- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Rick Carlisle’s commitment to give Rodrigue Beaubois a significant role in his second season could result in a change to the Mavericks’ starting lineup.
“He’s a major part of next year,” Carlisle said during his Thursday appearance on ESPN 103.3’s Galloway & Company. “There’s a very realistic chance that he could be one of our starters. I don’t think there’s any question about that.”
The electrifying guard started 16 games as a rookie, but he didn’t play due to coach’s decision in 29 games, including three during Dallas’ playoff series. Beaubois, by far the Mavs' most dynamic player, earned a bigger role by displaying remarkable athleticism and scoring efficiency while improving the other facets of his game.
That left fans wanting to see a lot more of Roddy B, especially after he finished the season with a scoring flurry, pouring in 16 points in 21 minutes to spark Game 6 rally that fell short in San Antonio.
The day after the Mavs’ season ended, Carlisle declared that Beaubois would play a much more prominent role. After working out Beaubois every morning last month, Carlisle is considering pairing him with future Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd as the Mavs’ starting backcourt.
Beaubois will focus primarily on developing as a point guard this offseason, running the show for the Mavs’ summer league team and the French national team. But the majority of his playing time as a rookie came at shooting guard, and the Mavs envision him as a player who will be a weapon at both backcourt positions.
“I love this kid,” Carlisle said. “The one thing I would say is he did his job last year. He worked to get better. He stayed ready. The role we had him in, he performed in it. Hey, some nights when he went in there, things didn’t go well [and] he didn’t go back in. But we needed him as a sparkplug and he showed us he could certainly do that.
“Now he knows that going forward, he’s going to be very much relied upon. We’re banking that he’s one of the ways we can get the team better.”