According to Eurohoops and Mark, the Dallas Mavericks have elected to sign former Denver Nuggets point guard Facu Campazzo to a one year deal. Campazzo had spent the previous two seasons with the Denver Nuggets, where he played 130 games and scored 5.6 points and dished out 3.5 assists.
Though this hasn’t been confirmed by stateside media as of this writing, Marc Stein implied this deal was all but done last night in an update, noting, “Dallas still has a 15th roster spot uncommitted; Campazzo appears poised to seize it barring an unforeseen Mavs move before Opening Night rosters lock.”
The 31 year old point guard began his career in Argentina, playing for Peñarol de Mar del Plata from 2008 to 2014. After that extremely successful tenure, he spent the following six seasons with Real Madrid where he played with Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic. As mentioned he’s spent the past two seasons with the Denver Nuggets.
It’s an odd signing, at minimum, considering the Mavericks made a point to leave this final roster spot open throughout all of the off-season in the hopes that something might materialize on the market. Despite whispers for months, they only lightly pursued Doncic’s Slovenian teammate and mentor Goran Dragic, reportedly only offering him a “cheerleading role”.
As a player, Campazzo does not fit with the team the Mavericks have built, at least in terms of traits. Prior to his signing, the shortest player on the roster was 6’4” (Frank Ntilikina and Jaden Hardly, each with great wingspans). Campazzo is a mere 5’10”. Size matters in the NBA. He also is a mediocre shooter at best (33% from three, 37% from the floor). He has a reputation as a willing defender, but at his size that only counts for so much.
Is this signing the end of the world? No. But like so many signings from the Mavericks since the championship season, it speaks to a process that doesn’t make much sense. It’s one thing to wait on the market; Most of us knew this season might be one where Dallas has to “take their medicine” and get out from under owed draft pick restrictions and tough-to-move contracts. But there were better options available earlier in free agency. It should say something to everyone that Denver, another team Dallas is competing with in a tough Western Conference, didn’t re-sign Campazzo.
It’s likely to be fine, after all, Campazzo is Doncic’s friend and a veteran that knows him. If Campazzo ends up playing a lot, things have likely gone sideways in Dallas anyway. Perhaps Campazzo will surprise us and hold down minutes at point guard in just the ways we’ve been concerned about prior. With the season right around the corner, we’re going to find out in a hurry.