Year 1 for Dallas Mavericks guard Roddy Beaubois highlighted his abilities as a two-guard. Entering his second season, he'll still get the majority of his minutes at shooting guard while the Mavs continue to groom him into a point guard to follow 37-year-old Jason Kidd (assuming he retires after the 2011-12 season when his contract expires).
Who knows how Beaubois will progress this season. Will he explode onto the scene as a primary scorer? Will he struggle as the rest of the league now knows him and his strengths? Will he embrace the challenge and eventually grasp the point-guard position, or will he prove to be vastly superior as a shooting guard?
What is known is that this season will be filled with adjustments and that each player develops at different rates of speed once they get to the NBA. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle recently brought up an example when talking about Beaubois' development as a young player trying to grasp two positions.
"Look at a guy like Jalen Rose," Carlisle said. "Way back when, nobody knew what position he was. He played point in college and then he played some point forward and no one knew if the guy could play or not. We got to Indiana; Larry Bird was the coach and we decided that we needed him to score for us. So, we put him at the two and three [small forward] and turned him loose. He got comfortable on a good team and two years later he was the leading scorer on a team that went to the [NBA] finals."
Here's the catch: "That was, for him, five years into his career," Carlisle said.
Rose and Beaubois were the same age, 21, when they entered the NBA. The significant difference, obviously, is Rose was a ballyhooed high school recruit and was part of the Fab Five that made two Final Four appearances. Rose spent three seasons at Michigan, while Beaubois' pre-NBA experience was spent playing in a mid-level French league.
Rose was selected 13th overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 1994 draft. Beaubois was taken 25th by Oklahoma City and then traded to Dallas.
"If you go back and look at his stats, there are some similarities here," Carlisle said. "Even though the players aren't quite the same, the education is similar."
Rose played about 1,000 minutes more than Beaubois as rookies, but he only averaged about three more points. In his first four seasons, Rose averaged as much 10.0 points once. Three years into Bird's stint at Indiana, it all came together for Rose, who averaged 18.2 points a game and led the Pacers to the NBA Finals against the Lakers.
That season was his second consecutive to score in double figures and it kicked off four straight seasons of averaging at least 18 points (overall, Rose averaged double digits in eight consecutive seasons).
The Mavs hope they don't have to wait for Beaubois' fifth season for everything to click. After not landing an impact scorer this summer, they'll need his scoring punch this season.