Dallas Mavericks Rumors

Latest On Draft Lottery Reform

October 21 at 4:06pm CDT By Chuck Myron

9:37am: The Heat and Pelicans are thinking about voting “no” or abstaining, though they remain undecided, according to Lowe (Twitter links).

11:01pm: Two new teams are considering joining Philly, Oklahoma City and Milwaukee in an attempt to block the measure, Lowe reports, adding that some last-minute lobbying could take place before tomorrow’s vote (Twitter links).

1:55pm: Proposals that would give all 14 lottery teams equal shots at the top pick or teams with the eighth- through 14th-worst records equivalent chances are also “on the table,” writes Marc Berman of the New York Post, though it’s unclear how seriously the league is considering either idea.

1:22pm: The Sixers and Thunder continue to advocate caution as the Board of Governors is poised to vote Wednesday to approve a measure that would reduce the chance that the worst team in the league will win the lottery, writes Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports. Still, executives from both teams have abandoned hope of gathering enough support to block the reforms, according to Wojnarowski, though the Bucks have joined their side, tweets Chris Mannix of SI.com. Philadelphia, Oklahoma City and Milwaukee would still need to gather five more “no” votes to block the proposal, which would pass with the approval of 23 of the league’s 30 teams.

The new system would likely take hold in time for the 2015 lottery, as Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported earlier. It would give the teams with the four worst records in the league each a 12% chance to win the lottery, longer odds than the ones currently in place for the three losingest teams. Clubs with the fifth and sixth worst records would have 11.5% and 10% chances, respectively, Wojnarowski reports, filling in gaps in the outline of the structure that Lowe described earlier this month.

At least one GM whose owner has already decided to vote “yes” expressed trepidation about the proposal to Wojnarowski, and the pitch that Thunder GM Sam Presti is making centers on the effect the changes will have on small markets. Presti argues that small-market teams have a disadvantage in free agency and trades, helping large-market teams win more often, as Wojnarowski details. Allowing teams with superior records greater chances at leapfrogging to the top spot in the draft would cause further imbalance, Presti argues. Supporters of lottery reform prioritize the discouragement of tanking, Wojnarowski notes. Still, the Oklahoma City GM isn’t campaigning as much for “no” votes as he is simply trying to express his concerns about what would happen in small markets if the measure passes, execs tell Wojnarowski.

The Board of Governors are also discussing revenue sharing, with small-market franchises eyeing a share of the league’s increasing income, Wojnarowski notes. Blazers owner Paul Allen, a small-market advocate, and large-market stalwart Mark Cuban verbally clashed during meetings this week, Wojnarowski hears.

Still, the matter of lottery reform isn’t a question of market size for every team, as some will vote based on short-term concerns involving the protected picks they either owe or have coming to them, Lowe tweets. The focus is on the short term because of a feeling that the league will change the rules again before too long, Lowe adds (on Twitter).

Western Notes: Wolves, Budinger, Nelson

October 21 at 2:56pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Spurs have been a hallmark of stability over the years, but perhaps never more than they are now, with 14 of the 15 players who were on the team during the Finals last year still on the team, as Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick examines. While we wait to see if familiarity breeds success or stagnation, here’s more from around the Western Conference.

  • It seems at this point that Glenn Robinson III will remain with the Wolves for opening night, and J.J. Barea continues to impress the team with his preseason performance, as Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities hears (Twitter link). The Pistons are probably the “team to watch” regarding Minnesota’s apparent efforts to trade Chase BudingerWolfson adds.
  • Robbie Hummel is expected to make it to opening night with the Wolves, but with a guaranteed salary of just $880K, that’s not a certainty, and Hummel knows it. Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune has the details. “We have a lot of good players and camp has been real competitive, so every opportunity to get on the court is important,” Hummel said. “You try to stay ready, but it’s hard when you don’t play for a couple games, but it’s part of the job … even if there’s 15 guaranteed contracts, you want to go out and play well. Every night is an audition for another team.”
  • Jameer Nelson has a player option for the final season of the two-year deal he signed with the Mavs this summer, but he says he plans to stick with the team for the long term, as Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News observes.
  • Former Clippers owner Donald Sterling is streamlining his legal efforts, having withdrawn a suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against his wife, the NBA and Adam Silver to concentrate on his federal antitrust suit against the league, reports Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times. Sterling also faces the NBA’s counterclaim against him, Fenno notes.
  • A desire to have Sean Kilpatrick play for their D-League affiliate fueled the Warriors‘ decision to sign the undrafted shooting guard Monday, tweets Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Mavs Waive Yuki Togashi

October 21 at 11:27am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Mavs have released point guard Yuki Togashi, the team announced via press release. The move was expected, as GM Donnie Nelson admitted last week that Togashi’s immediate future was with the team’s D-League affiliate. Dallas will presumably retain the D-League rights to the 21-year-old Japanese native, which would allow him to sign directly with the Mavs affiliate rather than enter the D-League draft, providing he clears NBA waivers first. Togashi’s NBA contract was non-guaranteed, so Dallas isn’t on the hook for any dead money.

Togashi, 21, attended the same high school as Kevin Durant before returning to his native Japan to play professionally. Still, he caught the eye of the Mavs, who brought him stateside for summer league this year. He totaled 16 points in more than 36 total minutes of play in four summer league games, grabbing six rebounds, too, in spite of his 5’7″ height.

Dallas still has more cuts to make before Monday’s deadline to set its opening-night roster, and the team would reportedly like to carry fewer than 15 players to start the regular season. The team has 15 fully guaranteed pacts, and a partial guarantee with Ivan Johnson, while Charlie Villanueva has impressed on his non-guaranteed contract. Doron Lamb is with Dallas on a non-guaranteed deal, too.

Mavs Release Eric Griffin

October 21 at 11:07am CDT By Charlie Adams

TUESDAY, 11:07am: The move is official, the team announced via press release.

MONDAY, 11:29pm: The Mavs have waived swingman Eric Griffin, reports Shams Charania of Real GM (on Twitter). Griffin was on a partially guaranteed, thee-year deal worth $150K, so he won’t be walking away from Dallas completely empty handed. The 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NBA game after going undrafted out of Campbell in 2012.

Griffin appeared to be a long-shot to make the Mavs out of camp, given that the team has 15 guaranteed deals on their books as well as an apparent fondness for Charlie Villanueva, who’s with Dallas on a partially guaranteed arrangement.

Once the Mavs officially cut ties with Griffin, their roster will feature four players with partially or non-guaranteed pacts. As the October 27th deadline to trim rosters down to 15 players continues to approach, it seems unlikely any of them stick around for opening night.

Southwest Notes: Carter, Udrih, Fredette, Conley

October 20 at 2:30pm CDT By Chuck Myron

Vince Carter still thinks fondly of the Mavs, and he had expected he’d re-sign with the team this summer, as he told reporters today, including Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. That was until he signed with the Grizzlies, who gave him a take-it-or-leave-it offer while Dallas was still waiting to see if the Rockets would match the offer sheet that Chandler Parsons signed, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com.

“They offered that young man a lot of money,” Carter said of Parsons. “I kind of understood how it goes from there. It’s a business. I get it, so there’s no hard feelings or anything like that. I understand how it goes. It was a great situation, a great offer from Memphis. It was kind of like, ‘If I pass on this now, what would be left here [in Dallas] for me?’ Obviously not much. Had to move on.”

There’s more on Carter’s new team amid the latest from around the Southwest Division:

  • Beno Udrih felt maligned while with the Knicks, where he was former coach Mike Woodson‘s whipping boy, but the Grizzlies rejuvenated him after claiming him off waivers last February, as Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal details in a subscription-only piece. Udrih re-signed with Memphis this summer. “I always believed in myself,” Udrih said. “When my number is called upon I’ll do my best. When your number is not called you can’t compete. I was in a situation [in New York] where people didn’t really care about what I could do. So all I could do is hope to get in the right situation. In Memphis, I’m definitely in the right situation.”
  • Jimmer Fredette‘s defensive shortcomings have limited his effectiveness in the NBA, but Pelicans coach Monty Williams believes that the former 10th overall pick can mirror the defensive competency of shooting specialists Marco Belinelli and Anthony Morrow. Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune has the details. Fredette signed for the minimum with New Orleans this summer, like Morrow did last year before parlaying his time with the Pelicans into a three-year, $10.032MM deal with the Thunder.
  • Mike Conley admits he had some uneasiness this summer amid the turmoil surrounding the Grizzlies front office and coach Dave Joerger, but Conley’s excited to proceed with Joerger and most of his teammates back for another year in Memphis, as he tells Jeff Caplan of NBA.com.

Western Notes: Villanueva, Price, Boozer, Jazz

October 20 at 9:59am CDT By Chuck Myron

Various reports have painted conflicting pictures of Mavs owner Mark Cuban’s willingness to keep Charlie Villanueva‘s non-guaranteed contract into the regular season, but Cuban nonetheless has plenty of praise for the nine-year veteran. Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has the details. 

“He’s the prototype of what we like,’’ Cuban said. “A guy who was in a difficult situation and got a bad rap, but when you do your homework he’s really a good guy. He’s great in the locker room, guys love him and he’s putting on a battle for that last spot.”

Villanueva will soon know his status one way or another, since teams have to pare down to no more than 15 players by 4pm Central on October 27th, one week from today. Here’s more from around the Western Conference as that deadline looms:

  • Ronnie Price is looking like a shoo-in for the Lakers opening-night roster, observe Bill Oram of the Orange Country Register and Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter links). Price racked up 10 assists Sunday against the Jazz.
  • The Jazz organization remains high on Carlos Boozer, Oram notes (on Twitter). The Lakers can’t trade the former Utah power forward this year, but he hits free agency in the summer.
  • Dahntay Jones appears to have the inside track for the 15th opening-night roster spot on the Jazz if the team elects to keep that many players, as Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune examines.
  • The Warriors have opened the season with just 14 players two of the last three years, but they’re leaning toward keeping 15 men until at least the leaguewide guarantee date in January based on the impressive play of many in camp, writes Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle. Golden State has 13 contracts with full guarantees, five with partial guarantees, and a non-guaranteed deal with Jason Kapono, as our roster counts show.

And-Ones: Hornacek, Mavs, Knicks

October 19 at 9:31pm CDT By Arthur Hill

Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press writes that assistant coaching positions are now some of the NBA’s more glamorous positions. Coaches tell Krawczynski that the rising salaries and profiles of the assistants are justified. “There’s a lot more to head coaching than actual coaching,” Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “There’s a lot of other stuff that comes up. To try to put your full effort into everything is tough to do. That’s where the assistants become really valuable in terms of getting the basketball stuff ready, narrowing it down for you to look at the game plan and it’s already done pretty much for you [to] just go from there.”  More from around the league..

  • Despite losing key cogs of their championship team over the past few years, the Mavs appear poised to contend in 2014/15, writes Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders. Familiar faces like J.J. Barea and Caron Butler have moved on since 2010/11, but Dallas has a strong new supporting cast built around Dirk Nowitzki.  This offseason also saw the Mavs welcome back big man Tyson Chandler.
  • Knicks associate coach Kurt Rambis is helping rookie head coach Derek Fisher adjust to the pressures of coaching in New York, writes Mark Berman of the New York Post. Rambis worked as an assistant under new Knicks president Phil Jackson with the Lakers and understands the pressures of coaching in a big-city atmosphere. “I’m giving him countless suggestions, even how to monitor his time,’’ said Rambis, who was hired in July. “… Derek is a perfectionist, constantly thinking about the game. He did it as a player and it’s worse when you become a head coach. I want him to find time to do it.’’
  • The KnicksTravis Wear has already seen his twin brother get cut from an NBA roster, and he is hoping to avoid the same fate, reports Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.  Wear has just $62K of his $507K contact guaranteed, and the Knicks have 15 players in camp with fully guaranteed deals. Zagoria reports that Wear has fit in well with the Knicks’ new triangle offense, but he may wind up with the team’s D-League affiliate in Westchester, N.Y. Wear’s brother, David, was waived Sunday by the Kings.
  • The NBPA hired Gary Kohlman as its new general counsel, a source tells Ben Strauss of the New York Times.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Cavs, Rockets, Mavs, D-League

October 18 at 10:32pm CDT By Cray Allred

Stephen Holt is heading to the Cavs‘ D-League affiliate, tweets David Pick of Eurobasket.com. This would presumably mean that Cleveland will waive Holt and exercise their rights to him in the D-League. With Holt’s non-guaranteed contract out of the way, Cleveland’s remaining five camp invites on non- or partially guaranteed contracts would have a better shot at one of the team’s three open roster spots–outside of Anderson Varejao‘s lock to make the team on his partially guaranteed deal–for the regular season. Here’s more from around the league:

  • Rockets coach Kevin McHale indicated to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle that Houston’s first- and second-round draft picks, Clint Capela and Nick Johnson, respectively, will both spend significant time with the team’s D-League squad.
  • While the Mavericks have high expectations for this season, coach Rick Carlisle will have the challenge of meshing multiple new pieces for the second consecutive year. Carlisle tells Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News that high turnover for veteran players is a league-wide trend. “I view it as one of the realities of our business right now. Teams are going to try to keep their young core players together,” Carlisle said. “There are going to be some financial and basketball decisions that are going to be unavoidable.”  
  • Keegan LaBlance has entered his name into the 2014 NBA D-League Draft, according to Keith Schlosser of Ridiculous Upside. The point guard will hope to be selected on the November 1 draft and begin a journey toward an NBA career.
  • Chadrack Lufile is also hoping to be selected in the D-League draft, telling Gino Pilato of DLeagueDigest.com that he turned down offers to play overseas this summer. “A large reason why I wanted to stay here is actually because my mom got really sick. I want to stay nearby,” said Lufile. “My ultimate goal is to play in the NBA, and it doesn’t matter how I get there, but I feel like the D-League is a great way for me to do so.”

And-Ones: Barron, Revenue, Heat, Marion

October 17 at 2:49pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Suns are giving Earl Barron legitimate consideration for a spot on the regular season roster, and while that would force the team to rid itself of a fully guaranteed contract, coach Jeff Hornacek says that’s a move the team would be willing to make. Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic has the details.

“The one guy that sticks out and is really fighting for the team is Earl Barron,” Hornacek said. “He’s still on the roster for a reason. I know our guys are saying, ‘If he’s going to help us and we have to eat a contract somewhere, I think [owner] Robert [Sarver] is willing to do that.’ If it’s going to help us win games and he’s better than another guy, Robert is all for it.”

Hornacek’s comments sound familiar to the ones that Mavs coach Rick Carlisle made recently in which he insisted that owner Mark Cuban would be willing to sacrifice guaranteed salary to keep the non-guaranteed Charlie Villanueva. However, the Mavs are reportedly eager to open up an opening-night roster spot, which would appear to cut Villanueva out of the mix, and Sarver has never been particularly generous in his spending on the Suns. While we wait to see how it plays out in both Dallas and Phoenix, here’s more from around the league:

  • Potential changes to the league’s revenue sharing system join the draft lottery among the major topics on the agenda for the NBA’s Board of Governors next week, tweets Grantland’s Zach Lowe. The board appears poised to implement a new lottery system for the 2015 draft.
  • Erik Spoeltra this week called Heat signee signee Shawne Williams “one of the great surprises of the offseason” and raved about his shooting, notes Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post. Williams has a fully guaranteed deal with Miami.
  • Shawn Marion admits the Mavs reached out to him the instant he became a free agent this summer, as Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes (Twitter link). Carlisle, Dirk Nowitzki and other Mavs figures retain a soft spot for the versatile Cavs addition who’ll be a free agent again at season’s end, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com details.

Mavs Look To Trade Bernard James, Gal Mekel

October 17 at 8:42am CDT By Chuck Myron

The Mavs are trying to find trade partners who’ll take center Bernard James and point guard Gal Mekel, reports Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Both are on fully guaranteed contracts. Dallas wants to carry fewer than 15 players on opening night, Spears adds, and finding another team to take on Mekel, James or both without sending guaranteed salary in return would allow the Mavs to open space on their regular season roster without having to waive guaranteed salaries. Of course, the Mavs can’t trade James until December 15th, since he signed a new contract this summer.

There’s another hurdle to trading James, since he can’t be traded without his consent. Any player who’s traded after re-signing with his team for just one year, as James did this summer, loses his Bird rights. The Mavs could remind James and agent Happy Walters that if they waive him and he clears waivers, his Bird rights would also disappear that way, though that would force Dallas to eat his guaranteed minimum salary for this season. Dallas prioritized re-signing the 29-year-old former 33rd overall pick this summer as GM Donnie Nelson pointed to his shot-blocking as a reason why, but fellow Mavs centers Tyson Chandler, Brandan Wright and Greg Smith all have guaranteed contracts, too.

Mekel’s minimum salaries are guaranteed for this season as well as 2015/16. The 26-year-old didn’t see much playing time as a rookie last year, averaging 9.4 minutes per game over just 31 appearances, and he wouldn’t appear to be in line for significantly more burn this season on a Mavs roster that has no shortage of point guards.

The notion that Dallas is looking to preserve open roster spots for the regular season is an ominous sign for Ivan Johnson and Eric Griffin, who have small partial guarantees with the club, and Charlie Villanueva, who’s impressed while on a non-guaranteed deal this month. Coach Rick Carlisle has suggested that owner Mark Cuban wouldn’t hesitate to waive a guaranteed contract to keep Villanueva if the veteran power forward continues his strong play, but it appears Cuban has other plans. Dallas can keep as few as 13 players on the roster during the regular season. The last time the team opened without the maximum 15 guys was in 2011/12, as I examined last month.