Less than 24 hours after taking home the Orlando Pro Summer League title, the Mavericks will now fly across the country for the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League.
Well, some of them will, and some already have.
Only rookie Johnathan Motley and Chinese superstar Ding Yanyuhang will join the club in Las Vegas after playing in Thursday’s title game in Florida. The Mavs were shorthanded when competing for the championship against Detroit, without four other players who’d already set sail for the desert: Jameel Warney, Brandon Paul, Christian Wood, and Brandon Ashley. They’ll play for other teams out west.
Motley and Ding, therefore, will be familiar faces to Mavs fans, and on Friday they’ll meet up with the Vegas contingent, many of whom Mavericks fans also know very well.
Yogi Ferrell, Dorian Finney-Smith, Nicolas Brussino, and No. 9 overall pick Dennis Smith Jr. headline the Vegas squad. They’ll be coached by Mavs assistant Jamahl Mosley, who also coached the team last year. Mike Shedd, God Shammgod, and Larry Shyatt round out the rest of the staff.
Guard Josh Adams, who won the 2016 MWC Player of the Year his senior season at Wyoming — where he played for Shyatt — will share the backcourt with New Zealand sensation Corey Webster, who has won six championships and two MVPs since 2011 in the top-tier Australian and New Zealand basketball leagues, and Steven Spieth, who scored 17 points a game and led the Ivy League in true shooting percentage last season at Brown. He’s also the younger brother of golf megastar and Dallas native Jordan. Both graduated high school from Jesuit.
On the wings will be Torian Graham, who scored 18.6 points per game last season at Arizona State, and Carrick Felix, who appeared for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2013-14 season and most recently played for the Long Island Nets in the G League, where he was teammates with Yogi Ferrell.
The player most of us are looking forward to watching more than any other, of course, is Smith. The coaches, front office, and players have raved about his athleticism. We’ve seen plenty of highlights, too. But now it’s time to see the real thing.
The roster is well-stocked, and make no mistake: The Vegas Mavs were paying close attention to what the Orlando group was able to accomplish.
“They’re putting a lot of pressure on us,” Finney-Smith said Thursday. “I’m happy for them. Hopefully we keep it going. I know Vegas is a little bit bigger, a lot more teams, but hopefully we can just follow in their lead.”
Can the Mavs pull off the Summer League double? We’ll find out tomorrow.
The team’s schedule and broadcast info is below, with a seeded, single-elimination tournament to follow.
Games 4 and 5 TBD after seeding
We’ll also stream every game on Mavs.com, so keep that page bookmarked and be sure to tune in. Things kick off Saturday against Chicago at 3:30 p.m. Central.