Brown was brought in for shooting depth, but couldn’t get on the court enough to make a difference.
Season in review
The Dallas Mavericks brought in Sterling Brown last offseason to provide wing depth and shooting, both of which they needed desperately. It was a smart bet, as Brown was coming off of a season with the Houston Rockets where he scored a career-high 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He also shot a career-best 42% from deep on 4.2 attempts per game.
Unfortunately, Brown couldn’t replicate that production for the Mavericks. He averaged career lows in points and 3-point shooting percentage. Brown scored only 3.3 points and 3 rebounds per game, while shooting a dismal 30% from behind the arc.
Brown couldn’t find a rhythm, playing in only 49 games, also a career-low. That’s not to say he didn’t get a chance. Through the first 41 games of the season, Brown averaged 14 minutes per game, putting up a line of 4.1/3.7/0.9 while shooting 35% from deep. That’s fine enough, but combined with some below average defense, not enough to grab a spot in a rotation for a contender.
By the middle of the season, Brown had lost the trust of the coaching staff. Through the last 41 games of the season, he played less than nine minutes per game, scoring only 1.7 points and 1.8 rebounds per game while shooting 11% on 3-pointers. He only appeared in 17 of those final 41 games.
It’s a pretty steep indictment that Brown couldn’t find playing time on a team that was short a couple of solid rotation players. Perhaps if he’d been able to hit more shots from deep on a consistent basis he could have found a spot. Instead, he saw his minutes dwindle with every shot he missed.
Brown’s best performance of the year came on December 21st against the Minnesota Timberwolves. He put up 12 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists. He shot 2-of-4 on 3-pointers in the 12 point Mavericks win.
Brown has one year remaining on a two-year, $6 million contract he signed last offseason. He’ll carry a $3 million cap hit for the Mavericks next year.
Expect Brown to play a similar role for the Mavericks next season. However, if he can find his shooting stroke again, he’ll definitely get minutes for this squad. Jason Kidd has brought a renewed emphasis on defense, which isn’t Brown’s strength. But if he can replicate his 2020-21 shooting with the Rockets, Kidd will definitely give him a chance to succeed.
Brown was brought into hit 3-pointers and play defense. He failed to do either very well. He did provide some help when the Mavericks were decimated by Covid-19 in December, but otherwise didn’t make a dent in the rotation.