The way the Roddy Beaubois situation unfolded last season, with the rookie getting splinters from so much pine time before coach Rick Carlisle finally unleashed him in Game 6 of the playoffs against the Spurs only to put him back on the bench in the critical fourth quarter, the jokes were inevitable after the Mavs moved up to draft Dominique Jones.
I believe it was wise-guy Ben Rogers of the famed "Ben & Skin Show" on ESPN 103.3 FM who cracked that Carlisle will finally meet Jones during the All-Star break.
Carlisle called the new addition capable of contributing some next season. So what will Jones need to prove to find some valuable PT?
"He's going to have to be able to play our system. He'll have to be able to defend and guard his position, play within our offensive system, create when those opportunities are there and be able to play with other guys, those type of things," Carlisle said. "But, he's a guy, you know, there aren't many guys coming into the NBA that had 40-plus point games on the road in a big-time conference. He's coming into a great situation because he'll be around a lot of experienced veterean guys that are terrific players. He'll learn a lot from being around those guys and competing against them, too."
But, will he play? It's important to remember that Beaubois and Jones are different animals as incoming rookies. Beaubois was a raw talent who last played in a low-level French league. He didn't even speak English when he got here. Jones is a three-year stud from South Florida and has battled against the best in the Big East. Big difference.
Still, depending on what the Mavs roster looks like when the free-agency dust settles, Jones will be behind veteran players, and coaches do love their vets.
"How many rookies are going to be impact guys? Not many," vice president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson said. "The rookies that make an impact generally are on bad teams, right? So, for us to expect him to walk into significant minutes, it's not fair to him and he's got a bunch of really good players playing in front of him. But, I think what it does is it gives us a foundation in the backcourt for a future. You've got Roddy and you've got some building blocks that you can get excited about internally."