DALLAS — At the start of this week, Marquese Chriss didn’t know he would be playing for the Dallas Mavericks.

And now, with two games under his belt, due to Dallas’ need for replacement players, he is showing he deserves to stick around — at least for a little bit.

“I was just sitting at home trying to figure out what’s next,” Chriss said after the game on Thursday. “I just try to take it one day at a time. And I am making the most of this opportunity, while I am here.”

Chriss continued explaining that he is “thankful to be playing again.”  This is his job, and he aims to play to the best of his ability during this short opportunity to showcase his skills in a Mavericks, he said.

In Dallas’ 102-95 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, Chriss played 12 minutes and scored 13 points while also providing energy where it was needed for what is a depleted roster.

“We gave him a fair opportunity to fight, and he did,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said. “And against the world champs, we fought. Those guys fought. The ball just did go our way.”

What would Chriss’ role be? 

Chriss makes the game simple. He doesn’t want to do too much. His role is to defend, rebound and play hard, regardless of how much time he’s on the floor.

In his two games in Dallas, Chriss is averaging six points, eight rebounds, and one block.

He’s the type of player Dallas needs. All season, the Mavericks have lacked a big who can stretch the floor vertically. Dwight Powell has his moments, but he’s far from a guarantee. His game depends on matchups.

With Chriss, that may not be the case. He’s long enough to guard most bigs on the NBA floor. And he’s active enough to warrant attention from opposing teams as a legitimate lob threat.

That’s not to say he solves Dallas’ problems regarding the big man rotation, but he’s a bandaid to a wound that needs to be addressed next offseason.

How can Dallas keep Chriss? 

As it stands now, Dallas has no available roster spots. However, the organization can offer Chriss a second 10-day contract and decide at that point.

If Chriss is brought in as a season-long addition, it’s possible Dallas parts ways with Willie Cauley-Stein, who has underperformed all season and is unavailable as of late. The move would also make sense because Eugene Omoruyi, one of Dallas’ two-way players, will miss the rest of the season due to recent surgery on his big toe.

Dallas needs bodies, and Chriss is just that. He also just so happens to be pretty good at this basketball thing.

Two games aren’t sufficient evidence to suggest Dallas should make a move– just yet. But, if Chriss keeps elevating his level play, he may force Dallas’ hand soon rather than later.

Related Dallas Mavericks reading: 

“Mavs Journal: With Doncic out, what’s next for Dallas?”

“Mavs Journal: Why Dallas may be better than its record suggests”

Feature image via Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports.