Too many ifs are a bad thing for any sports team going into the season.

Franchises that rely on a lot of unknowns coming up rosy traditionally end up disappointed.

The Mavericks have their share of variables but one area where the “if” seems like it has a fighting chance to turn out with a positive result is the theory that they will become a solid playoff team if they get a young player or two to make a significant leap forward in his level of play.

Wayne Ellington is a prime candidate.

The 6-4 guard along with Brandan Wright DeJuan Blair and a few others will get the chance to have breakout seasons this year.

And really last season was a bit of a breakthrough for Ellington as well as Wright.

In a season when he was traded from Memphis to Cleveland in January Ellington saw his playing time rise with the Cavaliers. He averaged 10.4 points and three rebounds after the trade. For the season he shot better than 39 percent from 3-point range.

He sees even better times ahead on a Mavericks team that has far more veteran talent than did Cleveland.

“Absolutely I feel like I’m just finally finding my niche in the NBA” the former North Carolina standout said. “So as I get more and more comfortable and more confident I’m going to get better and better. It’s a challenge. But I feel like this is a perfect place for me. I feel like Dallas is home.”

It’s not easy for players of Ellington’s ilk to make a quantum leap up the NBA ladder. After playing his first three seasons at Minnesota moving around to two teams in a season isn’t conducive to getting into a groove.

That’s why Ellington signed on for two seasons with the Mavericks.

“That’s exactly why” he said. “I had a lot of one-year offers all over the place. But it was important for me to get a two-year deal. I’m trying to find a home.”

Through two preseason games Ellington has been active at both ends of the court. While his career 3-point shooting is one of the reasons Dallas coveted him in the summer he’s no one-trick pony.