NBA superstars are often reluctant to take a back seat to anyone, but that's just what Mavs coach Rick Carlisle wants to see Dirk Nowitzki do. For the Mavs to contend for a championship again, someone other than Nowitzki must be the best player on the team, Carlisle told radio station 1070 the Fan in Indianapolis (via the Dallas Morning News). Of course, after missing out on Deron Williams, it doesn't appear like Nowitzki will have to relinquish his status as the team's alpha dog any time soon, unless Dallas somehow jumps to the forefront of Dwight Howard trade talk. We've got more news and analysis from around the league here:
- Carlisle, in the same interview, also said he's excited to see what the extra motivation of a contract year will do for the play of point guard Darren Collison, acquired in a trade with the Pacers.
- Brian Kamenetzky of ESPNLosAngeles.com looks at the effect re-signing Jordan Hill will have on the Lakers. He also notes that the team doesn't have any money committed beyond 2013/14, except for the final season of Steve Nash's contract.
- Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News examines how agent Dan Fegan patiently waited for the market to turn in favor of client Kris Humphries, who re-signed with the Nets on a two-year, $24MM deal, taking advantage of the team's inability to acquire Dwight Howard.
- With Humphries, Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Brook Lopez, the Nets are believed to be first team with five players making at least $10MM a year, writes Chris Bernucca of SheridanHoops.com.
- The Spurs are high on 6'9" free agent Eric Dawson, who signed a pair of ten-day contracts with the team last season, and he's a candidate to return, says Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. It might be tough for him to make the team right out of camp, though, since the team already has five big men under contract, as McDonald notes (Twitterlinks).
- The offseason is only a few weeks old, but Ben Golliver already has a list of free agency winners and losers on CBSSports.com. The Heat, Nets, Pacers, Lakers, Mavs and Nuggets have come out on top, Golliver says, while the Magic, Knicks, Bulls, Suns, Rockets and Trail Blazers didn't fare so well.