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Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Holiday, Evans, Mavs

Earlier this week, we learned that the Rockets nearly had Dwight Howard in the bag 15 months before actually signing him.  The Rockets reached a tentative agreement to acquire D12 from the Magic at 2012's trade deadline, according to Ken Berger of, before the deal fell through.  The Magic wanted to rid themselves of Howard at the deadline if he didn't waive his ETO and Orlando liked Houston's offer better than the one they had from the Nets.  Here's today's notes out of the Southwest Division..

  • Shaun Powell of Sports On Earth runs down ten offseason moves that will impact the 2013/14 season.  Among them are the culture change (and, name change) that the Pelicans have gone through this summer.  Their aggressive gameplan led to them snagging Jrue Holiday from the Sixers and Tyreke Evans from the Kings, which cost them two first-round picks and $84MM altogether.  Powell doesn't see a really high ceiling for New Orleans this season, opining that their starting five might be good enough to get bounced by the Clippers in the first round.
  • Matt Moore of grades the Pelicans' offseason and gives them a B for their efforts.  The grade could be anything from an "A+ to an F" with everything hinging on how well this very unorthodox lineup defends. 
  • In a press conference yesterday, new Mavericks guard Monta Ellis expressed confidence that he's ready to be the main guy (or, at least, the co-main guy) in Dallas, writes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas News.  “I think I’m ready,” he said. “This is going to be the year, with the work I put in this summer and the relationship with me and Coach that’s building right now. And the relationship I’m going to build with my teammates. I feel great. I’m in a great spot.

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