Dallas Mavericks Rumors

Latest On Zoran Dragic

September 12 at 8:36pm CDT By Chuck Myron

FRIDAY, 8:36pm: Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic adds the Cavs to the list of teams interested in Dragic, and reports that Dragic’s current salary is approximately $1.4MM. It would take upwards of $2MM in annual salary to pry the younger Dragic guard from his current club in Coro’s estimation, considering the earnings and covered living expenses provided by his current team. The Arizona Republic scribe pegs Dragic’s NBA escape clause at $1.1MM, which lines up with an earlier report that the buyout exceeds $971K.

WEDNESDAY, 7:49am: The Suns, Pacers and Kings are the teams most aggressively going after Dragic, Stein tweets, expanding on his report about Phoenix’s heavy pursuit from a few days ago. Talks are expected to intensity now that Dragic’s World Cup obligations are over, Stein adds (Twitter links). Phoenix, Indiana and Sacramento all have the capacity to exceed the minimum salary.

TUESDAY, 4:51pm: The Heat, Magic, Spurs and Mavs are maintaining dialogues with Spanish-league shooting guard Zoran Dragic, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Marc Stein of ESPN.com wrote earlier this week that the Suns were one of the three teams with the most interest in signing the 25-year-old, but it’s not clear if they remain in the running. The Pacers, too, have appeared to be in pursuit of Dragic of late, while the Rockets were reportedly the leading contender for him in May.

Several NBA teams scouted Dragic in the World Cup the past couple of weeks, Charania writes, a run that ended when his Slovenian team lost this afternoon to Team USA. New teams are inquiring about him with each passing day, the RealGM scribe adds. Dragic is the younger brother of Goran Dragic, who appears poised to opt out his deal next summer and hit free agency, and teams are already lining up to try to poach Goran from the Suns.

Zoran Dragic averaged 10.6 points in 20.3 minutes per game for Unicaja Malaga this past season but he reportedly possesses a strong desire to come to the NBA. He’d have to sign with an NBA team by Oct. 5th, according to Charania, and cover a buyout greater than the equivalent of $971K to break free from Unicaja Malaga this year, as Stein wrote in his report this week. That would appear to give the Spurs and Magic an edge on the Heat and Mavs, since Miami and Dallas can’t exceed the minimum salary and thus can’t give him more than the Excluded International Player Payment Amount of $600K toward his buyout.

And-Ones: Deng, Knicks, Dragic, West

September 12 at 6:02pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Luol Deng report from the RealGM scouting service that was the source of the racially charged statements that Hawks GM Danny Ferry said aloud in a June conference call contains several tidbits of collateral information on storylines surrounding Deng the past couple of years. One of the anonymous sources quoted in the report points to hard feelings Deng had toward the Bulls as they allegedly pushed him to play through injury and played hardball with an extension offer. The same source cites “major locker room issues” that existed between two Cavaliers during Deng’s tenure there, and while the names are redacted, many accounts have pointed to tension between Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. The report also pointed to interest in Deng from the Hornets, Suns, Mavs and Lakers around last year’s trade deadline. Aside from the most explosive racial comments, the report contains a few mild criticisms of Deng’s ability on the court and his persona off of it, but mostly serves to paint Deng as a valuable player and an upstanding character. While the fallout from the Hawks saga continues, here’s more from other corners of the league:

  • Knicks president Phil Jackson tells Scott Cacciola of The New York Times that he and owner James Dolan didn’t speak in August and have otherwise been having only a couple conversations a month as Dolan keeps his promise not to interfere. An agent said to Cacciola that when he appealed to Dolan when Jackson wouldn’t budge in negotiations, he found the owner unwilling to provide recourse behind Jackson’s back, and Dolan insists to the Times scribe that he won’t change his ways if the team starts losing this season.
  • Zoran Dragic acknowledged that playing in the NBA appeals to him but said he’s on his way to training camp with Spain’s Unicaja Malaga, as he told Gal Zbačnik of Kosarka.si (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Dragic’s contract with the team reportedly gives him until October 5th to find an NBA deal, and several teams appear to be in pursuit.
  • Delonte West has agreed to return to China on a one-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks, reports Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer (on Twitter). West, who hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2012/13 preseason, spent last year with China’s Fujian Sturgeons.

Mavs Notes: Parsons, Liz, Ledo

September 11 at 3:30pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Mark Cuban is an outspoken critic of the league’s lenient policies toward players who take part in international competitions, and while he allowed Chandler Parsons to participate in the run up to the FIBA World Cup, he made sure Parsons knew he’d prefer him to stay home.

“Yeah, he made that clear to me,” Parsons told reporters, including Jeff Caplan of NBA.com. “He did. He’s great … He obviously told me how he felt. He told the world how he felt about his guys playing for USA Basketball. But at the same time he understood it was something that I was really passionate about and it was something that I really wanted to do. So, I was planning on making the team and playing for the team. You take a risk of getting hurt anytime you step on the floor.”

There’s more from Parsons amid the latest on the Mavs, as we detail:

  • Point guard Víctor Liz told reporters, including Rafael A. Faneyte of Curiosibasket, that the Mavericks have extended him an invitation to training camp, as Rafael A. Faneyte of Curiosibasket tweets (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). It’s not entirely clear whether Liz, who spent the last couple of weeks playing for the Dominican Republic in the FIBA World Cup, has worked out a deal to accept the invitation and join the Dallas roster.
  • Parsons says he believes the Mavs caught the Rockets off guard with the size of the offer sheet, worth more than $46MM over three years, that the Mavs made to him, as Caplan also notes in his piece. “Give Mark credit and my agency credit, they put up a contract that was pretty tough for them to match and put them in a tough situation to make a hard decision,” Parsons said. “They did what they thought was best for their organization.”
  • Ricky Ledo is entering the last fully guaranteed season of his contract, but Scott Rafferty of Ridiculous Upside believes he’s better suited to spend much of the coming season on D-League assignment, as he did last year, than on the Mavs bench.

And-Ones: Roberts, Haddadi, Ferry, Parsons

September 10 at 9:03pm CDT By Alex Lee

The summer of 2014 continued to belong to Boris Diaw, as the Spurs star led France to a huge upset of host Spain in the quarterfinals of the Basketball World Cup earlier today. Meanwhile, on American soil, details continue to emerge in the situation in Atlanta. Here are some additional updates from around the league, Hawks-related and otherwise, on Wednesday night:

  • Michele Roberts‘ term as executive director of the NBPA will begin at the end of September, according to Sam Amick of USA Today, who writes that the trial lawyer won’t have much time to ease into the job with the Hawks saga in full swing. Obligations from her previous job and ongoing contract negotiations have prevented Roberts from starting sooner, according to Amick. Acting executive director Ron Klempner, who issued a statement on the Atlanta situation on Monday, has been has handling the role on an interim basis since Billy Hunter was fired in 2013.
  • Seven-foot Iranian center Hamed Haddadi wants to explore the possibility of a return to the NBA before committing to Qingdao Double Star of China, according to Sports Sohu (translation via Sportando). The 29-year-old Haddadi played in China and then Iran last season after spending five years in the NBA with the Grizzlies and Suns. He has not been linked to any NBA teams this offseason.
  • Even if Danny Ferry was indeed reading a scouting report written by someone else, Bob Young of AZCentral opines that the Hawks GM should still resign for not immediately firing that member of his staff on the spot. Young also points out that Ferry and the Hawks have been fortunate that the NFL scandal has somewhat overshadowed what has transpired in Atlanta.
  • Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons said the Rockets told him to “go get the biggest deal and the best deal for you and we’re matching,” writes Michael Florek of The Dallas Morning News. Parsons, of course, proceeded to do just that — signing a three-year, $45MM deal with Dallas — but Houston didn’t follow suit.

Southwest Notes: Lewis, Rockets, Terry

September 8 at 9:00pm CDT By Zach Links

Here’s tonight’s look at the Southwest Division..

  • Charlie Villanueva signing with the Mavericks can’t be a good sign for Rashard Lewis and his chances of getting something done with Dallas, tweets Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel.  The team recently 86′d their one-year, $1.4MM offer after learning that Lewis needed an operation on his right knee.
  • The Rockets certainly wanted his expiring contract, but they also had their eye on adding a veteran guard when they traded for Jason Terry, writes Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.  With that in mind, Feigen wonders if the Rockets might want to add an experienced player at the center position.  Trouble is, Houston has 19 players under contract and 16 with guaranteed deals.  For now, it looks like Houston will hope to see some development out of Joey Dorsey, Donatas Motejunas, and Josh Powell.
  • Free agent forward Vernon Macklin, who signed a non-guaranteed training camp deal with the Pelicans, rejected overseas deals to hook on with New Orleans, according to Shams Charania of RealGM.  Kevin Jones, who also has a non-guaranteed deal with the Pelicans, had significant interest from the Pacers before Paul George‘s season-ending injury.

Mavs To Sign Charlie Villanueva For Camp

September 8 at 3:58pm CDT By Chuck Myron

3:58pm: It will be a one-year contract, Charania tweets.

3:05pm: The Mavericks will sign Charlie Villanueva to a non-guaranteed deal, a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com (Twitter link). It’s almost certainly for the minimum salary, since that’s all Dallas can give, and Shams Charania of RealGM reported this morning that Villanueva was choosing between minimum-salary offers from the Clippers and Mavs.

It’ll be a healthy drop in salary from the $8.58MM he saw last season in the final year of a player-friendly five-year, $37.7MM contract with the Pistons. The Excel Sports Management client reportedly worked out for multiple teams earlier this summer, but there didn’t appear to be much of a market for Villanueva until the Mavs and Clippers became involved. The nine-year veteran averaged career lows in just about every category last season as he saw just 9.0 minutes per contest across 20 appearances.

The 30-year-old’s choice of Dallas over L.A. is somewhat curious, since the Mavs already have 15 guaranteed deals, while the Clippers only have 13, as our roster counts show. To make the opening-night roster, Villanueva would also have to beat out Ivan Johnson and Eric Griffin, who both possess partial guarantees on their deals and who both can play at power forward, Villanueva’s position.

Charlie Villanueva Mulls Clippers, Mavs Offers

September 8 at 10:26am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Mavericks and the Clippers have made minimum-salary offers to free agent Charlie Villanueva, who’s close to making a decision between the two, a source tells RealGM (Twitter link). The teams are the first to have been directly connected this summer to the 30-year-old former 7th overall pick.

A report in July indicated that Villanueva had worked out for multiple teams, though it’s not clear whether the Mavs or the Clippers were among them. The Excel Sports Management client is coming off an exceedingly player-friendly five-year, $37.7MM contract with the Pistons, but it looks like he’s in line to make much less this time around. His points per game decreased in each of those five seasons in Detroit, and last year, he notched 4.6 points in 9.0 minutes per night across just 20 appearances. He shot a career-low 25.0% from behind the three-point arc in the small sample size, but the 6’11″ power forward is a career 34.3% three-point shooter capable of stretching the floor.

Joining the Clippers would appear to give Villanueva a better shot at making the opening-night roster, since they only have 13 guaranteed deals while the Mavs have 15, as our roster counts show. Hedo Turkoglu is reportedly on track to sign with the Clippers, but even if he receives a fully guaranteed contract, there’d still be room enough for the team to give one to Villanueva, too.

And-Ones: Exum, Douglas-Roberts, Levenson

September 7 at 9:42pm CDT By Zach Links

Scouts are still evaluating Dante Exum, one of the bigger gambles taken in the NBA Draft lottery.  The Jazz selected him without having seen him play against top-level competition and the jury is still out on Exum as a player as he shows his stuff in the World Cup, Sean Deveney of The Sporting News writes.  When asked what he’s learned about Exum so far, one Eastern Conference scouting director said, “Not much. He’s not ready for the NBA, that is for sure. But a lot of guys are not ready for the NBA and they have got to learn on the fly. He is no different. But he is not going to jump into the league and all of a sudden average 20 points a game. There’s just no way.”  Here’s tonight’s look around the NBA..

  • Chris Douglas-Roberts‘ deal with the Clippers is fully guaranteed, according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (via Twitter).  That doesn’t come as a huge surprise since Ekpe Udoh‘s minimum salary deal is also fully guaranteed for the 2014/15 season.  CD-R averaged 6.9 points in 20.7 minutes per game and shot a career-high 38.6% from downtown last season.
  • Even before the Donald Sterling situation erupted, there was some talk that Bruce Levenson would explore selling his controlling interest of the Hawks, tweets Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
  • Whether Levenson’s fate is well-deserved or Orwellian is up for debate, but it’s clear this is a different world in the post-Sterling NBA, writes Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
  • Supply and demand could keep Reggie Jackson with the Thunder, writes Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman. Only four teams – the Mavs, Lakers, Knicks, and Heat – currently have a clear need and the necessary cap space to make a run at him next summer.  Jackson is after a sizable payday and a starting role, but that could be hard to find in the middle of an extremely talented free agent class.
  • The Jazz have several players in the World Cup, including Exum and stashed Brazilian talent Raul Neto, and Dennis Lindsey admits that he is somewhat worried about injuries and fatigue, writes Tony Jones of The Salt Lake Tribune.  At the same time, he feels that his younger players are also gaining valuable experience in international play.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Mavs Re-Sign Bernard James

September 3 at 6:00pm CDT By Chuck Myron

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.

And-Ones: Mavs, Koponen, Chandler

September 1 at 9:53pm CDT By Zach Links

Two games into FIBA World Cup pool play, Bulls star Derrick Rose is pain free, writes Joe Cowley of the Sun Times.  Rose didn’t light up the scoreboard against Turkey on Sunday as he scored just two points, but he looked sharp as he scored 12 points in 22 minutes against Finland on Saturday.  Here’s more from around the league..

  • Finnish point guard Petteri Koponen, whose rights are owned by the Mavericks, hopes to be playing in the NBA by the 2015/16 season, writes Marc Stein of ESPN.com.  “I always said my dream is to play in the NBA,” Koponen said. “Every summer we talk a little bit with Dallas to see what the situation is and what they think. I’ve got one more year left on my contract in Russia and then of course I would like to come over. I hope I get some options to go there and show I can play at that level.”  Team sources tell Stein that the Mavs have not ruled out importing Koponen themselves in the future, but there was no talk of doing that this season with four point guards already on the roster.  Of course, they could also deal his rights to another team.
  • Even though he only played just one season for the Mavs, Tyson Chandler says his heart was always in Dallas, says Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram. “I enjoyed my entire time with the Mavericks and it was a sad process for me and my family leaving Dallas, especially after the amazing experience and amazing run that we had,’’ said Chandler, who was shipped back to Dallas this summer. “As I left I told those guys, ‘You know, I love you and I’ll love you forever and I love everything you have done for me and did for me.’ I understand the (NBA) business and I guess it wasn’t meant for me. But I guess it is meant for me to be back now.’’
  • The Spurs kept the band together after winning the championship but not every defending champion has been so lucky.  Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders looks at some of the worst defending champs in NBA history.
  • According to Italian basketball exec Gianmaria Vacirca, Thanasis Antetokounmpo had an agreement to play with Pallacanestro Varese before deciding to stay in America to play for the Knicks D-League affiliate, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando writes.