10:21pm: Lewis’ injury was discovered during a team physical, and It’s uncertain if the Mavs will look to void his contract at this point, writes Spears.
7:09pm: Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com tweeted that it was unclear how long Lewis would be sidelined. Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram added that it’s not known yet when Lewis will have the surgery or if he’ll be recovered enough to participate in training camp this fall (Twitter links).
5:43pm: Mavericks forward Rashard Lewis will have knee surgery soon, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports. Though it isn’t clear how serious the procedure will be, Lewis’ agent, Colin Bryant may have implied that the 6’10 forward could still be able to return at some point this season. “Rashard discovered he needs a medical procedure on his right knee to ensure he functions at a high level this season…We look forward to (Lewis) getting this behind him as soon as possible so he can continue his stellar NBA career” (All Twitter links).
The 34-year-old forward was a key rotation player for the Heat in this past year’s NBA playoffs, logging eight starts and 17.7 MPG in 18 total games en route to a Finals appearance. Lewis signed a one-year deal reportedly worth the veteran’s minimum with Dallas last week.
Free agent point guard Jameer Nelson is scheduled for a face-to-face visit with the Mavericks on Thursday, sources tell ESPN’s Marc Stein, who adds that Dallas is still equipped with its $2.732MM room exception and hopes to ultimately complete a deal with the former All-Star. On the topic of their search for one more veteran point guard this summer, Stein also reminds that the Mavs met with Mo Williams at some point this month (All Twitter links).
As we recently passed along, Williams hasn’t been the team’s top priority with their room exception, and Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com even suggested that Nelson was possibly a higher target on their list. If the Mavs reach an agreement with Nelson, it would certainly factor into Williams’ interest in joining the team; the addition of Nelson to a current point guard rotation that includes Devin Harris, Raymond Felton, and Gal Mekel would create a logjam. Although Williams can productively contribute as an off-guard, it’s difficult to imagine him taking less money to join the Mavs when there are more lucrative offers reportedly on the table.
Nelson put up 12.1 PPG and 7.0 APG in 32.0 MPG over 68 games and 68 starts last season, although he didn’t shoot particularly well from the field overall (39.4%). Nonetheless, those numbers are mostly better than Harris’ (7.9/4.5/20.5/40/37.8) and Felton’s (9.7/5.6/31.0/65/39.5) last season. Nelson was also the superior three point shooter compared to the other two, hitting from deep on a 34.8% clip; Harris shot 30.7% while Felton connected on 31.8%.
Last season, D.J. Augustin, Glen Davis, Danny Granger, and Caron Butler were just a handful of rotation-worthy players who were able to land on playoff-bound teams after being waived during the regular season. Keeping this in mind, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said on the “Fitzsimmons and Friedo Show” on 103.3 ESPN in Dallas that his team could hold off on using its $2.732MM exception this summer, waiting to see who could become available if notable players are released from their respective teams during the regular season (hat tip to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com).
Here are more miscellaneous news and notes to pass along tonight:
- While there has been mutual interest between Dallas and free agent guard Mo Williams, the 31-year-old guard has fielded offers that are more lucrative than the Mavs’ $2.732MM exception, says MacMahon. A source also tells MacMahon that Williams hasn’t even been Dallas’ top target with that exception.
- Grizzlies coach Dave Joerger is in advanced talks to hire former Nuggets coach Jeff Bzdelik to be an assistant on his coaching staff, hears Marc Stein of ESPN (Twitter link). Bzdelik is expected to sign a contract tomorrow, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports.
- Free agent swingman Dahntay Jones will audition for 15-20 teams in Las Vegas next week, tweets Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.
- Hornets big man Al Jefferson told Kennedy that he’s thrilled with his team’s offseason moves. “I told (management) how I felt when the season went over well. They did everything they said they were going to do [this summer]. I think (we’ve gotten) better.”
- Evan Turner‘s agent, David Falk, told A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com that Turner had seriously considered two other teams before opting to join the Celtics; while Falk acknowledged the Timberwolves as a potential suitor, he declined to identify the second team. We noted that Minnesota was Boston’s primary competition in their pursuit of the former second-overall pick.
- The Pistons are not currently considering the possibility of moving from the Palace of Auburn Hills, reports Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. Mark Barnhill, senior partner at Platinum Equity, made a statement reflecting the views of Pistons owner Tom Gores in light of the Ilitch family’s plans to build a $650MM entertainment district in downtown, which will in part house the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. “We have a beautiful arena, and we have invested tens of millions of dollars over the past three years to modernize and improve that facility…At the same time, we would never close the door on alternatives if they made good sense for our fans, for our team, for our business and for Michigan.”
The Cavs aren’t dangling Andrew Wiggins in trade talks with the Wolves about Kevin Love, at least for the time being, a source tells Bob Finnan of The News-Herald, who was the first to report last week that Cleveland was open to the idea of parting with Wiggins. So, while no one involved would guarantee Finnan that Wiggins wouldn’t wind up in a Love deal, it sounds like that idea is on the backburner for now. Here’s more from around the Association:
- Testimony has resumed today in the probate trial between Clippers owners Donald and Shelly Sterling after the judge made a pair of decisions Friday that appear to help Shelly Sterling’s case, as USA Today’s David Leon Moore details. The judge has the power to allow Shelly Sterling to go forward with her sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, if he rules in her favor, even if Donald Sterling decides to appeal, according to Moore.
- A member of the players association’s executive committee told TNT’s David Aldridge that the union will discuss the idea of taking action should the Sterlings continue to own the Clippers at the start of next season, as Aldridge writes in his Morning Tip column for NBA.com.
- Thunder assistant coach Brian Keefe, whom Knicks head coach Derek Fisher has reportedly lured to serve as a Knicks assistant, was the member of the Oklahoma City staff whom Kevin Durant trusted the most, Aldridge notes in the same piece.
- A source tells Frank Isola of the New York Daily News that Knicks GM Steve Mills recently pulled his name from contention for the union’s executive director vacancy. Mills re-emerged as a candidate this spring after having been the apparent front-runner last summer prior to taking the Knicks job.
- The final two seasons of the four-year contract between Devin Harris and the Mavs are a little more lucrative than previously reported. He’ll make nearly $4.728MM in year three and nearly $4.903MM in the final season, which is partially guaranteed for almost $1.34MM, as Mark Deeks of ShamSports details on his Mavs salary page.
JULY 21ST: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.
JULY 13TH: Free agent Richard Jefferson is finalizing a one-year deal with the Mavericks, a league source tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). RJ’s deal is for the veteran’s minimum, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein (on Twitter).
Jefferson, 34, spent last season with the Jazz and averaged 10.1 PPG and 2.7 RPG in 27 minutes per contest. Jefferson isn’t quite the player that he was during his Nets heyday, but the Mavs are getting a solid veteran piece for next to nothing.
While he won’t be making big bucks this season, RJ has plenty of money already in the bank. According to Basketball-Reference, Jefferson has earned nearly $107MM over the course of his career.
The Warriors have until October 31st to decide if they will exercise Nemanja Nedovic’s $1.15MM third-year option for the 2015/16 season, writes Tim Kawakami of The Bay Area News Group. The deadline is tricky for the team because Nedovic hasn’t performed all that well in the Summer League this year, and the franchise wants to maintain as much financial flexibility as possible heading into free agency next summer, notes Kawakami. One major determining factor in what the team decides in regards to Nedovic is the play of undrafted rookie and Warriors summer leaguer Aaron Craft. If Craft shows he’s capable of being the third point guard for the Warriors, then Nedovic will be expendable, according to Kawakami.
More from the west:
- Chandler Parsons believes the Rockets undervalued what he could do on the court and that they figured they could get him back for a cheaper price, writes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Parsons was surprised that Houston didn’t match the offer sheet the Mavericks signed him to, saying “I definitely was a little surprised that they didn’t match. I thought that was the plan going forward that they were going to match. But I think [agent] Dan Fegan and my agency … did a great job with this contract and really put pressure on them. They decided what they thought was best for their future and they told me to go get my best individual contract, and we both did what we thought was best for ourselves.”
- Dwight Howard doesn’t believe the departure of Parsons will impact the Rockets’ title hopes for next season, writes ESPN.com. “It won’t affect us at all,” Howard said. “We have myself and James [Harden],” Howard said. “We have the best center and the best two guard in the game on the same team. It’s on us.” Howard also praised the signing of Trevor Ariza, saying, “He’ll go through a wall for you. Just to have soldiers on your team like that is great. We have that one-two punch with me and James. We’re filling out our roster with guys who are willing to go through that wall and doing whatever it takes to win.”
- The Timberwolves now hold all the cards in the Kevin Love trade talks, writes Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press.
SATURDAY, 3:35pm: The deal is official, the team announced via press release.
TUESDAY, 9:50pm: Rashard Lewis has agreed to a one-year deal with the Mavericks, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). Colin Bryant, Lewis’ agent, confirmed the news. According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas, the deal will be worth the veteran’s minimum (Twitter link).
In 60 games last season, Lewis averaged 4.5 PPG in 16.2 MPG while shooting 41.5% from the field and 34.3% from long distance. In 18 playoff games, the 34-year-old forward scored 5.3 PPG and raised his three point accuracy to 37.3%.
With Lewis on board, the Mavericks have found a capable veteran backup for Dirk Nowitzki who can spread the floor with his ability to knock down shots from the perimeter. Although his overall shooting percentages from the field over the last two seasons seem far from ideal, Lewis displayed noticeable proficiency as a catch-and-shoot player in this year’s playoffs, as he knocked down 40.0% of his 3.1 three-point attempts on those type of shots.
2:53pm: Shams Charania of RealGM has it as a three-year contract, so if that’s the case, the Mavs used a portion of the meager cap room they had left, leaving their $2.732MM room exception untouched, since room exception deals can run no longer than two seasons.
TUESDAY, 2:01pm: It’s a non-guaranteed one-year deal, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com (Twitter link).
1:47pm: The Mavs have signed Eric Griffin, the team announced via press release. Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside reported earlier this week that Dallas had offered the swingman a partially guaranteed deal. The 24-year-old Griffin, who’s yet to make his official NBA debut, has been playing for the Mavs in summer league this week. The amount of his partial guarantee isn’t clear, but he’ll likely receive no more than the minimum salary if he sticks with the team.
It’s the third straight summer that Griffin has taken part in NBA summer league play after going undrafted out of Campbell in 2012. He joined the Heat for training camp this past fall, and spent time playing overseas in Venezuela and Puerto Rico this past season.
Griffin averaged 9.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 19.1 minutes per game this week for the summer Mavs. He used his 6’8″ height to control the boards in college, grabbing 8.7 RPG in 30.3 MPG during his senior year.
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).
With the Bulls using their amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer on Tuesday, only seven NBA players remain amnesty-eligible as noted in our 2014 Amnesty Primer. But the five teams that haven’t used the provision will have to wait until next summer, as Wednesday marked the deadline for this offseason.
Boozer was snatched up by the Lakers earlier today for a manageable price of $3.25MM, though as ESPN’s Marc Stein reports (via Twitter), the Duke product had strong interest in the Rockets had he gone unclaimed and cleared waivers. Meanwhile, Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times speculates that Boozer’s presence might signal a more complimentary role for rookie Julius Randle unless the playoff-hungry Lakers consider June’s No. 7 pick a small forward (Twitter links are here).
Here’s more from around the league on Thursday night:
- DeJuan Blair‘s starting salary in his new deal with the Wizards is $2MM, Hoops Rumors has learned, so that leaves just $16K on the Eric Maynor trade exception the team reportedly used to absorb him via sign-and-trade from the Wizards. That effectively exhausts the Maynor exception, which expires this coming February 20th, since the remaining $16K wouldn’t be enough to absorb another player.
- Louis Williams left his exit interview with Hawks officials expecting to be traded, as he told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who writes in a subscription-only piece. The instinct was correct, as the Hawks shipped Williams to the Raptors late last month, but Williams said he harbors no ill feelings toward the Atlanta brass.
- Multiple reports have linked Mo Williams to Dallas in recent days, but a source tells Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that the Mavericks are pursuing another free agent whom they would prefer to spend their room exception on.
- The Mavs‘ deal with Devin Harris, which became official earlier tonight, is for four years and $16.55MM, reports Dwain Harris of the Fort Worth Star Telegram (via Twitter). Meanwhile Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News has the yearly breakdown, reporting that Harris will make $3.878MM next season, followed by $4.053MM in 2015/16, $4.228MM in 2016/17 and $4.403MM in what is a partially guaranteed fourth year in 2017/18.
- Metta World Peace would love to play for the Lakers, Clippers or Knicks, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News hears, adding that it seems any conversation World Peace may have had about a return to the Lakers wasn’t too serious (Twitter link).
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.