Since the "trust the process" days of the Philadelphia 76ers, the word "tanking" entered the everyday sports fans' lexicon. Last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder raised the bar of strategic losing. Following a 40-game stretch where the Oklahoma franchise sat at a 17-23 record, the front office began the expedited process of tanking.
The first step took form in executive Sam Presti telling 14-year veteran Al Horford not to suit up for the duration of the season and instead binge-watch his favorite television shows. UCLA alum Moses Brown benefited from Horford's absence in the lineup.
While the inexperienced center didn't blow up the boxscore on a nightly basis, he did explode for a 23-rebound performance versus the Boston Celtics. Despite the criticism of the young 7'2, 245 pound center’s defensive limitations, shot-blocking isn't one of them. In a late-season contest, Brown rejected seven shots versus the Los Angeles Clippers.
Furthermore, in typical NBA 2K fashion, some of the aforementioned games inspired the basketball video game franchise to bestow Brown with a 77 overall rating. Without going complete nerd, such a rating ranks him higher than notable Mavs such as Dorian Finney-Smith, Maxi Kleber, and Reggie Bullock.
Although he did provide glimpses of elite-level attributes of an NBA center, Brown showcased such abilities on a tanking roster. With Dallas envisioning playoff improvements, a mobility-limited center doesn't bode well for a postseason defense.
Going by reality and not a simulation-based video game, Brown's current fit on the roster falls behind his center counterparts Dwight Powell and Willie Cauley-Stein. Up to this point, the young center's highest contribution comes from shedding Josh Richardson's contract off of the Mavs salary cap.
Porzingis' and Zion's Status: GAMEDAY vs. Pelicans, Odds, Prediction
After crushing the New Orleans Pelicans on the road on Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks look for a similar outcome in the friendly confines of American Airlines Center in Dallas on Friday night.
Hardaway on Mavs Offense: The Same - But 'Free'
Following a record-setting victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, Tim Hardaway Jr. gives his opinion of the "new offense'' under head coach Jason Kidd.
All-Time High: Fast-Start Mavs Blow Out Pels
Dallas takes care of business vs. the New Orleans Pelicans, 139-107 with the best shooting night in franchise history.
Expectations for Moses Brown
Training camp has a magical way of forming narratives. Whether it's a player's vast improvement or weight loss/muscle gain, training camp is the ideal period for an NBA player to change his story. Mark Cuban has 2011 NBA champion Tyson Chandler aiding in the coaching department in a fantastic turn of events.
Perhaps a few days with Chander will increase the odds of Brown blossoming into a rotation player on a playoff team. Although the feel-good story sits nicely in the sentimental department, the alternate reality of Brown being used as a trade chip remains a likely possibility.
With six centers on the roster, Brown sits near the bottom of the depth chart. Unless the Mavericks trade Dwight Powell, it's hard to fathom Brown consistently cracking the rotation. The variables surrounding Brown dictate his fit more than his ability, ultimately leaving him in a basketball purgatory until one of the previosuly scenarios occur.