Dirk Nowitzki publicly questioned Mark Cuban‘s approach to retooling the Mavericks back in January, and the team struck out on its top target again this summer when Dwight Howard decided to join the Rockets. But Nowitzki tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that he’s pleased with the roster Cuban and Donnie Nelson put together this offseason, and he’s encouraged by the club’s direction.
“I think as a franchise, we’ve moved on,” Nowitzki said of the failed attempts to recruit star free agents. “We didn’t go for the whole cap space deal again, like we did last year, so I was obviously pleased to see that.”
Here are a few more Friday afternoon odds and ends:
- With the D-League draft set to get underway at 6:00pm CT tonight, the Iowa Energy traded the third overall pick as part of a deal with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Heat camp invitee and NBA champion Jarvis Varnado headed to Iowa in the move, as Keith Schlosser writes at Ridiculous Upside.
- One player who won’t be playing on a D-League squad anytime soon is free agent big man Jason Collins, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. Stein hears from a source that Collins isn’t considering playing overseas or in the D-League, since he still believes he’s an NBA player and prefers to continue his workout regimen at home in Los Angeles.
- In a separate ESPN.com story, Stein writes that the Suns are comfortable with Eric Bledsoe heading into free agency next summer. However, it sounds like Phoenix hasn’t ruled out the possibility of facilitating a sign-and-trade involving Bledsoe in July if he gets too pricey, so the team likely won’t shop Goran Dragic for now.
- John Jenkins tells Lang Greene of HoopsWorld it “feels great” that the Hawks elected to exercise his third-year option for 2014/15 yesterday.
- $14MM over four years is a reasonable price for Quincy Pondexter, but he’ll have to continue to develop for his new contract to be a good investment for the Grizzlies, says Mark Deeks of ShamSports.com.
- DeShawn Sims, who was in camp with the Celtics in October, has signed with Galil Gilboa in Israel, agent Mike Silverman tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Twitter link).
- Since being released by the Rockets, Tim Ohlbrecht has remained in the U.S. in hopes of landing another NBA job, but continues to consider overseas offers, according to Schlosser at Ridiculous Upside.