6:00pm: The deal is official, the team announced.
4:20pm: The Mavs have re-signed Bernard James, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com announced (on Twitter). Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported a couple of weeks ago that the team was finalizing a one-year deal for the minimum salary with the two-year veteran center. It’s likely a fully guaranteed arrangement, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com wrote.
James saw reduced playing time this past season after seeing nearly 10 minutes a game as a rookie. He averaged less than a point in 4.9 minutes per contest in 2013/14, though he was an effective rebounder when he did see the floor, grabbing 10.4 boards per 36 minutes. The 33rd pick from the 2012 draft was a U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant before finishing his college career at Florida State.
The addition of the Happy Walters client gives Dallas 17 players, 15 of whom have guaranteed deals, presuming James’s contract is guaranteed. That spells trouble for Eric Griffin and Ivan Johnson, both of whom have only partial guarantees on their minimum-salary pacts.
FRIDAY, 8:20am: The impending deal for James will be fully guaranteed, a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com. That would give the team 15 fully guaranteed pacts to go with the partially guaranteed arrangements for Eric Griffin and Ivan Johnson, as MacMahon points out.
THURSDAY, 11:20am: The Mavericks are close to re-signing center Bernard James, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (via Twitter). According to Stein, the team is finalizing a one-year deal for the minimum salary to bring back the 29-year-old for his third season in Dallas. Assuming the deal is finalized, James should receive the two-year veteran’s minimum worth $915,243.
While the Mavs didn’t extend him a qualifying offer by the June 30 deadline, there were multiple reports that suggested the team was interested in bringing James back. The Florida State product backed up Samuel Dalembert at center last season in Dallas, averaging 0.9 points and 0.3 blocks in 4.9 minutes per game. He is likely to fill a similar role in 2014/15.
We may be no longer in the early stages of free agency, but teams continue to clear cap space by renouncing their Non-Bird, Early Bird or full Bird rights to their own free agents to remove their cap holds from the books. Teams that renounce those rights no longer have the ability to exceed the cap to re-sign those players unless they use an exception like the mid-level or the biannual. Some of those decisions are more notable than others, but for completion’s sake, we’ll track the latest of these cap-clearing moves right here:
- The Bulls have renounced their rights to Daequan Cook, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nazr Mohammed, Brian Scalabrine and Jimmer Fredette, reports Mark Deeks of Sham Sports (via Twitter).
- The Mavericks have expunged the cap hold of Petteri Koponen and renounced their rights to Bernard James, reports Deeks (via Twitter).
- The Lakers have renounced their rights to MarShon Brooks and Andrew Goudelock, according to Deeks (via Twitter).
- The Lakers have also renounced the rights to John Salley, Karl Malone, Brian Shaw and other players not on the team last season, according to ESPN salary cap guru Larry Coon (via Twitter).
- As Coon explains, the old CBA allowed Bird rights of players not on a team the previous year to be used in sign-and-trades. With that no longer the case under the current CBA, the rights to players like Salley, Malone and Shaw are no longer useful. The teams must still go through the formality of renouncing the rights, but tend not to do so until they actually need the cap space which, like in this case, could be years later (Twitter links are here).
- With Salley’s rights renounced, Coon believes the oldest Bird rights still on the books might be Roshown McLeod with the Celtics (Twitter link).
Here’s what we’ve gathered out of the Southwest Division:
- It’s widely suspected around the league that Dan Fegan insisted that the Rockets turn down their team option on Chandler Parsons before he would allow fellow client Dwight Howard to sign in Houston last summer, Grantland’s Zach Lowe writes. Parsons strongly denied knowing of such a deal, notes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
- On Monday, Parsons told Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports that he wasn’t thrilled with how the Rockets handled his restricted free agency. “…I was offended by the whole process…(Houston) publicly said that they were going out looking for a third star when I thought they had one right in front of them. I guess that’s just how they viewed me as a player. I don’t think I’ve scratched the surface of where I can be as a player and I think I’m ready for that role.”
- Today, Parsons said he was surprised about the backlash he received by making those comments. While he didn’t back off from what he said, Parsons also cited that he praised Rockets GM Daryl Morey (Twitter link from Feigen).
- On Monday, Mavericks president Donnie Nelson told Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the team may not be done tweaking their roster. “We’re not done…But we feel pretty good about where things are right now.” Following the team’s addition of Rashard Lewis today, Price reminds that Nelson plans to keep one of the team’s final two roster spots open for flexibility down the line (Twitter link).
- In the former piece, Price mentions also Al-Farouq Aminu, Bernard James, Shawn Marion, and Ivan Johnson as other names that Dallas could attempt to add before the start of next season.
- Nelson sat down for an interview with KESN-FM 103.3 to offer some insight on how the Mavs plan to approach the rest of the season (transcription via SportsDayDFW) and mentioned that the team is always keeping its eye out for a shooter. It’s worth noting that he said this before they added Lewis, however.
- While they won’t close the door on re-signing Marion, Nelson acknowledges that the veteran forward’s value in the marketplace is much higher than what the Mavs can afford.
- The Spurs still hope to retain restricted free agent center Aron Baynes, tweets Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. Young adds that San Antonio is willing to match any reasonable offer.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.
The Rockets and the Mavericks are interested in Mike Miller, reports Mark Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Nuggets have the best financial offer on the table for Miller, but Dallas, Houston, and the Cavaliers offer him a better chance to play for a winner, tweets Stein.
More from out west:
- The Pelicans extended a two-year contract offer to undrafted free agent center Patric Young, reports David Pick of Eurobasket (Twitter link).
- In addition to the Rockets and Heat, Chris Bosh was also being pursued by the Nuggets, Suns, and Lakers, notes Tom Haberstroh of ESPN.com. On why he chose to re-sign with Miami, Bosh said, “There were very enticing offers. There was some surprising advances made in everything, but I ultimately decided to stay in Miami. I think it was the right choice. I benefit from it, the team will benefit from it, from here. My heart was in Miami. I wanted to be there and keep my family there and build relationships and really keep building on something special.“
- It was a long road for P.J. Tucker, but the hard work paid off with his new contract with the Suns, writes Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic.
- Mavericks‘ president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson would like to re-sign free agent center Bernard James, tweets Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Nelson said, “We love to be able to have Sarge [James] back because of his shot blocking.” James averaged 0.3 BPG in 30 games last season for Dallas.
- Mavs owner Mark Cuban suggested that Chandler Parsons was the team’s top free agent target all along, writes Bryan Gutierrez of ESPNDallas.com. Cuban said, “I looked at all the main guys that were young that we thought would be available and we loved his game. We liked him the best of all the free agents and that was point one.” In the article Cuban also said that if he was in the Rockets position, he would have matched their offer sheet on Parsons.
The Pacers organization is presenting a united in front in their attempts to convince Lance Stephenson to re-sign with Indiana, reports Michael Marot of The Associated Press. Indy brass, coaches, and players are hopeful they can challenge again in the East with Stephenson back aboard now that LeBron James has fled Miami. Here are more of the night’s free agency rumblings:
Attorneys for Donald Sterling will argue that wife Shelly Sterling exerted undue influence on one of the two doctors who examined Donald and declared him mentally incompetent, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com details. Donald’s mental competency is no longer on trial. Instead, the probate trial between the Sterlings will center on whether Shelly followed the rules of the Sterling family trust, according to Shelburne. Those rules required that two mental health experts submit letters to the effect that Donald was mentally incompetent before allowing Shelly to take full control of the trust, Shelburne writes. Shelly agreed to sell the Clippers in May to Steve Ballmer, claiming that she fully controlled the trust, but Donald is fighting the sale. Here’s more from around the league:
- The Spurs kept Tony Parker through Monday, unsurprisingly, but doing so means his $3.5MM partial guarantee is now a fully guaranteed $12.5MM salary for 2014/15.
- Jamal Crawford of the Clippers had his $1.5MM partial guarantee bumped to a full guarantee of $5.45MM when he remained on the roster through Monday.
- Kosta Koufos remains on the Grizzlies, so his $500K partial guarantee is now a $3MM full guarantee.
- Parker’s teammate Austin Daye is also still with the Spurs, so his $250K partial guarantee is a fully guaranteed minimum salary.
- The Hornets kept Jeffery Taylor around, so his minimum salary went from non-guaranteed to fully guaranteed.
- It appears as though the Magic are officially under the cap, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). That means Orlando loses access to a $6,077,280 trade exception it could have reaped from last week’s Arron Afflalo deal.
- The Hawks didn’t give big man Gustavo Ayon a qualifying offer by Monday’s deadline, making him an unrestricted free agent, notes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link). There weren’t reports of qualifying offers to James Southerland of the Pelicans, Adonis Thomas of the Sixers and Bernard James of the Mavs, so presumably they’re all unrestricted free agents as well.
- The Wolves hired Ryan Saunders as an assistant coach, the team announced (on Twitter). Saunders, the son of Wolves head coach/executive Flip Saunders, had served the last five seasons as a Wizards assistant.
Donald Sterling has kept a low profile since NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned him for life and fined him $2.5MM on Tuesday. Sterling broke his silence in an interview with DuJour.com, saying, “I wish I had just paid her [V. Stiviano] off.” Stiviano, in an interview with ABC’s Barbara Walters, characterized Sterling’s current state of mind as “confused,” adding, “I think he feels very alone, not truly supported by those around him. Tormented, emotionally traumatized” (link via ESPN.com).
More from out west:
- On Friday morning, Clippers coach Doc Rivers met with team employees who were still upset and angry several days after Sterling was banned for life from the NBA, writes Greg Beachum of The Associated Press. According to the article, Rivers said employees on the team’s business side considered not working for the franchise after Sterling’s racist comments were exposed. Rivers also was quoted as saying, “What I witnessed today, you realize this thing has touched a lot of people. The people that didn’t do anything are being harmed by this, and I wish we could find the right solution, and I don’t have it.”
- Bernard James, the player representative for the Mavericks, hopes the NBA forces Sterling to sell the team, but he also thinks the owners are on a “slippery slope,” writes Dwain Price of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. James said, “I’m sure morally, most of them don’t agree with what Sterling said. But them voting for him to lose his team is hard for a lot of owners. And a lot of them are scared that maybe if I (the owner) do something, or I mess up or say something, or be caught on video doing something I shouldn’t be doing, if it comes to a vote they could take my team. And this would set a precedent for it.’’
- The Lakers search for a new head coach just adds to the uncertainty about the franchise’s future, writes Mark Lamport-Stokes of The New York Times. This is in addition to 12 of the 15 players on the roster expected to become free agents this summer, notes Lamport-Stokes.
Steve Nash worked hard to return to the court this season and eliminate the Lakers‘ ability to use the stretch provision, he reveals in a video at Grantland. Nash dispels the notion that he would consider joining the Clippers if the Lakers were to release him, saying, “It’s either back with the Lakers next year or this is it.” (Transcription via Bill Oram of Orange County Register on Twitter.) Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders told Dan Barreiro of KFAN 100.3 that he’s confident coach Rick Adelman will complete this season with Minnesota (as transcribed by Andy Greder of St. Paul Pioneer Press on Twitter). Adelman contemplated leaving the Timberwolves prior to the season due to concerns over his wife’s health, and has spent time away from the team this year tending to her issues.
- The Nuggets aren’t planning to shut down point guard Ty Lawson for the season, coach Brian Shaw tells Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. “Going forward, we’re pretty much out of the mix in terms of the playoffs, being realistic at this point. But you still want to see combinations of guys working together,” says Shaw. “Our young guys get a chance to have the focus a little more on them and play in combination with Ty, looking forward to the rest of the season and what possibly lies ahead for next season as well.” Lawson has battled multiple injuries this year, and is currently missing time due to a fractured rib while the Nuggets slide further out of contention.
- The Mavs have recalled Jae Crowder, Bernard James, and Shane Larkin from their D-League affiliate, while reassigning Ricky Ledo to the Texas Legends, reports Adam Wermuth of Mavs.com. This was the reversal of a one-game assignment/recall of the same players the Mavs made yesterday.
- Rockets center Greg Smith is out indefinitely after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery to repair a meniscus tear, reports Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle. A lengthy recovery could put the rest of his regular season in jeopardy. The second-year big man played in 70 games for the Rockets last year, but injuries and Houston’s acquisition of Dwight Howard have limited Smith’s role this season.
The Blazers are ending their one-to-one affiliation with the D-League’s Idaho Stampede and will share an affiliate with other NBA teams next season, reports Joe Freeman of the Oregonian. GM Neil Olshey prefers to let Portland’s assistant coaches develop talent rather than farm the job out, as Freeman explains.
More D-League news:
- The Mavs have assigned Jae Crowder, Bernard James and Shane Larkin to the D-League, and they’ve recalled Ricky Ledo, the team announced. It’ll be a one-game stint for the trio of assignees, notes Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who first reported the moves (Twitter links).
- Xavier Henry will see those three Mavs tonight when the affiliates for Dallas and the Lakers meet up, since the Lakers have sent Henry to the D-League, the team announced. It’s a rehab assignment for Henry, who’s been out since December 29th, tweets Mike Trudell of Lakers.com.
- The Wizards Otto Porter had been mentioned as a candidate to head to the D-League, but that looks less likely to happen now, writes J. Michael of CSNWashington.com. Porter is needed for depth in case Martell Webster or Trevor Ariza suffer an illness or an injury. The team might also resist sending him down as not to damage his confidence, opines Michael.
- Dakota Schmidt of SB Nation profiles Sioux Falls 7-footer Justin Hamilton, and thinks that he is the most talented big man still available to make the jump to the NBA. The former second-round pick out of LSU has developed quite the offensive arsenal and could be the next player to land a 10-day contract, opines Schmidt.
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.