Dallas Mavericks

Carlos Boozer Unlikely To Sign Before Season Starts

Carlos Boozer is likely to remain unsigned for the rest of the offseason and instead seek a deal with a playoff contender after the season starts, sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Thus, it appears as though the 13-year veteran simply isn’t seeing an offer that he likes for now, though it casts doubt on the idea that he would bite on apparent interest from the Chinese league, an option that had reportedly intrigued him earlier this month.

Boozer, who turns 34 in November, made $16.8MM combined last season from the Bulls, who waived him via the amnesty clause in July 2014, and the Lakers, who submitted a partial claim of $3.251MM to snag him off waivers. He’d be hard-pressed to make even the amount of that amnesty claim on an NBA contract this season, simply because most teams have no more than the $2.814MM room exception to spend. The Mavericks, one of the latest three NBA teams reported to have interest in him, have only the room exception to use, while the Knicks, another of those interested parties, are limited to the minimum. The Rockets have more than $2.274MM left of their mid-level exception, but using it would impose a hard cap on them, and they still have yet to sign No. 32 overall pick Montrezl Harrell. The Spurs, Raptors, Pelicans, Nuggets, Nets, Lakers and Heat were reportedly interested in the Rob Pelinka client earlier this summer, but none of them have the capacity to give him as much as the Lakers paid for him last year. The Lakers renounced their Bird rights to him last month.

The two-time All-Star put up 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in 2012/13, but his numbers have declined in each of the two seasons since, and his 6.8 boards and 23.8 minutes per contest last season were career lows. Former Nets executive Bobby Marks wouldn’t be surprised if Boozer waited until Christmas to sign (Twitter link). I’d speculate that a decent chance exists that he stays on the market even longer. Ray Allen and Jermaine O’Neal, two other aging former All-Stars, chose to carry on as free agents into the season last year but never wound up signing.

What do you think Boozer will end up doing? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Latest On Glen Davis

The Clippers remain interested in signing unrestricted free agent Glen Davis, Brad Turner of The Los Angeles Times relays (Twitter links). Team coach and executive Doc Rivers spoke with Davis’ representatives this week, but no deal has been struck just yet, according to Turner’s sources. The two sides have reportedly been circling each other since early July. Los Angeles currently has a roster count of 15 players, 14 of whom possess fully guaranteed deals.

The Mavericks have also contacted Davis’ representatives recently to discuss a potential deal, and playing overseas in China or Europe also remain possibilities for the veteran, Turner adds. The Bucks were also mentioned as potential suitors early in free agency, but the signing of Chris Copeland effectively removed Milwaukee from the mix for Davis’ services.

Davis said recently that he expects to sign by month’s end and wants to play for a contender, and he is hopeful that he’ll return to the Clippers, as he told the Gio & Jones show on CBS Sports Radio“I would love to go back,” Davis said. “Doc and his system works for me. He needs a guy to set picks and do the dirty work and stuff like that. I feel at home there. It’s just about getting [a deal] done.” Rivers had reached out to Davis on the opening day of free agency, and they share a lengthy history dating back to their time with the Celtics.

The 29-year-old appeared in 74 contests for the Clippers during the 2014/15 campaign and averaged 4.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 12.2 minutes of action per night. His career numbers through eight NBA seasons are 8.0 PPG, 4.4 RPG, and 0.9 APG with a slash line of .447/.182/.700.

Southwest Notes: Aldridge, Matthews, Williams

A dozen players have struck free agent deals with the Spurs over the past two months, as our Free Agent Tracker shows, and they’re apparently in the market for more. Still, stability remains the hallmark of the San Antonio franchise, as Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan, who’s been with the Spurs longer than any other NBA player has been with his team, remain on board. See more from San Antonio amid the latest from around the Southwest Division:

  • The Spurs convinced LaMarcus Aldridge to sign, but, as Aldridge’s recent comments suggest, they may still need to sell him on the team’s egalitarian philosophy as it applies to individual stats, writes Buck Harvey of the San Antonio Express-News. Aldridge told USA Today’s Sam Amick that he pointed to his scoring average when he expressed concern about joining the San Antonio to Spurs assistant Ime Udoka, who prevailed upon him to choose San Antonio anyway.
  • The Pelicans brought back largely the same cast that made an 11-win improvement from 2013/14 to 2014/15, but they still have depth issues, and a ceiling still appears to exist for their core despite the strides New Orleans made this past season, opines Cody Taylor of Basketball Insiders.
  • The five offseason additions most likely to have a negative impact, wear out their welcomes or otherwise disappoint all joined Western Conference teams this summer, according to ESPN’s Summer Forecast panel, and two of them are Mavericks. Wesley Matthews, who signed a four-year max deal, and Deron Williams, who inked a two-year, $11MM contract after his buyout with the Nets, are Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, on the ESPN list.

Western Notes: Waiters, Ezeli, Withey

The Thunder are open to the idea of a rookie scale extension for Dion Waiters, but only if the shooting guard is willing to give them a discount, sources tell Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. That casts doubt on whether the former No. 4 overall pick would sign before the deadline this fall, particularly coming off a career-low scoring average this past season.

Here’s more out of the Western Conference:

  • The Warriors would sign Festus Ezeli to a rookie scale extension if the price is right, Kyler also relays. GM Bob Myers recently indicated to Monte Poole of CSNBayArea.com that the team would consider the idea of doing a deal with the backup center that would keep him out of restricted free agency next summer.
  • The two-year pact that Jeff Withey inked with the Jazz includes a partial guarantee of $200K, Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders reports (Twitter link).
  • Mavericks swingman Wesley Matthews told Mavs.com scribe Bobby Karalla (on Twitter) that he will be ready to play come opening night. The shooting guard tore his left Achilles tendon on March 5th, and missed the last 22 games of the 2014/15 season. Matthews inked a four-year max deal with Dallas this offseason.
  • The most likely scenario for the Jazz heading into training camp will be for the team to stand pat and continue to carry just four point guards on its roster, Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune tweets. Utah, in the wake of the season-ending injury Dante Exum suffered, plans on going with Trey Burke as the starter, and will utilize Raul Neto and Bryce Cotton as the reserves. The Jazz are said to be interested in acquiring Wizards guard Garrett Temple, but Washington reportedly isn’t in any rush to part with the 29-year-old.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Clippers Fined For Pitch To DeAndre Jordan

2:59pm: The Clippers offered Jordan an endorsement deal with Lexus for $200K a year, and that’s apparently what prompted the fine, a source tells Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).

12:47pm: The NBA has fined the Clippers $250K for violating the league’s rules against circumventing the salary cap in their pitch to DeAndre Jordan last month, the league announced via press release (Twitter link via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports). The Clippers presented Jordan with a potential third-party endorsement opportunity during their meeting with him on July 2nd. That was before Jordan gave his commitment to the Mavericks, one that came undone when he later expressed second thoughts to the Clippers, who convinced him to re-sign.

The league’s investigation concluded that the violation didn’t influence Jordan’s ultimate decision to return to the team. However, the NBA is imposing the fine anyway, since rules prohibit teams from arranging compensation for players outside of the salary set forth via the contractual terms allowed under the collective bargaining agreement.

The fine will ultimately have little impact, since it doesn’t have any bearing on the team’s salary cap, and owner Steve Ballmer, who paid $2 billion to purchase the franchise last year, probably won’t feel much of a pinch over losing $250K. That the violation took part during the Clippers’ initial efforts to sign him, and not during the scramble that took place as he reneged on his decision to sign with the Mavs, further diminishes the effect. Still, it’s an odd coda to the already extraordinary story of Jordan’s free agency this summer.

What part of the Jordan storyline sticks out the most in your mind? Leave a comment to tell us.

Western Notes: Thunder, Mavs, Blazers

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Oklahoma City and what new Thunder coach Billy Donovan will bring to the team. He has already received rave reviews from the community. In a lengthy profile, Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman discusses how Donovan’s up-tempo, fan-friendly style of play transformed Florida into a national power in college basketball.

Here’s more from around the Western Conference:

  • With Al-Farouq Aminu now with the Blazers, the Mavs find themselves needing to replace Aminu’s spark off the bench, with the hopes that one of their new additions can fill the void, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com writes. Aminu signed a four-year, $30MM deal with Portland. Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson believes coach Rick Carlisle‘s track record of developing players will help the growth of some of Dallas’ young players like rookie Justin Anderson, Sneed adds.
  • Maurice Harkless was listed by Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders as a player who is in a better situation after changing teams this summer. Portland acquired Harkless in a trade with the Magic. Harkless is better off now, Brigham writes, because he has a solid opportunity to leap from a relative unknown in the league to a significant contributor for a respected team since the Blazers are rebuilding.

Poll: Who Should Be The Mavs Starting Center?

The Mavericks had dreams of running a pick-and-roll offense centered around one of the league’s most efficient behemoths in DeAndre Jordan. Jordan’s decision to spurn Dallas in favor of returning to Los Angeles dampened those plans. The team made several moves this offseason to bring aboard players who could man the starting spot alongside Dirk Nowitzki and it hopes one of the players establishes himself as the clear-cut choice for the job.

Dallas acquired Zaza Pachulia from Milwaukee this summer. The big man started 45 games for last season’s playoff-bound Bucks team and has proven he can be a serviceable starting center, as Chuck Myron of Hoops Rumors notes in his weekly chat. The Mavs’ acquisition of Pachulia is flying under the radar and perhaps it shouldn’t be. The big man had an impressive 2014/15 season, finishing second among centers in ESPN’s Real Plus-Minus. While his underrated defense will help the Mavs cope this season, his presence on the roster isn’t going to make fans forget about DeAndreGate due to the 31-year-old’s lack of upside.

The team added another proven player that lacks upside in Samuel Dalembert. The center previously played with the Mavs during the 2013/14 season. The team made the playoffs and nearly knocked off the eventual champion Spurs with Dalembert in the lineup. The 34-year-old wasn’t a top option on that team, but coach Rick Carlisle knows what he has in the center and could look to give a known commodity the nod. Still, as Eddie Scarito of Hoops Rumors explains in his weekly mailbag, Dalembert is better suited for a reserve role at this point in his career.

The most intriguing addition came earlier this month when the team finally signed JaVale McGee. McGee hasn’t developed into the player that many expected him to be when he was selected with the No. 18 pick in the 2008 draft. He has shown flashes of potential and if Carlisle can aid him in reaching his ceiling, Dallas might have found a player that can reach All-Star level heights. The team will need that type of player to emerge if it’s going to compete in the ultra-competitive Western Conference. However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. McGee may not even make the team, as we explained in last week’s Shootaround. Dallas has 15 fully guaranteed contracts on the books and McGee is not one of them.

Salah Mejri, who signed with the team this offseason, is one of those players whose salary is fully guaranteed. Mejri is a long-armed, agile center, who helped Real Madrid win the Spanish League title last season. Dallas likes the 29-year-old and he should get an opportunity to compete for team’s starting five spot.

Dallas also has Jarrid Famous and Dwight Powell on the roster, but neither player possesses a fully guaranteed contract. Both players are more likely to be cut prior to opening night and spend time with the Texas Legends, the team’s D-League affiliate.

The Mavs have a bevy of options to choose from when considering their starting center. Who should start at the five?  In addition to making your selection, let us know what your pitch to Mark Cuban and Rick Carlisle would be in the comment section below.

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Latest On Carlos Boozer

7:54am: The Shandong Lions, another Chinese team, are also going after Boozer, as Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia indicates via Twitter.

12:26am: The Sichuan Blue Whales and other Chinese teams are expressing interest in Carlos Boozer, and while the Rob Pelinka client is intrigued, he’s still pursuing NBA deals, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links). News regarding the 33-year-old has been scarce since a late-July report indicated that the Knicks, Rockets and Mavericks were eyeing him. The 33-year-old has lingered in free agency since July, when the lucrative five-year deal he signed with the Bulls expired. He made $16.8MM last season as a member of the Lakers, though Chicago paid all but the $3.251MM figure the Lakers bid when they claimed him via amnesty waivers.

Few NBA teams have more than the $2.814MM room exception to spend at this point. The Mavs have that amount available, though they already have deals with 20 players, the offseason maximum. The Knicks spent the room exception on Kevin Seraphin and have only the minimum to offer. The Rockets have about $2.274MM worth of their mid-level that they could spend, though doing so would leave the team hard-capped and without the means to give No. 32 pick Montrezl Harrell a market-value contract. Boozer and the Clippers reportedly had mutual interest in July, but they only have the minimum to spend, and while the Spurs, Raptors, Pelicans, Nuggets, Nets, Lakers and Heat have all apparently had interest over the course of the summer, it’s unclear if that’s the case now. Thus, I’d speculate that Boozer is only receiving minimum-salary offers from NBA teams at this point.

Andray Blatche signed a three-year, $7.5MM deal with China’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers this past spring, and a few weeks ago Shavlik Randolph inked a contract for at least $4.5MM over three years, numbers that suggest that Boozer, if he went to China, stands a decent chance to top the $1,499,187 he’d see on an NBA minimum deal. Still, Metta World Peace wound up with less than that in his deal with Sichuan last summer. A Chinese team would nonetheless offer Boozer a chance to double-dip, since the Chinese Basketball Association ends well in advance of the NBA season, giving players an opportunity to latch on with NBA teams at prorated salaries for the stretch run.

Will Joseph of Hoops Rumors examined Boozer’s free agent stock in depth earlier this month.

Where do you think Boozer ends up? Comment to tell us.

Texas Notes: Matthews, Harrell, Duncan, Fredette

The Mavericks figure to have a balanced offensive attack again this season, writes Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com, but max-salary signee Wesley Matthews appears the best bet to take over the role of lead scorer from Monta Ellis, who’s now a Pacer, Sneed adds. That’s not a familiar job for Matthews, but given the similarity between the offense he was a part of under former Mavs assistant Terry Stotts with the Blazers and the one that Mavs coach Rick Carlisle employs, the shooting guard is confident he can expand his game, as Sneed relays. 

“You know, I’ve never been one to allow someone to label me,” Matthews said. “I always continue to try to get better. I’m not a content type of person. If they come up with a term three-and-D and they want to fit me in that category, that’s fine. But there’s not a thing that I don’t think I can do on the court, and I’m excited for the opportunity. You know, talking to coach Carlisle, I’m obviously familiar with the system, having ran it in Portland. And talking to him, there’s opportunities that he sees how I can help this team. And I’m excited for those opportunities.”

See more from around the Texas triangle:

Hoops Rumors Community Shootaround 8/15/15

JaVale McGee has shown flashes of becoming an impact player in the NBA. When the former No. 18 overall pick agreed to a buyout with the Sixers last spring, he failed to generate much interest as a free agent. His lack of development, along with his health concerns, were major reasons why teams weren’t champing at the bit to sign the center.

The Mavs finally signed McGee earlier this week. Dallas previously had serious concerns about the center’s health, but it has apparently cleared that hurdle, as the Mavs remain confident that his injured leg will heal in time for the 27-year-old to join the team in training camp.

McGee’s deal, which covers two seasons, is only guaranteed for $250K, with another $250K becoming guaranteed if he remains on the roster past September 29th. Dallas currently has 20 players under contract, as our Roster Counts page shows, but it needs to trim that down to 15 by opening night. The Mavs have 15 players with fully guaranteed deals on the roster and opening up a regular season roster spot for McGee will be especially difficult, as the team only has six players who are eligible to be traded prior to the season.

Dallas has shown a willingness to eat guaranteed money in the past, waiving Bernard James and Gal Mekel last fall despite their fully guaranteed salaries. Even if McGee makes the roster, he will face competition for minutes at the center spot. Samuel Dalembert and trade acquisition Zaza Pachulia are likely to see significant minutes. The team presumably will prioritize getting free agent signee Salah Mejri on the court to give the 2011 FIBA African Championship MVP a chance at locking down the team’s open starting center spot.

If McGee can defy the long odds of becoming the team’s starter at the five, or at least crack the rotation, he could put himself in great position to remain relevant in the NBA and potentially raise his stock for the summer of 2017, when he could become a 29-year-old free agent. Dallas is a franchise that has a history of rehabilitating player values, as I illustrated in the Free Agent Stock Watch of Wesley Matthews. The team employs Rick Carlisle, who is one of the best coaches in the league and has demonstrated he can get the most out of players.

So here’s the topic of the day: Will JaVale McGee make an impact on the Mavs? Can a good environment in Dallas rehabilitate his value? Will he even make the team? 

Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to reading what you have to say.

Note: Since these Shootarounds are meant to be guided by you the reader, we certainly welcome your input on the topics we present. If there is something you’d like to see pop up here for a discussion, shoot me a message at hoopsrumorsmailbag@gmail.com or hit me up on Twitter at @CW_Crouse to submit topics or ideas for what we should present in future posts.

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