Dwight Powell is accustomed to having his bags packed. But he’s hoping those uncomfortable days are gone.
Powell was drafted 45th overall by the Charlotte Hornets on June 26, 2014. But 16 days later, before Powell could unpack and settle in Charlotte, the Hornets traded his rights to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Powell signed with the Cavs on Aug. 23, 2014. But before he could get used to his new digs, the Cavs traded Powell to the Boston Celtics on Sept. 25, 2014.
But after playing just five games with the Celtics as a rookie, Boston traded Powell to the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 18, 2014, in a deal that also involved point guard Rajon Rondo. Now, after playing 93 games for the Mavs, Powell could be on the move again.
On July 1, Powell becomes a restricted free agent.
Powell can sign a contract with any team he wants. But the Mavs can choose to match the offer and keep him, something Powell hopes happens.
“I’m definitely glad to be in Dallas and I’m definitely proud to have been a Maverick for the last year and half,” said Powell, the Most Valuable Player in Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game on Friday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark. “I guess right now I’m focused on improving and trying to take what they’ve been teaching me and trying to continue to develop those things, and whatever happens, happens.
“But I love Dallas. I’ve been through the wringer my first year as far as switching around teams. I’ve learned to be patient, so I have no problems waiting.”
Powell was one of the few players who gave the Mavs energy and athleticism off the bench. The 6-foot-11, 240-pound forward/center averaged 5.8 points and four rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game, and with his length was a factor on defense.
Once Powell’s playing time increased later in the season, so did his production.
In the Mavs’ final playoff game against Oklahoma City, Powell played 28 minutes and finished with 16 points and nine rebounds and was 6-of-7 from the field. It tied Powell’s most points all season, tied his fourth-best rebounding output of the year, and was his fourth-highest number of minutes this season.
“Once you get a taste, you want more and more, and you want to contribute more and you want to play better in those opportunities,” Powell said.
Coach Rick Carlisle and Nowitzki often talked about Powell being arguably the hardest worker on the Mavs. Powell hopes that bodes well for him in free agency.
“Hopefully it shows that I’m an NBA player, that I belong in the league, that I’m able to improve,” Powell said. “My job is to be ready for whatever opportunity I find myself presented with and be ready to perform on the highest level.
“So for me, it’s business as usual. Just get in the gym and grind.”
Powell was a standout on the Mavs’ summer league team in Las Vegas last season. But he doesn’t plan on playing this summer because he’ll be going through the business side of the game.
“I’m just training and working on, really, all facets of the game right now and just trying to prepare for next year,” Powell said. “All the positives that I did this year I want to improve upon.”