The Mavericks and Rajon Rondo mutually decided to part ways, and the team agreed to cite a back injury for his absence to help the point guard avoid embarrassment, sources told Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. Dallas was going to bench the former All-Star if they hadn’t worked out the arrangement, MacMahon adds. Several members of the Mavs organization appeared dubious that Rondo’s back was truly the reason he was out, as MacMahon detailed last week shortly after coach Rick Carlisle acknowledged that he doesn’t expect the Mavs to re-sign the soon-to-be free agent. There’s more from MacMahon’s piece, which looks at an uneasy summer ahead for the Mavs, amid the latest from the Southwest Division:
- Tyson Chandler expressed a desire to return to the Mavs, MacMahon notes. The center is set for free agency this summer, though extreme interest from fellow free agent center DeAndre Jordan and the Mavs’ belief that they can lure LaMarcus Aldridge, a native of nearby Seagoville, complicate Chandler’s would-be return.
- Dirk Nowitzki doesn’t regret the trade the Mavs made to acquire Rondo or any other moves the team engineered to try to win this season, observes Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. “We had to do it,” Nowitzki said. “I thought Cubes [owner Mark Cuban] and [GM] Donnie [Nelson] did everything to put us in a position to win. It’s unfortunate, but we’ll see what happens this summer. If you can get a player like Rondo, I think you go for it every time. I don’t think anybody is looking at that now. It was a deal that was there and that we went for. It just didn’t pan out for both sides and both sides moved on. Mark and Donnie always try to make this team better. Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s a gamble, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
- Nowitzki isn’t the same as he once was, and that makes signing Aldridge an imperative for the Mavs this summer, opines Morning News columnist Kevin Sherrington. The Mavs can’t count on Aldridge’s local ties helping them, since Dallas-area natives Deron Williams and Chris Bosh have passed on homecomings, Sherrington notes.