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Southwest Rumors: Rondo, Conley, Pelicans

Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has given Rajon Rondo more play-calling responsibilities and their relationship appears to be improving, Tim MacMahon of writes. Rondo, who becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, is developing better chemistry with his teammates as he gains more freedom to call plays, MacMahon adds. Rondo was suspended one game by the club in late February after he argued with Carlisle over play-calling issues. “He’s really developed a good sense for our team — when to just push it, when to get into something,” Carlisle said to Dallas beat writers. “He really understands the guys that he’s playing with.” Rondo said recently he is willing to return to the Mavs, though it’s unlikely they will meet his asking price.

In other news around the Southwest Division:

  • Mike Conley had a difficult time dealing with the breakup between coach Lionel Hollins and the Grizzlies in 2013, he told Scoop Jackson of in a Q&A. Conley called Hollins, whose contract was not renewed by the Grizzlies, “a second father figure almost for me.” Conley, who has one year and approximately $9.39MM remaining on his contract, adds in the interview that he is still grateful he has played his entire career thus far with Memphis.
  • Eric Gordon’s improved health has made him a better fit with the Pelicans, Jesse Blancarte of opines. Gordon, who can exercise a player option of approximately $15.5MM in the final year of his contract next season, is averaging 15.6 points while shooting 51.1% from 3-point range over his last 14 games. The injury-prone Gordon is finally playing the way New Orleans hoped when they matched the Suns’ four-year, $58MM offer sheet following the 2011-12 season, Blancarte adds.
  • The Mavs reassigned Dwight Powell to their D-League affiliate, the Texas Legends, on Saturday, the team announced. Powell has appeared in 19 games for the Mavs this season, averaging 3.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in 10.0 minutes per game.

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