Southwest Rumors: Mavs, Jones, Pelicans

The Mavs must lop off some salaries in order to sign a max-contract player next summer if Dirk Nowitzki returns in 2017/18, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com reports. Nowitki and the club agreed to a two-year, $50MM contract on Friday. Nowitzki’s $25MM salary for the second season of the contract, plus more than $60MM in other guaranteed commitments, would leave Dallas with less than $16MM under the projected cap of $102MM, by MacMahon’s calculations. If Nowitzki retires after next season, the Mavs can exercise a $5MM team option, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein.

In other news concerning the Southwest Division:

  • The opportunity to play steady minutes and rejoin forces with his ex-college teammate Anthony Davis were major factors in Terrence Jones’ decision to sign with the Pelicans, Oliver Maroney of Basketball Insiders writes. Jones, who signed a one-year contract worth an estimated $980K, appeared in only 50 games last season. “I wanted an opportunity to play for a team that is young and defining itself, but could still compete right away,” Jones told Maroney. “I wanted a larger role, where I could really compete and help a team win.” He’s excited about the prospect of playing alongside Davis, with whom he won the NCAA championship at Kentucky, Maroney adds. “We both work well together and we’ve already got a great chemistry and friendship,” Jones said. “When he’s healthy, I think he’s as good as any other big in the league, so I am excited to see what we can do this year.”
  • The Pelicans renounced their rights to Norris Cole, Kendrick Perkins and Jordan Hamilton, Justin Verrier of ESPN.com tweets. Those moves allowed them to officially sign both Jones and point guard Tim Frazier.

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