Southwest Notes: Mavs, Gordon, Ohlbrecht

January 28 at 11:43am CDT By Chuck Myron

Mavs executives are optimistic about the team for this season in beyond, believing they have an offense built to win in the playoffs and the flexibility to pounce on desirable free agents this summer, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe details. Execs from other teams tell Lowe that they see coach Rick Carlisle, in the second year of a four-year pact, as the Mavs’ most valuable long-term asset. They also regard the Mavs with respect, fearing the team’s advantages of an appealing owner who’s built top-notch facilities in a large market with a friendly tax environment. There’s more from Lowe’s Dallas-themed piece amid our look at the Southwest Division:

  • Lowe views cap flexibility as the most effective weapon the Mavs possess, but even owner Mark Cuban acknowledges that it’s not as valuable as it used to be, now that so many teams enter offseasons with plenty of leeway to spend. “That could potentially be the case,” Cuban said. “But a lot of that depends on how you spend it, right? A lot of teams choose not to, so we’ll see.”
  • Eric Gordon wishes he knew for sure whether the Pelicans were trading him or not, but he says he could be doing more for the team that matched a four-year offer sheet for more than $58MM to retain him in 2012, observes Brett Martel of The Associated Press. Coach Monty Williams believes Gordon could be doing more, too, but Williams is nonetheless pleased with what he’s seen from the shooting guard this season. Williams says Gordon’s late-game performance on Friday against the Pistons is what the team “paid the big bucks for.”
  • Former Rockets center Tim Ohlbrecht has a longer resume than most in the D-League, but he explains to Gino Pilato of D-League Digest that his NBA experience helped convince him to return to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the affiliate of the Rockets. “I had so much positive feedback from NBA personnel after last season and from training camp,” the 25-year-old Ohlbrecht said. “I’m in my mid-20′s now so I figured why not? We discussed all of my offers and figured that if it doesn’t work out, I’ll have some other options. I’m glad I’m here though.”
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