July 19, 2024

Dallas Mavericks mascot Champ waves the team flag prior to player introductions before facing the Utah Jazz at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Wednesday, October 6, 2021. The Mavericks defeated the Jazz, 111-101. (Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

I’m going to win the title for my team” only if they can offer me a new contract” Luka Doncic team mate vow to damage the game…..

The Dallas Mavericks made a number of roster changes to strengthen the supporting group behind Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic after making it to the NBA Finals. Klay Thompson has understandably received the most attention among the new additions, but Naji Marshall will play a significant part in taking Derrick Jones Jr.’s place after he signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Mavericks see similarities between the toughness that Jones brought and what they are getting with Marshall. Michael Finley, the vice president of basketball operations for the Mavericks, went so far as to say that Marshall can guard all five positions if necessary.

Like Derrick Jones did for us, Naji adds a toughness to the mix, Finley added. “He wants to improve and is capable of guarding one through five if necessary.”

Known by his nickname “the knife,” Marshall’s relentless defensive mindset gives every team he plays for a competitive advantage. Although he is not as fast as Jones, his 6-foot-7 height and 220 pounds give him a larger build and greater strength than Jones, which allows him to tackle larger wings. Marshall remarked, “Toughness on defense is kind of my MO.” It’s something I enjoy doing and one of the things I bring to the game. This year, the Mavericks received it. I’m going to make up for any missed or additional slack.

Marshall saw an opportunity to improve his skill set with the Mavericks after playing for the New Orleans Pelicans for four seasons. Last season, he played 19.0 minutes per game and averaged 7.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists. Despite having just finished a stellar year, he witnessed a 4.3 minute decrease in playing time per game.

Simply improving my whole game, both offensively and defensively,” Marshall remarked. “Any method I can improve, simplify the game, and learn new things.”

Marshall is seen by the Mavericks as someone who is prepared to hustle for plays and carry out the little tasks necessary to win games. Marshall would gladly step in for Jones, who was a fan favorite for his one-liners about accepting the hardest responsibilities. The team lost a player in Jones.

Finley remarked, “He will stop at nothing to win ball games.” And that was among the things that drew us in to the young man. I’m excited to watch him meet those difficulties each and every night. I am aware that for him, the sky is the limit if he keeps doing that.”

Marshall will get the chance to open the season in a crucial bench role because Thompson is expected to start alongside Doncic and Irving. With this group, he may be able to show off more of his playmaking skills than when he starts next to elite players.

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