Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle like Jameer Nelson as the team's starting point guard this season, Tim McMahon of ESPNDallas.com reported on Sunday.
The news comes as Dallas readies for its preseason opener at home versus the Rockets on Tuesday.
Carlisle said he likes Devin Harris coming off the bench, which could mean a starting backcourt of Nelson and Monte Ellis. Over the summer, the team also acquired Chandler Parsons from Houston, guard Raymond Felton from the Knicks and forward Al-Farouq Aminu from the Pelicans.
Carlisle said Harris is one of the Mavericks' "three or four best players," but believes the team is better with him as a sixth man. He said he told Nelson this summer when he was recruiting the former Magic All-Star that he was looking for the absolute best player to be the starter this season, alluding to the success the team has had with former guard Jason Terry coming off the bench:
“When we recruiting him this summer, I told him we were looking for the best guy to be a starter for us,” Carlisle said of Nelson. “I really like Harris off the bench. That said, I think Harris is one of our three or four best players. But we’ve had a history here of bringing some of our better guys off the bench."
Dallas tips off its regular season on Oct. 28 vs. the reigning NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.
- Marc Weinreich