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Projecting Reggie Bullock Role with Mavs - Non-Starter?

Jason Kidd announced the starting lineup during Wednesday's training camp. Shockingly, the Dallas Mavericks head coach didn't include 3-and-D extraordinaire Reggie Bullock in the starting five.

Dallas Mavericks Media Day might as well have been called "The Kristaps Porzingis Variety Show," as many of the questions featured the "Unicorn." Hours later, one of the two players acquired in free agency came to the podium.

Bullock spoke as a veteran who's learned a lot in his eight seasons, speaking surely but carefully.

While his spot in the starting lineup, seemingly surefire as a sunset, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd thought otherwise. Until further notice, the lineup features Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith, Kristaps Porzingis and Dwight Powell. 

While the insertion of Powell raised eyebrows, it's the absence of Bullock which gets the gears grinding.

It doesn't take extensive research to discover Dallas struggled defensively last year; look no farther than the Los Angeles Clippers series of last postseason. Aside from the offensive struggles, Dallas lacked players to bother Kawhi Leonard and Paul George.

Ultimately, Bullock's on-court presence represents the void in the Mavs depth chart: defensive stability with ultra-efficient shooting marks.

Bullock averaged 41 percent on 3-point field goals despite lacking at least a b-tier creator in the lineup, not to mention that the New York Knicks shuffled the point guard deck throughout the season. At such an efficient clip, the deadeye shooting will complement the streaky nature of Hardaway Jr's offense.

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Head coaches shuffling their rotations is nothing new, so let's don't have a meltdown just yet over this development, As Kidd gets comfortable as the Mavs' new head coach, perhaps he sees the value in Bullock's overall game to the point of slotting him into the starting unit. 

As we mentioned in the Powell Mavs camp profile, nothing exclusively includes DP in the closing lineup. Bullock's skillset bodes well for guarding the 3-ball in addition to knocking down a clutch shot. Powell, however, doesn't provide much aside from maybe grabbing a rebound or maybe a desperation alley-oop basket.  

Prediction

Dallas will find itself in compromising positions as a two-big lineup makes for an awkward dance in clutch scenarios. Eventually, sliding Porzingis to the 5-spot and pushing Finney-Smith to power forward will make room for Bullock. Although offense dominates the conversation, defense is key when striving to close an NBA game. 

Bullock's wingspan extends to an astonishing 6'7 feet; Can you imagine if the Mavericks had such a weapon in its rotation versus the Clippers?

We bet, soon enough, Kidd will bestow upon Bullock the honors of guarding the NBA's best offensive players. 

Starting? It wouldn't shock us if he continues his reserve role for a longer period. But we expect Bullock to close games by the first two weeks of the NBA schedule.

READ MORE: 'Position-less' Dallas Mavs: Does Dwight Powell Start at Center with Luka Doncic & Kristaps Porzingis?