LAS VEGAS -- Shan Foster remains optimistic that his NBA dream will soon come true. After being drafted by the Dallas Mavericks late in the second round of the 2008 draft, Foster has played in Italy and Turkey.
The 6-foot-6 shooting guard, a long-distance sniper at Vanderbilt, is about to finish up his second summer with the Mavs in Las Vegas with the hope the club will want him back in Dallas when training camp starts in October. The Mavs are undecided. The club retains his rights until he comes to a training camp and the Mavs either release him or rescind his rights outright.
"I think I've improved a lot such as ballhandling, improved my shooting, being able to score off the dribble, seeing the floor, especially defensively as well," Foster said. "I really don't know what the future holds. I know I want to be playing in the NBA and I've worked hard to get there, and hopefully I'll be going to training camp to fight for a spot."
Foster has averaged just 15.3 minutes in the first four games and he hasn't shot well, just 42.9 percent from the field and 25.0 percent from beyond the arc. He's averaged 4.8 points and 1.0 rebounds. He hasn't scored more than six points in a game this summer, but he hasn't taken more than four shots in any game.
In Turkey last season, Foster averaged 9.1 points and shot 39 percent from 3-point range, but his season was cut short due to an ankle injury.
It is hard to figure where Foster would fit with the Mavs. Dallas is well-stocked at shooting guard. Caron Butler started there after last season's trade and Roddy Beaubois is expected to see a significant jump in playing time. Of course, there's Jason Terry and first-round draft pick Dominique Jones.
Foster said he wouldn't be particularly interested in playing for the Texas Legends, the Mavs' new affiliate in the D-League that will play this fall in Frisco unless there's some assurance that he's on track to make the big squad. The gap in salary from the European leagues is just too great. As of now, Foster does not have a deal to play overseas.
"If that's where my career leads me this year, then I'm sure opportunities will open up," Foster said. "But, right now I'm just focused on playing well in this last game and landing in training camp somewhere."
The Mavs wrap the five-game summer schedule at 7 tonight against Sacramento.