Mavs look younger, more athletic and versatile

July, 17, 2012
7/17/12
8:00
AM CT
The Dallas Mavericks are a vastly different team from the 2011 champions. Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion are the only key players remaining from that South Beach-conquering squad of just 13 months ago.

These revamped Mavs, now with 11 players set to be under contract with Monday's stunning free-agent signing of shooting guard O.J. Mayo, plus its three rookies, might need name tags when they embark for a postseason trip to Europe early in training camp.

The Mavs still have a $2.5 million "room" exception that could be used to re-sign free agent guard Delonte West or another player.

Unlike last season when Dallas was the oldest team in the league, it now has seven players 24 and younger and six 30 or older, with Vince Carter being the senior member at 35. And unlike last season when the 24-and-under crowd were mostly bench warmers, this season the team's potential starting backcourt, Darren Collison and Mayo, are both 24.

As for the versatility, only Collison is a true point guard. At least five others (not including West) can be considered combo guards. Carter, a shooting guard his entire career, will likely increase his time from last season spent at small forward. And Elton Brand will see time backing up Nowitzki at power forward and Chris Kaman at center.

Here's a look at the roster as currently constructed (feel free to separate point guards and shooting guards as you wish):

Point guard: Darren Collison, Rodrigue Beaubois, Jared Cunningham
Shooting guard: O.J. Mayo, Dahntay Jones, Dominique Jones
Small forward: Shawn Marion, Vince Carter, Jae Crowder
Power forward: Dirk Nowitzki, Elton Brand
Center: Chris Kaman, Brandan Wright, Bernard James

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
19.8 4.7 1.1 32.4
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 10.3
AssistsM. Ellis 4.7
StealsD. Harris 1.2
BlocksB. Wright 1.5