Gal Mekel made an impressive start to life as a Dallas Maverick on Saturday
night, starting at point guard and finishing with 14 points, four rebounds and
assists to help his team to a 76-73 victory over the Sacramento Kings in their
Summer League opener in Las Vegas.
After second-year swingman Jae Crowder
described Mekel as having “that Euro swag about him, like [Manu] Ginobili,”
following just one practice session, the 25-year-old Israeli continued to make a
name for himself with a strong performance on Saturday.
“In the beginning
I was a little bit excited,” said Mekel, who scored five of 10 field goals. “It
took me like three or four minutes to get into the rhythm. But after you get
warm, you forget about those things, and for me it was a great
Josh Akognon scored a gamehigh 22 points, but despite his
performance he might have difficulties making the Mavericks’ final roster on a
guardheavy team that includes Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Wayne Ellington, Ricky
Ledo, Gal Mekel and Shane Larkin.
Mekel’s hopes of playing significant
minutes for the Mavs this season seemed to take a blow with Friday’s signing of
Ellis, but injuries to fellow guards Larkin and Devin Harris changed all of
Larkin will be out for three months after breaking his right ankle
during summer league practice at American Airlines Center. Not long after that
the Mavericks agreed to terms with shooting guard Ellis on a threeyear contract
worth between $25 million and $30 million.
Then, to top off Friday’s
guard-heavy transactions, the Mavericks severed ties with Harris after
discovering he has a dislocated toe on his left foot that will require
The Mavs were hoping Larkin, taken No. 18 overall in the draft,
could use the summer league in his development, but Mekel started on Saturday in
his absence and was set to do so once more in Sunday’s game against
MCT contributed to this report