The Dallas Mavericks are delving into their past in an attempt to fill remaining roster spots.
With training camp slated to begin in less than a month, the Mavs worked out veteran guards Monta Ellis, Isaiah Thomas, and Lance “Born Ready” Stephenson.
Possible comeback for these guys? pic.twitter.com/mr6ZLLD7Ib
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 2, 2021
For those wondering, no that’s not a typo. Ellis hasn’t suited up in the Association since he was a member of the Indiana Pacers in 2016-17.
As for Thomas, the 32-year-old guard played three games with the New Orleans Pelicans last season. Ellis reportedly impressed the Mavs in the workout.
Ellis, 35, was a second-round pick of the Golden State Warriors in 2005-06. He averaged a stout 19.6 points and 4.4 assists on 47% shooting in parts of seven seasons with the Dubs before joining the Milwaukee Bucks in the Andrew Bogut trade.
He also played with the Mavs from 2013-15, averaging 19.0 ppg and 4.9 dimes on 47% shooting.
Efficiency numbers of that caliber from a player who can slash and eat on the perimeter translate well to today’s NBA.
Thomas, another former second-round pick, is a bit of a different story. He played at an MVP level with the Boston Celtics in 2016-17, averaging a whopping 28.9 points.
Unfortunately, a hip injury derailed a promising career. The 5’8″ world-beater has been trying to get back on the NBA money train ever since. Thomas also worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers, so he’s getting multiple looks.
Stephenson, the baller from Brooklyn never reached the superstar heights projected coming out of famed Lincoln High School. He did however achieve some acclaim for using unorthodox methods to defend peak LeBron James.
Lance was must-see TV during a few of Indiana’s playoff runs prior to Paul George’s devastating injury in a Team USA Basketball Showcase in 2014.
Stephenson has logged over 500 regular season NBA games and another 57 playoff games across nine seasons. He hasn’t played in the league since 2018-19 when he made 68 appearances for the Los Angeles Lakers, but he’s only 31 years young. His youthful vibrance is still there.
It was also reported last month that “Born Ready,” held a private workout in Las Vegas for NBA teams in hopes of making a comeback.
As for the Mavericks, they have been extremely active under first-year GM Nico Harrison. That activity has brought in the likes of Sterling Brown, Reggie Bullock, and Moses Brown thus far this off-season.
The Mavs haven’t won a playoff series since Dirk Nowitzki knocked off the Miami Heat’s Big Three in the 2011 Finals. With superstar Luka Doncic signing his $200M supermax extension this summer, the Mavs organization has to surround the franchise star with legitimate championship pieces.
Owner Mark Cuban, the aforementioned Harrison, and first-year head coach Jason Kidd need players who fit the ball-dominant style of the Slovenian-born Doncic. Dallas is hoping to add some toughness to the culture of the team by bringing in hungry veterans who have had success, faced adversity, and can still ball.