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Friday, October 20, 2006

Darius Washington Jr.'s Has 1 in 3 Chance to Make Mavs' Final Roster

D-Wash sticking with Mavs, so far

October 19, 2006

DALLAS -- The Mavericks hit the halfway point of the preseason Tuesday night with a trio of free agents -- guards Jose Barea and former University of Memphis standout Darius Washington and forward Ndudi Ebi -- in the running for the lone opening on the 15-man roster. Those remaining have yet to distinguish themselves in the eyes of coach Avery Johnson.
"No separation," Johnson said before the Mavericks lost to the Houston Rockets, 72-69, at American Airlines Center. "One day you get something good, then the next day they act like they've never played basketball."

With a team at least two-deep at every position, Johnson has several different options with the 15th spot since there's no pressing need for a certain kind of player.

Either of the two rookies (Barea or Washington) could be designated to the NBDL affiliate Fort Worth Flyers to ease their transition to pro basketball, but Ebi can't be sent down since he's already played two years in the league.

The Mavs also could elect not to keep anyone and use the 15th slot to sign someone during the season. For now, Jonhson's message is clear on what he needs to see for any of the three to have a chance.

"Consistency," Johnson said.

When possible, the team is committed to developing young players that may have slipped through the draft.

"That's a great thing to have an organization that's going to work with you and be patient with you," Washington said. "There are very few rookies that come in ready."

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