Harrison Barnes is putting up impressive numbers for Dallas—22.9 points (on 49.2 percent shooting) and 5.5 rebounds—and Dirk Nowitzki says the free agent signee has resembled a franchise player early on in the season.

(Nowitzki is currently out of action due to an Achilles injury.)

The Mavs (2-8) will be counting on the 24-year-old swingman to carry the torch once Dirk hangs up his Nikes:

“He has the complete package,” Nowitzki told SN. “I’ve worked out with him a couple of times after practices, and he’s got every shot in the book. And he’s looked like a franchise player here the last few weeks. He’s shown us moves that are very impressive, not only shooting the ball, but driving the ball, both ways. He’s got left(-hand) hooks and left runners. He’s shown strong post moves. He’s athletic. He’s a hard worker. He wants to win. So I think the sky is the limit for him.”

 

Nowitzki’s best supporting cast was with him before he did all of his big winning, when the Mavs had Steve Nash running the show and had Michael Finley slashing from out on the wing. Then Nash returned to Phoenix, and a year later, the Mavs decided that Finley was done and waived him.

 

“So when I took over, it was kind of by default,” Nowitzki told SN. “It was always Steve and Mike and myself at the beginning. But then Steve leaves and Mike is gone and the next thing you know, I was the only guy still out there. So it was my team and I took it and ran with it. At the beginning, when you’re “the guy’ it’s different. You have to work through stuff and you make mistakes that you regret, but you learn from those. You get better. Harrison has shown he can already do that.”

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