Get ready to watch the Dallas Mavericks run and gun.
The Mavs are on the verge of signing former Orlando Magic point guard Jameer Nelson using the $2.7 million cap-room exception, ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports, giving Dallas three veteran point guards on the roster.
[+] EnlargeThe plan at this point, a source told ESPNDallas.com, is to rotate Nelson, Devin Harris and Raymond Felton at point guard and in spot duty behind Monta Ellis at shooting guard. The goal is to always have a fresh set of legs and experienced hand at point guard, allowing the Mavs to play up-tempo the entire game.
That style of play fits the Mavs’ personnel, particularly with Ellis and prized free-agent addition Chandler Parsons manning the wings. Ellis and Parsons both ranked among the league’s top 20 in fast-break points last season, according to Synergy Sports stats. The Mavs have two big men in Tyson Chandler and Brandan Wright who can run and finish in transition. Power forward Dirk Nowitzki, 36, has never been known for his blazing speed, but he’s a lethal 3-point threat as a trailer in transition.
Nelson, who averaged 12.6 points and 5.4 assists during his decade in Orlando, provides an element Dallas’ other point guards lack with his perimeter shooting. That was a major need for the Mavs after giving up Jose Calderon in the Chandler trade.
Nelson’s 3-point accuracy dipped under 35 percent in each of the last two seasons for the rebuilding Magic, but it should trend significantly upward with the Mavs, considering the quality of his looks should be much better with the attention of defenses focused on figuring out how to deal with the Nowitzki-Ellis-Parsons trio. Nelson is a career 37.4 percent 3-point shooter and has shot better than 40 percent from long range in four seasons, the last coming in 2010-11, when the Orlando offense revolved around Dwight Howard.
It’d be far too optimistic to expect Nelson, 32, to put up the kind of numbers he did during his lone All-Star season six years ago. But, in a complementary role as part of a point guard rotation, the Mavs can rightfully anticipate very good return on the limited investment they intend to make in the veteran point guard.