For a team that did not have the free agency season that it hoped, the Dallas Mavericks were looking to find a diamond in the rough during the 2015 NBA Summer League session out in Las Vegas, NV — unfortunately not much has been unearthed during its time out in the Nevada desert.
Now this isn’t to say that the summer league campaign has been a complete bust — rookie Justin Anderson and third year player Dwight Powell have shown that they may ready for minutes in the Mavs regular season rotation — but for a team that had multiple veterans on its roster, no help has surfaced so far.
One of those vets is seven-year man Jordan Crawford from Xavier. After making headlines for posterizing LeBron James with a highlight dunk during James’ summer camp his sophomore year in college, expectations started to develop for the shooting guard out of Detroit, MI. Unfortunately basketball is more than dunking and after being drafted by New Jersey with the 27th pick in the 2010 draft — and subsequently traded to the Atlanta Hawks — he bounced around between four teams in seven seasons. After spending last season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants of the NBDL, being invited to play on Dallas summer league team could be a great opportunity for Crawford to show that he still had the skills to play in the NBA.
Sadly this has been a forgettable summer for Crawford as he is only shooting 34% from the field and 5% from three-point — yeah that bad. His shot selection has always been questionable and not much has changed. Determined to prove he is worthy of another look in the league, Crawford has had too many moments where he has settled for ill-advised shots rather than just playing within himself — a quality you wouldn’t expect from someone with so much professional experience.
But it’s not just Crawford that is struggling. Jeremy Tyler also came into the NBA with a story as he withdrew from high school after his junior season to pursue a professional career overseas in hopes of getting the jump on his classmates who still had another year of high school and at least one year in college. It backfired terribly and it was reported that Tyler was in over his head and after only 10 games in Israel, he returned to the U.S.
In 2011 Tyler was drafted in the second round and traded to Golden St. where he spent time between the Warriors and the NBDL his first two seasons. Surprisingly his rookie season he did start 23 games for the Warriors but only averaged 4.9ppg and 3.3rpg.
Tyler bounced around between D-League teams and a couple of stints in the NBA but he could never stick with a pro team.
There was hope that he could add some depth to the center position after the Mavs struck out on signing DeAndre Jordan, but like Crawford, Tyler has shown that a long-term stay with the Mavericks may not be in the cards for him.
Despite posting back to back good games — 15 points against Washington and 25 against the Lakers — the writing may be on the wall for the young center as there have been multiple reports of the Mavericks considering bringing in big men like JaVale McGee, Kevin Seraphin and possibly even former Houston Rocket Josh Smith to help share the frontcourt load with Dirk Nowitzki and Zaza Pachulia.
Dallas still has training camp to find a player or two, but for a team that is struggling to find value through the draft to develop talent, the inability to bring in the veterans to fill in the bench shows how bad the scouting department has become for the Mavs and maybe its time to explore other options at that role.