Dallas Mavericks Rumors

Southwest Rumors: Jefferson, Mavs, Babbitt

September 29 at 9:02pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Richard Jefferson admits that while other teams around the league offered him a chance at more playing time and a more lucrative paycheck, he decided to sign with the Mavs because he believes they give him the best chance at winning, as Michael Florek of the Dallas Morning News details. “We have a chance here,” said Jefferson, “Obviously you need to be lucky. You need things to go the right way, have the ball bounce your way, but I believe this was my best chance to win and win now.”

Here’s more from the Southwest:

  • Mark Cuban responded to the critical comments made by Rockets GM Daryl Morey, suggesting Morey’s assertion that free agents would prefer to play in Houston over Dallas is flawed. I’m not sure how he would know that,” said the outspoken owner of the Mavs, who reminded Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com that the Rockets have won only a single a playoff series since 1997.
  • The Rockets had to scrap Kostas Papanikolaou‘s contract and re-sign him, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. The NBA rejected the original agreement, and it’s unclear if any significant changes have been made to the structure of the deal.
  • Luke Babbitt was held out of Summer League play by the Pelicans because there was a chance he’d be dealt to the Rockets in the then-looming Omer Asik trade, writes Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune (on Twitter).

Cray Allred contributed to this post.

And-Ones: Nets, Knicks, Butler, Magic

September 28 at 9:41pm CDT By Zach Links

When center Brook Lopez was asked if he knew how many different people had coached the Nets since the team picked him in the 2008 draft, he wasn’t too confident in his answer. “Seven?” Lopez asked reporters, including Andrew Keh of the New York Times. “Or eight? Are you counting interim?”  The number, interim coaches included, is indeed seven, and the Nets are hoping that new coach Lionel Hollins will stick around for some time. Here’s more from around the league..

  • The Knicks appear to be more stable than they did a year ago, and seem to have a clear plan on how they want to build towards being a championship contender, Al Iannazzone of Newsday writes. “I think it feels much better now,” executive vice president Steve Mills said. “I think the addition of Phil to the team adds a different look in terms of creating a culture. I think that was important to Carmelo and I think it’s important to how we move forward as a unit. So I think there’s a lot more stability. I see the rhythm to how we need to build the team.”
  • If Jimmy Butler does sign a long-term extension with the Bulls, it’ll probably come at the last minute as it did with Taj Gibson two years ago, writes Sam Smith of Bulls.com.  It’ll be an especially crucial year on an individual level for Butler if he doesn’t ink a new deal.  Butler will look to his long-distance shooting which dipped to 28% last season thanks in part to playing a grueling 38.7 minutes per night.
  • The Magic have until October 31st to reach contract extensions with Tobias Harris and Nikola Vucevic, but it wouldn’t be a crisis if deals aren’t struck, writes Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel.
  • With training camp set to open for the Mavericks this Tuesday, Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram gives a quick rundown of Dallas’ roster and what each player brings to the court.

Eddie Scarito contributed to this post.

Western Notes: Papanikolaou, Liz, Ivey, Gay

September 25 at 9:25pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Kostas Papanikolaou’s two-year deal with the Rockets is non-guaranteed, surprisingly, but this year’s salary of nearly $4.798MM becomes fully guaranteed if he remains on the roster through Sunday, reports Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders (Twitter link). His second-year salary of almost $4.6MM becomes fully guaranteed if he sticks through September 28th next year, Pincus adds.

Here’s more from out west:

  • Dominican Republic guard Victor Liz is working on a deal to re-sign overseas, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link). Liz had reportedly been offered a training camp invite by the Mavericks.
  • Former Hawks player Royal Ivey will be an assistant coach for the Thunder‘s D-League affiliate, Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Twitter link).
  • With Rudy Gay picking up his player option to return to Sacramento, the Kings have stability at the small forward position for the first time in years, Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee writes.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Southwest Notes: Chandler, Pelicans, Blue

September 24 at 9:42pm CDT By Eddie Scarito

Tyson Chandler said Tuesday that he feels “indebted” to the Mavs for bringing him back to the team, observes Dwain Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Mavs owner Mark Cuban hinted that he intends to keep Chandler around after his contract expires at season’s end, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com notes.

Here’s the latest out of the Southwest Division:

  • The Spurs worked out Vander Blue last week before Blue committed to a camp deal with the Wizards, reports Shams Charania of RealGM. Blue was a part of San Antonio’s summer league team in July.
  • Cuban is excited about the Mavericks 2014/15 campaign, Price writes in the same piece linked above. Cuban said, “I am so fired up, you have no idea. You know how important I think chemistry is, so just being able to get a feel for how all the guys get together and how they get along [is important]. Everybody’s fired up, everybody pushing each other. Dirk Nowitzki has got a big old smile on his face, so it’s exciting.”
  • The small forward position looks to be the Pelicans‘ weakest link heading into training camp, John Reid of the Times-Picayune opines. That’s why newly signed John Salmons has a chance to make an impact this season, and he’ll compete for a starting job with Darius Miller and Luke Babbitt, notes Reid.

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Zoran Dragic, Suns Nearing Deal

September 24 at 9:32am CDT By Cray Allred

9:32am: Dragic’s agents have informed the Spanish team that the Suns have a two-year offer on the table and that the guard will buy out his contract, freeing him to head to Phoenix, Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia reports (Twitter link).

THURSDAY, 9:11am: Dragic has told Unicaja Malaga that the Suns have made him an offer, Guerra tweets.

TUESDAY, 7:55am: There’s no October 5th deadline in Dragic’s contract with Unicaja Malaga, so he can leave the team to come to the NBA after that date should he choose to do so, reports Rafael M. Guerra of La Opinión de Málaga (translation via Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia). Goran Dragic would likely pick up part of the tab for the buyout necessary to bring his brother to the Suns, Guerra adds.

SUNDAY, 1:30pm: The Suns have emerged as the frontrunners to sign Dragic, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reports (Twitter links). The guard is likely to land a two year deal, notes Stein.

SATURDAY, 9:21 pm: Zoran Dragic is in advanced discussions with Unicaja Malaga to leave the team and come to the NBA, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. The Slovenian point guard has a buyout clause of $1.1MM to leave the Euroleague team, so presumably he has an agreement in place with an NBA squad. It’s possible that the team could have relinquished its buyout requirement, or that Dragic is paying for it himself, but it is much more likely that an NBA team is set to foot the bill.

The Suns, Pacers, and Kings have been named as the most aggressive suitors for the younger brother of Goran Dragic, although the Cavs, Heat, Magic, Spurs, Mavs, and Rockets have also registered interest. If Phoenix has struck a deal with the 25-year-old, it could have massive ripple effects around the league. The Suns are at a negotiating standoff with restricted free agent Eric Bledsoe, and adding another Dragic to the already-stacked Phoenix backcourt could signal their willingness to move on from Bledsoe, who Minnesota would bring on with a max contract if they had the room to do so.

Momentum has been building all summer for the younger Dragic, who has until October 5th to exercise the escape clause before becoming locked into another season overseas. At one point, it seemed like a long shot that the point guard would be coming stateside before next season, but he repeatedly stated his desire to find his way to the NBA amid a strong performance in the FIBA tournament spotlight. The hefty buyout payment, which exceeds the $600K max to not count against the cap, could mean that at least one team believes in him as a player who can contribute immediately. If Dragic fetches more than the minimum from a team willing to invest in his services, the Cavs, Heat, and Mavs are unlikely candidates to have snagged him.

Mavs Notes: Additions, Chandler, Lamb, Analytics

September 23 at 6:49pm CDT By Alex Lee

The new-look Mavericks introduced most of their offseason additions today at a press conference, as Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com writes. In adding Chandler Parsons, Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler, Jameer Nelson, Al-Farouq Aminu and Richard Jefferson, Dallas bolstered a roster that took the champion Spurs to seven games with six veterans that were primary starters on NBA rosters last season, as owner Mark Cuban explained:

“I think we’ve got a group where everybody has had their own personal success but not a lot of team success or great team success,” Cuban said. “So, coming here, we don’t have guys that are looking to just throw up numbers. They’ve already done that and now they’re looking to win. You know, they’re not 21 or 22 anymore, and they’re ready to win. That’s going to have a big impact.”

Here are some other notes coming out of Dallas on Tuesday:

  • Cuban also implied today that he made a mistake in allowing Chandler to leave Dallas in free agency in 2011, writes Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas. Cuban was responding to a question from a fan who asked whether Chandler, who will again be a free agent next summer, will remain in Dallas beyond this season. Neither Cuban nor Chandler, who also spoke to media, offered many clues as to the answer, though MacMahon indicates that both sides are happy to be reunited.
  • As Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders confirms, Doron Lamb‘s minimum-salary deal with the Mavericks covers just one season (via Twitter).
  • Many of the Mavericks additions were strategic decisions based on an improving analytical department, writes Jeff Caplan of NBA.com. Both Cuban and head coach Rick Carlisle discussed the team’s analytics push at length on Tuesday, according to Caplan, who adds that Mavs stats guru Roland Beech was given “carte blanche to hire as needed” in an effort to catch up to the stats-savvy Spurs.

Mavs Sign Charlie Villanueva For Camp

September 23 at 2:53pm CDT By Chuck Myron

SEPTEMBER 23RD: The deal is official, as Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com confirms (Twitter link).

SEPTEMBER 8TH: 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.

Southwest Rumors: Leonard, Mohammed, Asik

September 22 at 9:32pm CDT By Charlie Adams

Kawhi Leonard isn’t making any promises about signing an extension with the Spurs before the October 31st deadline for him to do so, but he tells Jabari Young of the San Antonio News-Express that he’s pleased with the other moves the team made this summer. He expressed particular satisfaction with new deals for Boris Diaw and Patty Mills, as well as Tony Parker‘s extension. “I’m happy about that just in case the Spurs do extend me and if I am a Spur for life,” Leonard said. “That’s a great thing to know that Tony will be there.” Let’s have a look at the latest from the Southwest:

  • Nazr Mohammed had expressed interest in returning to the Spurs for the 2014/15 season, but San Antonio clearly didn’t reciprocate the feeling, Young tweets. Mohammed, who won a championship with the Spurs in 2005, re-signed with the Bulls on minimum-salary contract this afternoon.
  • While taking on Omer Asik‘s bloated contract is definitely a risk for the Pelicans, Jimmy Smith of the Times-Picayune thinks New Orleans potentially stands to reap some major benefits from the decision. Specifically, Smith thinks Asik’s presence will help alleviate the pressure placed on Anthony Davis, who otherwise received the brunt of opposing teams’ attention last year in a less-than-stellar frontcourt.
  • Some of the advice that helped Kostas Papanikolaou decide to sign with Houston came from former Rockets shooting guard and fellow Greek native Vassilis Spanoulis, an unlikely source given the frustration Spanoulis felt upon his exit from the team. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle has the details.
  • The Mavericks had a busy offseason, and it’s one that Jae Crowder believes will push Dallas to the next level of competition, as Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram transcribes. “I feel like we picked up some championship-level pieces,” Crowder said. “I’m not just blowing gas… “One thing Cuban was talking about was just having a good mix of older guys and younger guys, and I feel like that’s exactly what they did this summer with bringing in a good group of guys.”

Chuck Myron contributed to this post.

Mavs Sign Doron Lamb

September 22 at 1:59pm CDT By Chuck Myron

The Mavericks have signed shooting guard Doron Lamb, the team announced (Twitter link). All of the terms aren’t immediately clear, but Dallas is limited to giving out no more than the minimum salary. There’s no guaranteed money involved, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas (on Twitter).

Lamb, who turns 23 in November, has been on the market since shortly after the Magic waived him at the end of June to avoid guaranteeing his minimum salary for the season. Up to that point he’d been on the same contract that he’d signed after the Bucks made him the 42nd overall pick in 2012. He put up similar numbers in his first two seasons in the league, split between Milwaukee and Orlando. The Arn Tellem client has averaged 3.5 points in 12.7 minutes per game in the NBA, but he’s made his mark with 39.4% shooting on 1.3 three-point attempts per contest.

It’ll be an uphill battle for Lamb if he’s to make the opening-night roster, since Dallas already has 15 fully guaranteed deals, plus partially guaranteed arrangements with Eric Griffin and Ivan Johnson. Charlie Villanueva is also with the Mavs on a non-guaranteed deal.

Western Notes: Warriors, Harris, Grizzlies

September 21 at 9:48pm CDT By Zach Links

Dennis Rogers of Clippers.com solicited the help of four national writers to preview the Pacific Division for 2014/15.  Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com says that the offseason move that will probably have the most impact will be replacing coach Mark Jackson with Steve Kerr.  How the Warriors respond to losing a popular coach is critical to how the division will shake out, Shelburne opines. More from the Western Conference..

  • Mavericks guard Devin Harris says his squad believes that they’re even better than last season, according to Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram (Twitter links).  The Mavs had an active offseason which included adding Chandler Parsons and trading for Tyson Chandler.
  • While the Grizzlies are certainly a team worthy of respect, they did not do enough this summer for Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders to expect significant improvement.  While Hamitlon likes some of their moves, like re-signing Zach Randolph to a two-year, $20MM extension, the Grizzlies could be leapfrogged by the Pelicans in his estimation.
  • The Grizzlies shook up their front office this summer but General Manager Chris Wallace decided to more or less stay the course, writes Adi Joseph of USA Today Sports.  Still, Memphis brought in Vince Carter to replace Mike Miller as the veteran swingman off the bench, and the team drafted two productive college players in Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes.