Perhaps no player on the Mavs roster possesses the athletic gifts that Dwight Powell does. At 6-10 and 240 pounds, Powell can run like a deer, jump out of the gym, and has a broad enough frame to add some physical strength. At times in 2015-16, Powell showed just how impactful he could be for Dallas, becoming a key part of the rotation early in the season, and helping play a nice part in quite a few Mavs victories.
However, Powell also showed a great amount of inconsistency, and was seemingly overwhelmed at times, especially in the second half of the season and in the playoffs.
On the year, Powell averaged just 5.8 points and four rebounds per game in almost 15 minutes per. Not very impressive numbers for the youngster overall. His best game of the season was arguably the Mavs final playoff game. A critic might note that in a sense, the performance came when all of the pressure was off, as he tallied 16 points to go along with nine rebounds. During Dallas' true stretch run, though? The guy who was supposed to backup Dirk (and maybe Zaza at center, too) ended up behind vet signee David Lee, and post-All-Star Weekend (during which he was a sidebar participant) Dwight registered 10 DNPs under coach Rick Carlisle.
"I expect him to be a rotation player," Carlisle told ESPN. "The last two years we've been working toward this period where we could get him signed to a longer-term deal and integrate him to our everyday rotation. ... He's a combination 4/5. I see him playing both positions. Time will tell how much at each, but I do believe there are going to be a lot of situations where he'll play both positions in the same game."
Ah, the "longer-term deal.'' It's four years, totalling $37 mil. And maybe Powell had other bidders ... or maybe the Mavs overcommitted here.
At 24 years old, Powell is still a young player, and still has a lot of room to grow both mentally and physically to improve his game. He's athletic, smart and highly coachable -- something DB.com has seen in person even when he's on assignment to the D-League, where he listens intently to leadership at that level. But does all of that translate to being Dirk's backup, to being Bogut's backup, to keeping somebody like Quincy Acy from stealing minutes, to truly performing on a consistent basis like a $9-mil-a-year guy?
The highlight reel shows promise. The Mavs are betting on the come here.null