Point guard Dee Brown came to Dallas Mavericks training camp on a make-good contract, but he knows no matter how much good he makes on the floor, his chances of sticking with the team beyond the preseason is ultra-slim.
The Mavs are full up on point guards with Jason Kidd, J.J Barea and Roddy Beaubois, who will likely play more shooting guard than point guard when he returns from a broken left foot, but the Mavs still have plans to use him at the point, too. Still, Brown, whose professional career as carried him overseas and back, is in Dallas with a constant smile on his face and positivity oozing from every inch of his 6-foot (with blocks tied to the bottom of his shoes maybe) frame.
"I feel like my heart is big enough and my ability is set to play at a high level. At the end of the day, I know I traveled overseas and I haven’t had a great NBA career, but I think my professional career has been going well because each year I got better. My resume is good," Brown said. "Each year I got better. Each year I try to develop as a person and as a player and I’ve done that. So, I’m very pleased with the way that I’ve been growing. But you still can’t be satisfied or complacent, so I try to get better and try to reach my goals."
The Mavs brought Brown in because of Beaubois' injury. They wanted an up-tempo point guard who could somewhat similate how Beaubois might run the offense. Of course, Beaubois is expected to miss all eight preseason games with hopes of returning by the Oct. 27 season opener.
"He’s here because there’s an opportunity to play and possibly make our team or show what he can do for other teams that are watching," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "I know he has opportunities in Europe if he wants them, but he’s focused on coming back and being in the NBA, so I think this is a good shot for him."
In Tuesday's preseason opener against the Washington Wizards, Brown, the former Big Ten Player of the Year at Illinois when he played alongside Utah Jazz star Deron Williams, logged just 5:14. He made his only shot and had a steal and rebound.
"We've potentially got minutes," Mavs president Donnie Nelson said. "When you’re in the preseason and still trying to win games and set the table for the regular season, you want a guy that has experience. As far as a roster spot, we have three point guards so it will be tight there. But, he’s certainly a worthy training-camp candidate, but you never know what happens."