Meet the Mavs: Gal Mekel
Role for Mavs in 2013-14: The Mavs’ preference would be for this to be a developmental season for Mekel, but that’s a luxury they won’t have, at least early in the season. Veteran guard Devin Harris (toe) and first-round pick Shane Larkin (ankle) are recovering from summer surgeries and will miss some regular-season time, so Mekel enters the season as the Mavs’ second point guard.
What happened this summer?: Mekel signed a three-year, minimum-salary guaranteed deal with Dallas, becoming only the second Israeli player in NBA history. After leading Maccabi Haifa to a surprising Israeli league title, Mekel generated serious interest from Milwaukee, Toronto, Atlanta, Indiana and Memphis. He performed well as the primary point guard for the Mavs’ summer league team, averaging 9.7 points and 5.0 assists in 27.8 minutes.
What does the future hold?: The Mavs hope that Mekel will prove to be a minimum-salary bargain over the course of his three-year deal. He’s a creative, crafty passer who needs to improve his jump shot, cut down on turnovers and hone his defensive technique to be a quality backup NBA point guard.
Bottom line: Injuries have provided an early-season opportunity for Mekel to prove he deserves minutes.
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Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.