Galen Bronson was the closest Mavericks player to a co-star in 2021-22, given his regular season and bigger game in the post-season. However, after averaging 21.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 18 playoffs, he left for the New York Knicks on free agency.
The path to the founding All-Star landing is limited for the Mavericks in the near future. Their 2023 first-round pick is owned by the Knicks, and they lack a lot of commercial assets to entice the team if that talent is available.
While appearing on ESPN’s “NBA Today” on Thursday, Malika Andrews Doncic asked him if he thought the Mavericks needed another All-Star to reach the NBA Finals.
“No. I think we have great players in our squad,” Doncic said. “There are a lot of guys who are not appreciated very much and I think they should be talked about more.”
When asked for clarification, Doncic quickly highlighted Dorian Vinnie Smith, a player who previously declared his desire to spend the rest of his NBA career playing alongside. Doncic appreciates Vinnie Smith’s 3D effect.
“Sure, number one is Dorian Finney Smith,” Doncic said. “He’s worked really hard. He’s one of the best defensive players and if he’s open, he’ll pay back.”
The 2021-22 season was a career year for Vinnie Smith as he scored one-season highs in points (11.0), assists (1.9), steals (1.1) while pulling 4.7 rebounds per game and shooting 39.5 percent from a 3-point range.
Vinnie Smith’s defensive influence on the ball was instrumental to the Mavericks’ post-season success. Overall, he handles tough matches ranging from fast guards like Donovan Mitchell to dynamic front yard players like Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Finney-Smith’s 3-point shot impact was essential for Mavericks and Doncic. He came second only to Jaylen Brown in possessions in 2021-22 and his 1,107 points per possession (PPP) production was ranked 82 percent overall among eligible players.
Scroll to continue
Doncic made a point to highlight both Spencer Dinwiddy and Christian Wood as some of the other Mavericks players deserve to be talked about more. Both players were ranked in the ESPN Top 100 as well.
“Spencer [Dinwiddie] He’s going to have a big role this year, speaking of Christian Wood, he’s a new player in Dallas, but I think he’s going to be huge for us.”
Dinwiddie is set to fill the role of being Doncic’s partner in Back Start after leaving Jalen Brunson’s free agency. After being traded mid-season, Dinwiddie averaged 15.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 23 regular season games with the Mavericks.
While Dinwiddie’s efficiency in two-point field goals was nearly (41.7 percent) in the playoffs, he played in time at key moments for the Mavericks. There is a lot of optimism about his potential impact in 2022-23 given that he was playing his first season after rupturing his ACL last season.
Wood has taken his game to new heights since signing with the Houston Rockets in 2020. In 109 games he played with the organization, he averaged 19.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists while shooting 38.4 percent from a 3-point range in 5.0 attempts per game. .
It looks as if Dinwiddy Wood has fallen under the national radar. Each player sparked the interest of NBA experts at points from their career. Coupled with a talent like Doncic, their strengths should be maximized.
You can follow Grant Afseth on Twitter at Tweet embed.
Want the latest breaking news and inside information on the Mavericks family? click here.
FFollow DallasBasketball.com at Twitter.
Follow DallasBasketball.com on Facebook.