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Odds & Ends: Johnson, Blair, Mavs, Deng, Jazz

Pistons president of basketball operations Joe Dumars introduced free agent signee Josh Smith to the media today, but Dumars says he isn't done upgrading the roster, as Rod Beard of the Detroit News observes. The team also brought Rasheed Wallace aboard as an assistant coach this week, providing a link to its championship past. Here's more from the rest of the league as teams and players covet the Larry O'Brien trophy:

  • Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution hears Ivan Johnson is drawing interest from several teams, including the Hawks (Twitter link). Atlanta declined to offer Johnson a qualifying offer this summer, but the team can still re-sign him as an unrestricted free agent. Johnson let go of agent Larry Williams last week.
  • The Mavs have "poked around" free agent DeJuan Blair, as Jeff Caplan of tweets, so it appears the club may have some level of interest. The team is focusing on its frontcourt, and GM Donnie Nelson doesn't think the Mavs will be bringing on any more guards, as Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes at the end of his roundup.
  • Tim MacMahon of thinks the Mavs should have been more willing to take a risk on Andrew Bynum.
  • An NBA GM from outside the Bulls organization tells Aggrey Sam of that Luol Deng could command between $11MM and $12MM on the open market next summer. Deng and the Bulls appear to be working toward an extension (Twitter link).
  • The Jazz may have had "different conversations with Mo Williams" if the team hadn't wound up with Trey Burke on draft night, GM Dennis Lindsey told reporters today, including Jody Genessy of the Deseret News (Twitter link).
  • Royce White, who's headed to the Sixers via trade, intends to play for the team, but is still reluctant to make frequent flights, as he tells Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register (link via USA Today).

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