Dallas Mavericks

Southwest Notes: Bickerstaff, Fizdale, Pachulia, Mavs

Former Rockets coach J.B. Bickerstaff is being considered for a job on the Grizzlies‘ staff, tweets John Martin of ESPN929.com. A source told Martin that Bickerstaff traveled to Memphis Friday to meet with new coach David Fizdale. Bickerstaff had a 37-34 record with Houston after taking over for Kevin McHale in November. He pulled his name out of consideration in the Rockets’ coaching search before they hired Mike D’Antoni.

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • Fizdale has a reputation as a players’ coach, but that’s because he’s a communicator, not a pushover, writes Tom Schad of The Commercial Appeal. Fizdale spent the past two seasons as an assistant in Miami, where he became known for his directness. “That doesn’t mean you’re always nice. That means you’re true with your players,” former Heat point guard Beno Udrih said in an interview with ESPN 92.9. “I think players appreciate more if coaches, when he needs to be tough, he’s tough to them. And he can communicate in a different way that — picking up his voice — he does that. He has that very good balance to do that.”
  • The Mavericks hope to improve at center, so it’s likely that free agent Zaza Pachulia will wind up with another team, writes Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News. Pachulia was a pleasant surprise after Dallas acquired him from the Bucks last summer in exchange for a second-round draft pick. He started 69 games and averaged close to a double-double with 8.6 points and 9.4 rebounds per night. The Mavs made a strong play for DeAndre Jordan last summer and are expected to chase free agent centers again. If they get one, they may not be able to afford to keep Pachulia as a backup.
  • Veteran Charlie Villanueva may also be leaving Dallas after a down shooting season, Sefko writes in a separate piece. Normally an effective stretch four, Villanueva connected on just 27% of his 172 3-point attempts this season. He is only 32, so there’s still a chance he’ll bounce back, but Sefko expects it to be with another organization.
  • The players the Mavericks target in free agency will provide a clue on the direction the franchise is taking, Sefko writes in a question-and-answer column. The writer says the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson would be a nice pickup at point guard, but Dallas may not want to live with his mistakes while giving him time to develop. Sefko thinks the Mavericks will pursue veteran free agents who can help them win right away.

Mavs Expect David Lee To Help Recruit

  • The Mavericks expect the positive experience that David Lee had with the organization this season will aid it in recruiting free agents this offseason, Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com writes. “You know, we acquired David Lee two months ago. I don’t remember the exact date, but when you acquire a player like that that’s been a two-time All-Star and has been in some successful organizations, you know, you want him to have a great experience,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He did, and he helped us get to the playoffs. We wouldn’t have got to the playoffs without David Lee, and the word spreads. You know, veterans like him know other veterans, and the word gets out that Dallas is a high-level organization. And we take great pride in that.

Mavs May Look To Re-Sign Felton If Price Is Right

  • The Mavericks could benefit by re-signing Raymond Felton this summer after his solid 2015/16 campaign, though the team should only do so if he is willing to accept the salary of a backup player, Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News writes. Felton made 80 appearances this season, including 30 starts, and he averaged 9.5 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 27.4 minutes per outing.

Robert Carter Worked Out For Nets, Mavs

  • Alex Kirshner of Testudo Times adds the Nets and Mavericks to the list of teams that have recently worked out Maryland junior power forward Robert Carter.

Will Mavs Make Major Changes To Roster?

Even though they have several players eligible for free agency this offseason, the Mavericks could attempt to keep most of their 2015/16 roster intact for next season, says Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com. The team was plagued by injuries down the stretch, but head coach Rick Carlisle likes the group and would like to see a number of players return.

Whether or not the Mavericks’ roster undergoes significant changes, the club will be on the lookout for players that can contribute on the glass, Sneed writes in separate piece. “We’ve got to get some monsters that push and shove, throw people out of the way and go get the ball,” Carlisle said, suggesting that rebounders will be a priority in Dallas. Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News identifies 20 free agents that would make sense for the Mavs, and many of those players – including Al Horford, Hassan Whiteside, and Dwight Howard – would help address the team’s mediocre rebounding numbers.

Southwest Notes: Grizzlies, Anderson, Terry

The Grizzlies spoke with at least two candidates today as their search for a new coach heats up. Heat assistant David Fizdale came to Memphis for an interview, tweets Marc J. Spears of ESPN.com., as did Portland assistant Nate Tibbetts, according to Ronald Tillery of The Commercial Appeal (Twitter link). Both had been previously named as candidates for the job.

Spurs assistant James Borrego impressed Grizzlies officials during his interview earlier this week, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Memphis has also held interviews with Spurs assistant Ettore Messina, Hornets assistant Patrick Ewing and recently fired Pacers coach Frank Vogel (Twitter link). The Grizzlies have significant interest in Vogel, according to ESPN, but so does Orlando (Twitter link).

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • Pelicans free agent Ryan Anderson says he was nearly traded to Cleveland at the deadline, relays Brett Dawson of The Advocate. Appearing on “The Vertical Podcast,” Anderson contends the Cavaliers were trying to work out a deal for him before they picked up Channing Frye from Orlando. “There was a very last-minute phone call that I could have gone to Cleveland,” Anderson said. “I would be playing for the Cavs right now.” Anderson said he didn’t ask the Pelicans to trade him because he wants to have the option in free agency of staying in New Orleans. Anderson’s last experience as a free agent came in 2012 when he was restricted and Orlando swung a deal to send him to the Pelicans. This time, he likes the feeling of being in complete control. “I want to enjoy this process and see where New Orleans is at this summer,” Anderson said. “I want to see where, I don’t know, Houston is at or Sacramento or Washington.”
  • The Spurs could be interested in power forward Thomas Robinson if he opts out of his deal with the Nets, according to Jabari Young of The San Antonio Express-News. Robinson would give up a little more than $980K by opting out, but he stands to make much more on the open market with the expected jump in the salary cap. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has talked about the need to rebuild the bench with younger players, and the 25-year-old Robinson, a former teammate of LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland, could be a possibility.
  • Rockets point guard Jason Terry thinks Dwight Howard would be a “great fit” with the Mavericks, but only if he adapts to coach Rick Carlisle, according to The Dallas Morning News“Whatever [Howard’s] role is, he would have to be the one to buy in first, and then you go from there,” Terry said on ESPN Radio’s Cowlishaw and Mosley show. “But he and Dirk [Nowitzki] together? That’s a powerful combination.” The 38-year-old Terry adds that he hopes to play one more season before retiring.

Shawn Long Working Out For Mavs

  • Two more players who worked out for the Sixers today – Louisiana-Lafayette forward Shawn Long and VCU guard Melvin Johnson – are getting looks from a handful of other teams too. Per Camerato (Twitter links), Long has the Bucks on Wednesday, the Nuggets on Saturday, and the Rockets and Mavericks next week. Johnson, meanwhile, will work out for the Cavaliers, Nets, and Celtics this week after having worked out for the Spurs and Rockets as well.

Mavs Unlikely To Rebuild Until After Dirk Retires

Anderson, Powell Will Have Big Roles In Future

  • Point guard A.J. English will work out for the Pelicans, Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv tweets. It was previously reported that English, who is considered a potential second-round pick, had scheduled workouts with the Pistons, Bucks, Cavaliers, Wizards, Clippers, Mavericks and Lakers.
  • Swingman Justin Anderson and power forward Dwight Powell give the Mavericks two young building blocks, Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning-News reports. The organization has big plans for both players after they showed flashes of promise this past season, as president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson told Sefko. “They are two young cornerstone-type pieces,” Nelson said. “Big hearts. Great work ethic. Those two guys are a piece of the fabric. Our hope is that we can keep that young core going.”

Draft Combine Update: Friday Afternoon

The Celtics have a tentative workout scheduled with Duke small forward Brandon Ingram, a prime contender to become the No. 1 pick, reports Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald (Twitter link). The outcome of the lottery will determine whether it takes place, according to Murphy, and presumably, the Celtics will have to land one of the top two selections. Ingram is the top prospect in Jonathan Givony’s DraftExpress rankings and second in the listings Chad Ford of ESPN.com compiles.

See more draft news on day three of the combine:

  • Syracuse shooting guard Malachi Richardson and Kansas forward/center Cheick Diallo have told teams they’ve decided to stay in the draft rather than pull out by May 25th to retain their college eligibility, reports Chad Ford of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
  • The Pacers, Warriors, Spurs, Wizards, Rockets and Mavericks are among the teams that have spoken with Syracuse swingman Michael Gbinije, tweets Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv.
  • Notre Dame point guard Demetrius Jackson has interviewed with the Suns, Spurs, Kings, Trail Blazers and Bucks, observes Rod Beard of The Detroit News, who also cites Jackson’s previously reported interview with the Pistons.
  • Villanova shooting guard Josh Hart has worked out for the Clippers and has another workout scheduled with the Hawks on May 24th, as Zagoria relays. He’ll also work out for the Celtics and Spurs, and his previously reported workout with the Sixers takes place Monday, Zagoria reveals. The Knicks, Wizards, Thunder, Trail Blazers, Pacers, Grizzlies and Jazz interviewed Hart at the combine, according to Zagoria.
  • Purdue big man Caleb Swanigan has the Pistons, Hawks, Wizards and Suns among the teams on his interview list, Zagoria tweets.

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