The NBA Summer League – just five days away – offers the Dallas Mavericks the first real opportunity to see what their young players can do in a game setting.

And with Tyrell Terry embarking on his first Summer League experience with the Mavericks, the goal is to see progress – not perfection.

“Tyrell’s been great,” Mavericks Summer League head coach Greg St. Jean said after practice on Tuesday. “He’s been somebody who’s been continuing to grasp. He’s eager to learn. And he’s somebody who has not played a lot of professional basketball, so this is going to be a really important next two weeks [for him] from a foundational standpoint.

“We are excited to explore what we have in him… Offensively he’s extremely gifted.”

The Mavericks took Terry with the No. 31 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. His rookie season didn’t go according to plan. He only managed to play in 11 games, spending the majority of the 2020-21 season away from the team. At the tail end of the year, he was able to join the team for a playoff run. He deems that experience as one of the most valuable from his turbulent rookie year.

“It was important for me to come back and experience the playoffs,” Terry said. “The biggest thing for me in coming back was the open arms everyone gave to me. No one really judged me, or questioned why I was gone, they were supportive. Even from the fans, I received nothing but love and support. I will always be appreciative of that.”

With the Summer League tipping off on Aug. 8, Terry gets to experience another thing that didn’t take place during his rookie season. Which is, leading a young Summer League team with the ball placed in his hands.

He knows it won’t be perfect the entire time, but he’s confident in his abilities to lead. And he is eager to show everyone what he’s capable of.

“I went back home to Minneapolis and played in the Twin City Pro-Am,” Terry said after practice. “So now it’s just capitalizing on the opportunity coming up next week. We didn’t have summer league last year, but we do this year. So the biggest thing for me is to capitalize from that.”

The Mavericks full Summer League roster:

Outside of Terry, the Mavericks’ Summer League roster is shaping up to be extremely competitive. Here is a look at the rest of the names:

  • LJ Figueroa, guard, 6-foot-6
  • Robert Franks, forward, 6-foot-7
  • Josh Green, guard/forward, 6-foot-6
  • Nate Hinton, guard, 6-foot-5
  • Feron Hunt, forward, 6-foot-8
  • Carlick Jones, guard, 6-foot-1
  • Eugene Omoruyi, forward, 6-foot-6
  • EJ Onu, forward/center, 6-foot-11
  • Tariq Owens, forward, 6-foot-10
  • Devonte Patterson, forward, 6-foot-7
  • Devontae Shuler, guard, 6-foot-2

Each player on the roster has something to prove to the organization. And both the Mavericks and the Texas Legends will be watching closely for who plays well in the coming days.

“We need to have the Texas Legends be a true extension of the Dallas Mavericks,” St. Jean said. “A lot of these young guys might end up with the Texas Legends. Trying to create that synergy between these teams is a huge goal of ours, as a coaching staff and as management.”

The Mavericks Summer League game schedule:

*All times listed are central time.*

1 Monday, Aug. 9 @ Philadelphia 3:00 p.m. Thomas & Mack Center NBA TV
2 Wednesday, Aug. 11 vs. Utah 8:00 p.m. Cox Pavilion NBA TV
3 Saturday, Aug. 14 vs. Denver 2:00 p.m. Cox Pavilion NBA TV
4 Sunday, Aug. 15 @ Sacramento 2:00 p.m. Cox Pavilion ESPN2
5 TBD  

Interesting notes from the first Summer League practice:

1.) Green is listed on the Summer League roster, but he is still playing for Australia in the Olympics. The reasoning behind the organization placing him on the roster when he might not be able to play is simple – just in case.

“He will be joining us in some compacity,” St. Jean said. “We are not sure yet whether he will be playing in the games, but we wanted to put him on the roster if, in fact, it comes to that point where he’ll be able to play.”

2.) Mavericks fans, don’t expect to see the full fleshed out version of a new look Mavericks offense. Summer League gives everyone in the organization an opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t. Expect the Mavericks to use that to their advantage.

“It is an opportunity for us to evaluate what we have,” St. Jean said. “This is a great opportunity for us to continue to build what we started.”

Related reading on the Dallas Mavericks:

“Analyzing the Dallas Mavericks key free agency moves thus far.”

“Dallas Mavericks trade Josh Richardson to the Boston Celtics.” 

Feature image via Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports.