Here's Every Player Making Their NBA Finals Debut in 2024

Oct 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) and guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrate a score against the Utah Jazz during the first half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 6, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks center Kristaps Porzingis (6) and guard Luka Doncic (77) celebrate a score against the Utah Jazz during the first half at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics will face off in the 2024 NBA Finals. While many of the Celtics were on the team that went to the 2022 NBA Finals, some are making their Finals debut. The Mavericks, on the other hand are mostly made of Finals novices—with the very obvious exception of Kyrie Irving who hit one of the greatest shots in NBA Finals history against the Golden State Warriors in 2016.

Here are all the players making their NBA Finals debut this year.

Dallas Mavericks

Luka Dončić

It took him a few years, but he finally got here with the help of a ragtag bunch of castoffs that only a home PA announcer could love.

Tim Hardaway Jr.

Hardaway came to Dallas with Kristaps Porzingis and refused to leave. Tim Hardaway's son has now been in the NBA for over a decade and has been a valuable contributor off the bench for many of them. He's only played 13 minutes a night in 10 postseason games this year, but he'll be ready if they need him.

Jaden Hardy

Hardy has averaged just 4.2 points per game in his first postesason, but he's appeared in 14 of the Mavericks 17 playoff games and shot 40% from three. For a 21-year old taken in the second round of the draft who is only in his second season, that's a pretty good contribution.

Dwight Powell

Powell was drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats in June 2014. He was traded to Cleveland two weeks later and then traded to Boston in August. In December he was part of the trade that sent Rajon Rondo to Dallas. While Rondo was gone before the team was eliminated from the playoffs, Powell has been there ever since.

Josh Green

Green was Dallas's first round selection in 2020. He's become a regular contributor and has played in all 17 playoff games, averaging 17 minutes a game for the Mavericks this year.

Dereck Lively II

Lively slipped to the 12th pick in the 2023 draft where he was taken by the Oklahoma City Thunder. He was almost immediately flipped to Dallas, where he contributed whenever healthy. He's come off the bench throughout the playoffs to give the Mavericks an average of eight points, seven rebounds and a block every night.

Dante Exum

Exum was the fifth pick in the 2014 draft and spent his first five seasons in Utah before being traded to Cleveland. Then, he went and played in Spain for two years before returning to the NBA with Dallas. He's given them brief minutes off the bench in the postseason and provided one of the most exciting moments of the entire season.

Maxi Kleber

Kleber was undrafted and signed by the Mavericks in 2017. He's been a decent 3-point shooter and played 20+ minutes a game for the last six seasons. He suffered a shoulder injury in the first round, but returned for Game 5 against the Timberwolves.

A.J. Lawson

Lawson has spent time with the Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Timberwolves before signing with Dallas in 2022. He appeared in 42 games for the Mavericks this season.

Olivier-Maxence Prosper

Prosper was drafted by the Kings and immediately traded to the Mavericks for cash. He bounced between the Mavericks and Texas Legends as a rookie, averaging three points and two rebounds in 40 NBA games. He has played one minute in the playoffs.

PJ Washington

After many wasted years in Charlotte, he was traded to the Mavericks on February 8th. This was his first trip to the postseason and he and Daniel Gafford celebrated their ascension on Thursday night.

Daniel Gafford

Gafford spent time in Chicago and Washington before Dallas rescued him the same day they picked up Washington. They have both started every game for Dallas during the postseason.

Boston Celtics

Kristaps Porziņģis

What a journey. Drafted fourth overall by the New York Knicks in 2015, Porziņģis was considered a unicorn. After suffering an ACL injury, he was traded—along with Tim Hardaway Jr.—to the Dallas Mavericks where people thought he could be the perfect second banana to a young Luka Dončić. After two first round exits in Dallas he was traded to the Washington Wizards. Then, he was traded again to the Celtics ahead of this season and played really well, but injuries have again limited him in the postseason. He should make his Finals debut.

Oshae Brissett

Brissett made his postseason debut with the Celtics after starting his career with Toronto and Indiana. Despite the lack of experience, he managed to make headlines by tweeting and deleting a message to Miami Heat fans early in the postseason. He has appeared in two of the Celtics last three games.

Svi Mykhailiuk

The Ukranian was taken by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the 2018 draft using a pick that the Denver Nuggets originally traded in 2013. He spent time in Detroit, Oklahoma City Thunder, Toronto, New York and Charlotte before signing with Boston in the offseason. His one basket during the playoffs was a 3-pointer.

Neemias Queta

The 7-foot Portugese center was taken by the Kings in 2021 and signed with Boston during the 2023 offseason. He's been on the floor twice for Boston during the postseason.

Xavier Tillman Sr.

The Grand Rapids native was drafted by the Sacramento Kings out of Michigan State before he was traded to Memphis. He played 30 minutes a game during the Grizzlies first round loss to the Lakers last year. He was traded to Boston at the trade deadline and is playing a bit during this Celtics run so he should see the court in the Finals.

Jaden Springer

Springer was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers late in the first round of the 2021 draft. The Celtics acquired him at the trade deadline.

Jordan Walsh

Walsh was drafted in the second round of the 2023 draft by the Sacramento Kings and traded to Boston in exchange for Colby Jones. Walsh has appeared in nine regular season games and two postseason games so far.

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Stephen Douglas


Stephen Douglas is a Senior Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. He has been in journalism and media since 2008, and now casts a wide net with coverage across all sports. Stephen spent more than a decade with The Big Lead and has previously written for Uproxx and The Sporting News. He has three children, two degrees and one now unverified Twitter account.