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Why the Mavericks use Christian Wood, JaVale McGee could be hinting at chemistry issues

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Considering that Nico Harrison and Jason Kidd He went to the conference finals In their first season with the Mavs, and as underdogs at the time, they should be given a wide spot the second time around while they discover this new alchemy experiment.

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And maybe they’ll do just that, but, about a quarter of the way through the season, I have to tell you, I just didn’t get it.

Not Christian Wood or Javel McGee, it seems.

Reportedly, there is at least one unnamed executive in the NBA.

The aforementioned exec told NBA Analysis Network that He traded a first-round pick for Wood, who is in a contract year, then take him off the bench, “a recipe for disaster.” Not only that, as the CEO said, the Mavs “don’t really handle it well.” The person went on to say that Wood should play more than his current 24.6 minutes, seven minutes less than his average in two years in Houston. Even in the reduced minutes, he put up 16.6 points and 7.5 rebounds. He also achieved a career high of 43.2% in 3s and 57.3% overall. If he’s still a good defensive player, at least he’s trying. Plus, Mavs knew its limits. They made him balance their attack and give them a big man who can create his own shot so Luka Doncic doesn’t have to do everything.

What the NBA executive said is not news to anyone who has watched the Mavs this season. Fans suffer practically strokes. They know a player when they see one. Wood’s shot is fantastic, and he clearly has on-court chemistry with Luca.

Here’s everything you need to know to know something is wrong based on back-to-back games against Denver alone:

On Friday, he scored 28 points in 26 minutes and finished with a plus-21 on a blast.

On Sunday, he played 17 minutes — just 7:16 into the first half — and scored 5 points.

Wood told reporters after Sunday’s loss that he would like to Some clarity about his role “Sure.” But none of it came from Kidd. At least not publicly. It’s early, he said, the roles will adjust, Wood’s lectures will definitely go up, “but we’ve got a roster full of grown-ups.”

About all those grown-ups: McGee is another guy, and it’s not going well. Signed to give the Mavs a much-needed rim guard, he started eight games ahead of Kidd He finally admitted that Dwight Powell was a better choice. Like Wood, McGee politely questioned his role, specifically on defence, even though, frankly, he hadn’t played well enough to deserve more time.

Wood has done more than enough to assess further play, suggesting reasons that are not clear to outsiders. McGee recently offered some insight into Wood’s plight as the latter adjusts to a backup role on a fine team for the first time in his seventh season.

“He had some moments,” McGee said, “where he’s back playing, I don’t want to say losing basketball, but not winning basketball. He’s very professional. He works every day and he’s a scorer. He can score that thang. It’s really impressive just seeing His growth. Seeing him discover, not his role, because obviously his role is to score, but how to get his shots, his positions and how to get his other teammates involved.”

McGee went on to say that Wood has a habit of taking whatever shots he wants on bad teams, “and no one would say anything.” Mavs are different. Not only do they have higher aspirations, they have, in a short time, built a culture that has taken them further than anyone ever dreamed of last season. And they don’t want to disrupt that chemistry.

But is the culture really so fragile that the Mavs can’t use more second-best talent on the roster?

For the record, both Wood and McGee made it clear that they didn’t want to cause any trouble. They accept their roles. At least for now. They just want real answers, just like the rest of us.

Here’s something else to consider: On December 24, six months after the trade to Houston, Wood will be eligible for a contract extension. The most the Mavs could offer at that point is four years and $76.9 million. A 27-year-old 6-10 quarterback who averaged nearly a double-double in Houston wouldn’t sign for that amount no matter how things went in his first season in Dallas. He’ll probably do exactly what Jalen Bronson did, gamble on himself, in hopes of getting the maximum contract next summer.

Bronson’s gamble paid off handsomelyMuch to Mav’s regrets. But the ball was also in his court, if not in his hands. He made his money filling in nicely for Luca in the playoffs.

Wood has no such leverage, especially if he can’t get on the ground for more than 24 minutes in a match. As Kidd puts it, the Mavs have a “roster full of grown-ups.” What they didn’t have was the same thing they didn’t have last year before Nico’s successful trade of Christaps Porzingis for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans. Niko made the deal because the Mavs felt Porzingis was not a good fit, and they needed a third facilitator. This much has not changed.

Of course, as Kidd pointed out, things were still fine, and the Mavs would have been better off. Because if they didn’t, I wouldn’t count on Wood wanting me to stay. And why would they want to award a maximum contract to a bench player anyway? It sure would be hard to lose a guy who cost you a first-round pick, given that next year you still owe the Knicks a favor to Porcingis. It is complicated. Unless you just play the guy, of course.

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Find out more Mavericks coverage from the Dallas Morning News here.

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