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NBA Summer League Preview - Dallas Mavericks

Previewing the Dallas Mavericks' Summer League team as UB great Javon McCrea embarks on his NBA journey.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

In two days Javon McCrea will return to the hardwood once again, but not as a Buffalo Bull, but as a Dallas Maverick. McCrea will be joining 13 other hopefuls who look to impress the Mavericks' coaching staff enough to earn a shot at a training camp invite.

Here's the full roster as released by the Mavericks:

2014 Dallas Mavericks Summer League Roster
Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Prior to NBA NBA YOS
Dee Bost PG 6-2 176 Mississippit St. 0
Chris Smith PG 6-2 200 Louisville 1
Bernard James C 6-10 230 Florida St. 2
Ricky Ledo SG 6-7 200 Providence 1
Axel Toupane SG 6-6 194 France 0
CJ Fair SF 6-8 215 Syracuse 0
Eric Griffin SF 6-8 194 Campbell 0
James Nunnally SF 6-7 205 UC Santa Barbara 1
Javon McCrea PF 6-7 250 Buffalo 0
Sean Evans PF 6-8 260 St. John's 0
Jackie Carmichael PF 6-9 240 Illinois St. 0
Gal Mekel SG 6-3 202 Israel 1
Chris Goulding G 64 203 Australia 0
Ivan Johnson C 6-10 230 Cal State San Bernardino 2

There are some notable names on the Mavericks' roster including former Syracuse star CJ Fair,and former Atlanta Hawk Ivan Johnson who is trying to make his way back to the NBA following several stints in the D-League, and with international teams the most recent being the Zhejiang Golden Bulls of China.

The Mavericks' roster boasts a nice mix of players with NBA experience, international experience and players from all levels of the NCAA, which is good for the team if they're looking to compete for a Summer League Championship, but bad for Javon McCrea because he will need to really stand out to the coaching staff.

For a look at the Mavericks' schedule, and for those unfamiliar with the format and purpose of the Summer League check out Tim's article HERE

Second year Mavericks offensive coordinator Kaleb Canales will be manning the summer league head coach position, taking over for defensive coordinator Monte Mathis. Canales is a creative offensive mind who has been compared to Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, and with good reason. In his first season as offensive coordinator Canales helped former NBA MVP Dirk Nowitzki score 1,735 points, his highest total since the 09-10 season, and 131 3-point field goals which  was Nowitzki's highest total since the 05-06 season.

With recent trades and additions in free agency the Mavericks are turning to win-now mode. Dirk Nowitzki is aging and the Mavericks want to capture at least one more championship before he calls it a career. So, after the trade with the New York Knicks for Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler, who was a key cog in the Mavericks' 2011 title team, the Mavericks are looking to poach away Chandler Parsons from rival Houston. All of the additions means a greater cap number for the Mavs and the importance of finding cheap, quality depth becomes even more important, and raises the stakes for the members of the summer league team.

McCrea will need to put on an offensive and defensive masterpiece during the summer league, much like his days in Amherst, if he wants a coveted invite to an NBA training camp. While he may be slightly undersized for an NBA power forward, McCrea plays much bigger than his size and brings a tenacity to the hardwood that is extremely difficult to match.

The Mavericks tip off the first game of the Las Vegas Summer League against the New York Knicks on July 11th at 1pm. The games will be broadcast on NBATV.

Good luck Javon!