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Fantasy Basketball Breakouts, Busts, and Locks - Dallas Mavericks

luka doncic NBA dfs lineup picks daily fantasy basketball advice

Welcome back to the second annual fantasy basketball exercise in which RotoBaller dissects each NBA team's breakouts, busts, and locks. As the fantasy basketball season demands extreme detail and attention, taking the time to identify game-breakers and game-changers in the NBA makes the difference between winning or losing your league. Thankfully, RotoBaller is here to help in that regard.

Following an offseason in which the Dallas Mavericks rounded out their roster to complement Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, it's playoff or bust in the Big D. Although there isn't an elite defensive player on the Mavericks' roster, fantasy-wise, they have a handful of players worth monitoring.

Now, let's see who the breakout, bust, and lock picks are for the 2023-2024 Mavericks.

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Dallas Mavericks Fantasy Breakout - Josh Green

Aside from Doncic and Jalen Brunson in 2018, Dallas hasn't successfully converted draft picks into rotational players since Josh Howard in 2003 and when it traded for the rights to draft Devin Harris the following year. However, after a slow start to his career, Arizona alum Josh Green raised a few eyebrows last season. While Green will likely never earn an All-Star nod, the 18th-overall draft pick in 2020 showcased burst on fastbreaks and efficiency in his 40-percent three-point shooting, proving he's worthy of playing significant minutes for a playoff-hopeful team.

Green missed 20 consecutive games due to an elbow injury last December, returning in the middle of January 2023. Subsequent to the injury, Green averaged 18 fantasy points for the previous four months of the regular season. Admittedly, such a number doesn't register on the fantasy basketball Richter scale. However, Green took his game to new heights in the aforementioned stretch with five performances of 20+ points.

Aside from three-point shooting, athleticism separates Green from the other support players on the Mavs roster. His ability to contort his body would make circus performers blush. Keeping a play alive with hangtime makes a difference in a league full of players with logic-defying wing-spans.

When discussing fantasy candidates, contract years come as a factor as to whether or not the player will have an explosive year. Green, up for a rookie contract extension, has every reason to set the bar high, especially if Dallas fails to agree to terms with its 2020 first-round draft pick, possibly allowing for another Brunson free-agency debacle. Look for Green as a waiver-wire pickup in deep leagues, as the wing proves to the league why he deserves a life-changing contract.


Dallas Mavericks Fantasy Bust - Tim Hardaway Jr.

Jason Kidd tends to drop breaking news to the media before his players. On media day, Kidd trusted Tim Hardaway Jr. into the sixth-man of the year discussion for the Mavericks. "Looking into Timmy being the sixth man, and hopefully, he accepts that role." Although Kidd told the media and his coaching staff, he failed to communicate such a transitional move to Hardaway Jr.

It sounds more of the same in Dallas, and with Hardaway Jr. constantly in trade rumors, perhaps. The typically professional high-volume three-point shooter takes a dive in production. Since Doncic came into the league, Hardaway Jr. played the role of fearlessly shooting his shot. In his five seasons with the Mavericks, the Michigan alum averaged 15 points per contest on 37 percent three-point shooting. Such numbers translate to a decent safety valve for Doncic's drive-and-kick attack.

Regardless of the points on the board, something has to give, and it seems Hardaway Jr. will finish with the short end of the proverbial stick. To his credit, Hardaway Jr. responded to the news with about as much humility as one could showcase after receiving such a blindsided hit to the ego.

Hardaway Jr. could have a decent showing for the 2023-2024 season, but it will still pale in comparison to the previous efforts in Dallas.


Dallas Mavericks Fantasy Lock - Luka Doncic

Who else is worthy of lock status for the Mavericks other than Luka Doncic? That's a rhetorical question only a fool would answer. Multi-time MVP favored by Las Vegas, four-time All-NBA, and second in points per contest for the 2022-2023 season, Doncic will have another season warranting a top-three fantasy selection.

On the heels of an exciting international run, albeit a bitter seventh-placed finish in FIBA play, Doncic electrified the world with a 2023 FIBA-leading 27 points per contest. Showcasing why he's one of the best in the world; only No.77's emotions can stop him from succeeding. However, technical fouls aside, the fantasy-league darling has plenty to look forward to this NBA season.

With a training camp together, Doncic and Irving will continue to coexist in a fun offense. While last season ended in controversy and disappointment, the Mavericks seek salvage with a playoff appearance and possibly more. Regardless of postseason possibilities, fantasy owners rest assured that Doncic's already-explosive offense improved with defenses no longer allowed to blitz the 6'7 point guard as Irving lurks in the shadows.

Not only did Dallas re-sign Irving in free agency, but they brought back reliable three-point shooter Seth Curry for his third stint with the Mark Cuban-owned franchise. Besides Curry, former Boston Celtics forward Grant Williams joined the team via a sign-and-trade acquisition. Unlike last season, full of stagnant play and predictable game-planning, new faces and players fitting alongside Doncic make for an intriguing campaign.

Ultimately, it doesn't take advanced stats and insider access to realize Doncic is a fantasy league tyrant.


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