshooter Shan Foster in the second round, but the SEC Player of the Year is headed to Europe next season. Dallas also signed former Clippers forward James Singleton, and re-signed popular point guard backup J.J. Barea and swingman Antoine Wright.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: September 9, 2008


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