Dallas Mavericks Rumors

Southwest Notes: Pelicans, Parsons, Randolph

January 29 at 1:48pm CST By Chuck Myron

There’s a perception around the NBA that GM Dell Demps and coach Monty Williams are on “thin ice” in New Orleans, as Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders wrote this week, corroborating an earlier report from Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher that linked the team to former Pistons exec Joe Dumars. Still, the Pelicans are hanging around the playoff race, sitting in ninth place in the Western Conference and two and a half games out of the final postseason spot. There’s more on the Pelicans amid the latest from the Southwest Division:

  • Chandler Parsons doesn’t have a role that’s expansive as he envisioned when he signed with the Mavs for three years and $46.085MM this past summer, but he’s not complaining, as Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com details.
  • It would be “crazy” for the Mavs to make an offer to  Rajon Rondo that even approaches the maximum salary, MacMahon opines in a roundtable piece with other ESPNDallas.com writers, adding that he’d hesitate to give the point guard more than $10MM a year.
  • John Reid of The Times-Picayune chronicles the ascent of Dante Cunningham from languishing in free agency two months ago to starter for the Pelicans today. Cunningham signed with New Orleans in early December.
  • Zach Randolph would stand to draw offers this summer for more than the two-year, $20MM extension he signed with the Grizzlies last year if he had played out his contract instead, as Geoff Calkins of The Commercial Appeal speculates in a subscription-only piece. Still, the power forward believes the extension was worth signing. “It definitely is, man,” he said. “It’s about sacrificing. I sacrificed. This is what it’s all about, sacrificing for your team, your teammates and your organization.”
  • The Rockets have assigned Clint Capela to the D-League, the team announced (on Twitter). It’s the fourth time that Houston has sent the No. 25 pick from the 2014 draft to its affiliate.

Mavs Confident Of Edge For Jermaine O’Neal

January 28 at 8:01am CST By Chuck Myron

WEDNESDAY, 8:01am: The only reason a deal between O’Neal and the Mavs hasn’t happened yet is because of the Orthokine knee treatments O’Neal traveled to Germany to receive, writes Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders.

SUNDAY, 11:31pm: The Mavericks are high on their chances to ink Jermaine O’Neal this season, and they believe they’re slowly moving closer to a deal, report Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN.com. Dallas hopes to sign the 36-year-old center by the All-Star break, MacMahon and Stein hear. O’Neal has made it clear to suitors that he won’t play until he’s in better shape, but he’s been going through intense workouts this month at his home near Dallas, according to the ESPN scribes. The 18-year veteran recently visited Germany to undergo a treatment on his knees, one that he believes helped him prepare to play for the Warriors last season, MacMahon and Stein note.

It’s unclear whether the Warriors remain interested in re-signing O’Neal, as they reportedly were last month, when Stein identified the Cavs and Clippers among the teams eyeing the Arn Tellem client. Stein left the Warriors off his list of teams when he identified the Blazers as one of the teams in the mix. In between, O’Neal seemed to drop hints that he wouldn’t return to Golden State.

This latest dispatch from MacMahon and Stein echoes the confidence that Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson expressed a month ago when he said he felt chances were “pretty good” that Dallas would sign either O’Neal or Josh Smith. That was shortly before Smith went to the Rockets instead. The Mavs only have the prorated minimum salary to spend on O’Neal, but none of the other teams that reports have linked to him can offer more at this point.

Southwest Notes: Rockets, Terry, Mavericks

January 24 at 8:33pm CST By Charlie Adams

What are the Rockets‘ chances of luring free-agent-to-be Goran Dragic? As good as anyone’s, the Suns’ guard tells Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle“Every team in the NBA is an option to me, because it is a privilege to play for any team in the NBA,” Dragic said. “When the time comes I’m going to sit down with my family and my agent and try to make the best decision for myself.” Dragic, who is expected to opt out of a $7.5MM player option and become an unrestricted free agent this summer, insists he has no resentment toward the Rockets for letting him go in 2012.

There’s much more from the Southwest Division:

  • At age 37, Rockets guard Jason Terry has no thoughts of retirement, Feigen reports “I think I can play until the age 40,” Terry said. “That’s my goal, something that I set out to do when I first came into the league. My idol is Gary Payton. He played 20 years. Hopefully I can do the same.” Terry is making nearly $6MM this season and will become a free agent in July.
  • The uncertainty currently surrounding the Pelicans‘ ownership is just the latest example of the instability that has plagued the franchise, Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune writes. The intra-family dispute regarding who will be in charge of the team could potentially scare off prospective free agents from signing long-term deals, Smith opines. With the franchise bereft of draft choices for the immediate future, New Orleans’ growth as a team could be severely hampered as a result, Smith adds.
  • Forbes valued the Mavericks franchise at $1.15 billion, good for 10th highest of any NBA team, but Mark Cuban thinks the figure is off by “about 150%,” as Corbett Smith of the Dallas Morning News details. Still, Cuban adds that any valuation is irrelevant since the team isn’t for sale.
  • Cuban said former Maverick Shawn Marion can have a job with the team when his playing days are over, Smith reports in a separate story. Marion, now with the Cavaliers, said Wednesday he will retire when this season is over.

Charlie Adams contributed to this report.

Poll: Best Western Conference Move?

January 23 at 11:00am CST By Chris Crouse

Four Western Conference playoff contenders have made major acquisitions over the past several weeks, and 50 wins might be mandatory for entry into postseason in the West this year with the way some of the contenders playing. The West was already stacked, and it’s only becoming more so.

The Mavericks made perhaps the season’s first major move by trading Jae Crowder, Brandan Wright, Jameer Nelson and a pair of draft picks for Rajon Rondo and Dwight Powell. Almost two-thirds of Hoops Rumors readers believed Dallas would make it to at least the conference finals when they voted in my late December poll, and the team is 11-5 since making the trade. Dallas still lacks depth but the team boasts one of the best starting lineups in the league and is capable of making a deep postseason run.

The Rockets responded by making a couple of moves of their own. Houston acquired Corey Brewer and Alexey Shved in a three way trade with the Wolves and the Sixers. The Rockets then signed with Josh Smith after the Pistons released him via the stretch provision. The team is 9-7 since acquiring the trio, and six of those seven losses are against teams that made the postseason last year. However, any team with superstars on it, like James Harden and Dwight Howard, shouldn’t be counted out once postseason play begins.

The Thunder sustained injuries to their biggest stars to begin the season and as a result, they ended up falling behind in the playoff race. They hope Dion Waiters, acquired from the Cavs in a three way trade, will help put the team in position to make a late-season push and make the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season. By many accounts, Waiters has fit in nicely with the Thunder. They’re 5-2 and Waiters is averaging 11.9 points in 28.3 minutes per game since his arrival in Oklahoma City.

In another three-team trade, the Grizzlies acquired Jeff Green from the Celtics and Russ Smith from the Pelicans in exchange for Tayshaun Prince, a first-round pick and cash. They also sent Quincy Pondexter and a second-round pick to New Orleans in the trade. Green was averaging a career-high 17.6 points per game as the No. 1 scoring option in Boston, but he has only scored 13.0 PPG so far in five games for the Grizzlies. Memphis is 4-1 since Green came to town, but the Grizzlies won’t consider the move a success until the postseason arrives and they win a few playoff rounds. They were 26-11 before the trade and as Grantland’s Zach Lowe points out, when you’re already that good, marginal upgrades become that much harder to accomplish. While giving up that first-round pick hurts, especially since the team already didn’t control its 2015 first-rounder, Memphis has the talent and the right opportunity to go all in on this season.

The Western Conference race is wide open. Which team put itself in the best position to contend after its recent acquisition(s)? Let us know with a vote, and elaborate on your choice in the comments.

 

And-Ones: Rondo, Karl, Allen, Turner

January 21 at 10:11pm CST By Eddie Scarito

George Karl still wants to return to coaching in the NBA, and he had thought that the opportunity to do so presented itself when the Kings fired Michael Malone, Sam Amick of USA Today writes. But Sacramento promoted assistant coach Tyrone Corbin for the remainder of the season instead. “There’s obviously been communication,” Karl said. “But have they ever talked to me about being the head coach? We’ve talked around it, but we’ve probably never talked about that situation. Do I feel I’m on their list? Yes, but I think they made it very clear when they made the decision to give Corbin the opportunity to coach that that was what they were going to do.” Karl is indeed likely to be among the candidates for the Kings head coaching position, unless the team performs unexpectedly well under Corbin, according to Amick, who also notes that Warriors assistant Alvin Gentry is also expected to be a candidate. Sacramento has discussed Mark Jackson‘s potential candidacy internally, but he appears to have a minimal shot at landing the job, Amick writes

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Though the Mavs are said to be the favorites to re-sign Rajon Rondo when he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer, Kobe Bryant hasn’t given up on recruiting Rondo to come and join the Lakers, Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald writes. “No way,” Bryant said. “I’m not done. I’m not stopping until he signs an extension.”
  • With the Celtics now fully in rebuilding mode, veteran swingman Evan Turner said that Boston’s situation is markedly different from what he experienced as a member of the Sixers last season, Bulpett adds in the same article. “This isn’t anything like it was with the Sixers,” Turner said. “They traded everybody, and on top of that they’d just go and get new players every 10 days. So this is sweet compared to that. When we make trades this year and get new players, I’ve actually heard of them. In Philly, they’d bring somebody in, and you just never heard of the person in your life. They’d introduce me to them, and I’d just go about my business. This is kind of typical. I can deal with these type of trades. The other stuff was crazy. I guess this is new to a lot of guys here, but this is small compared to what I was going through last year.
  • Ray Allen has been leaning toward retiring instead of returning to action this season, but the veteran sharpshooter is hinting that he may have changed his thinking regarding suiting up to play, Dave Brousseau of The South Florida Sun Sentinel writes.

Western Notes: Young, Clippers, Lin, Waiters

January 21 at 12:14pm CST By Chuck Myron

Nick Young wants to help the Lakers recruit marquee free agents this summer, but he was worried that there wouldn’t have been room for the club to re-sign him this past offseason if the Lakers had landed a star then, as he tells Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News. 

“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Young said. “I was nervous and scared. I wanted to be here, but I kept hearing all the Carmelo [Anthony] rumors and Kobe [Bryant] having dinner with Carmelo. I knew once they paid him all that money, there would be none for me.”

Young, who inked a four-year, $21.326MM deal with the Lakers in July, told Medina that the Pelicans, Mavs and Bulls also had interest in him, and agent Mark Bartelstein told Dave McMenamin of ESPN.com this summer that there had been contact with the Hawks. There’s more from L.A. amid the latest from the Western Conference:

  • Clippers coach/executive Doc Rivers expects to use his pair of open roster spots on veterans next month, writes Arash Markazi of ESPN.com, suggesting that the team will again target the post-buyout market as it did last year.
  • Dion Waiters, who’s up for a rookie scale extension this summer, says he “couldn’t ask for a better situation” than the one he finds himself in since the trade that sent him to the Thunder, as he tells The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry. “They brought me in since Day One with love,” Waiters said of his new teammates. “It seems like I’ve been here forever. It seems like I’ve been playing with them forever, too. When I came here, we clicked right away.”
  • Jeremy Lin has his moments for the Lakers, but he continues to struggle to live up to the backloaded three-year, $25.124MM deal he signed with the Rockets in 2012, much less his dazzling “Lin-sanity” run with the Knicks, as Bill Oram of the Orange County Register examines. Lin is set for free agency this summer.

Western Notes: Thomas, Spurs, Hood

January 20 at 7:30pm CST By Eddie Scarito

The Suns‘ three point guard system was one of the factors that led Isaiah Thomas to agree to a sign-and-trade deal this past summer, the guard said during an interview with Arizona Sports 98.7 FM (hat tip to Matt Petersen of NBA.com). “That’s what I signed here for, was to play with those other two guards and to cause havoc on both ends of the floor playing with Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe,” Thomas said. “Everybody’s getting a consistent rotation. Guys know when they’re really going to come in and play, and who they’re going to play with. I think everybody’s just getting comfortable with everybody.”

Here’s more from the West:

  • The Spurs are finding their quest to repeat as NBA champions a rather difficult road to travel, Michael Lee of The Washington Post writes. Because of injuries and the age of his roster, coach Gregg Popovich has already had to use 23 starting lineups through 42 games so far this season, which is tied with Knicks for the most in the NBA, Lee notes. “You just deal with whatever you have and move on,” Popovich said. “I don’t think there are too many coaches who aren’t concerned about something.”
  • Rajon Rondo‘s true value to the Mavericks isn’t necessarily reflected in his stat line, but rather in his excellent play during clutch situations, Tim MacMahon of ESPNDallas.com writes. “He’s a big-time player, and big-time players make big plays down the stretch,” Dallas big man Tyson Chandler said. “He’s not going to always put up the huge numbers that are going to wow you, but he’s one of those guys that you want with you in the trenches when you know the game is on the line. He’s just going to do something – something – to make an impact on the game.”
  • Jazz rookie Rodney Hood, who injured his left foot during Sunday’s contest against the Spurs, will be out of action through the All-Star break, at which point his status will be reevaluated, the team has announced. The 22-year-old has appeared in 24 games for Utah this season, averaging 5.3 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 18.3 minutes per contest.

Northwest Notes: Robinson, Nelson, Burks

January 18 at 9:59pm CST By Arthur Hill

Nate Robinson and his agent pushed for the January 13th trade that sent him from from the Nuggets to the Celtics, reports Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post. Dempsey noted that Robinson wanted more minutes on a different team to help him earn a contract next season. Plus, he was a scorer on a team that needed a playmaker, which is why Denver exchanged him for Jameer Nelson. Robinson was waived by the Celtics Thursday in a buyout deal and is searching for a new team.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  •  Nelson and the Nuggets had some mutual interest last summer, Dempsey writes in a separate story. The free agent guard briefly considered coming to Denver before signing with the Mavericks. “Obviously the Nuggets had some guards, a lot of guards here,” Nelson said. “They didn’t know how many minutes I would play. So, I just felt like Dallas was the best spot for me.”
  • Jazz guard Alec Burks managed to find a bright side to his season-ending shoulder injury, reports Aaron Falk of The Salt Lake Tribune. For the first time since he was a teenager, Burks’ shoulder will be 100 percent healthy when he returns to basketball next season. Utah is hoping Burks will be ready for the start of training camp in the fall. He signed a four-year $42MM extension in October, with incentives that could push the value as high as $45MM.
  • The Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins and Jeremy Lamb would have been the key pieces in a trade for Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez, according to Anthony Slater of NewsOK.com. The Nets backed off from the deal, at least for now, but it’s an experience that many players will go through as the February 19th trade deadline draws closer. “They’re human beings, so it’s tough hearing your name in trade talks,” said Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. “But we also know it’s a business. You know what you’re getting into. We got a lot of veteran guys that can help guys get through that.”

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Embiid, Celtics, Nets

January 18 at 11:47am CST By Arthur Hill

The Sixers may be dreaming of the top selection in June’s draft, but Tom Moore of Calkins Media writes that picking  Jahlil Okafor could lead to other problems. The Duke center is the consensus choice to be the first player chosen, but Philadelphia already has injured rookie Joel Embiid and second-year big man Nerlens Noel, both of whom are low-post players. “I don’t think they can play together,” an unidentified NBA source said of Okafor and Embiid. “They’re both low-post centers. It doesn’t make sense.” He later added, “The combination of Noel and either one of them doesn’t make sense.” The Sixers currently occupy the third spot in Hoops Rumors’ reverse standings.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Embiid now weighs nearly 300 pounds and the Sixers are displeased with his commitment to conditioning, reports Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. He reportedly clashed with assistant strength and conditioning coach James Davis and was sent home early from a recent West Coast trip. Embiid is still recovering from foot surgery he had before last year’s draft, and his workouts are limited to things such as an antigravity treadmill and long walks to stimulate his heart rate. An unidentified source claims the rookie has skipped some conditioning drills.
  • Another team looking to rebuild through the draft is Boston, which could have five first-round picks in June, writes Jimmy Smith of The Times-Picayune. In addition to their own selection, the Celtics have a top 12 protected pick from the Timberwolves, a top 14 protected choice from the Sixers, the Clippers’ pick that came as compensation for coach Doc Rivers and a top 4-14 protected pick from the Mavericks in the Rajon Rondo deal. In 2016, Boston has the rights to two more first-round selections, along with its own. “Draft picks are always tradable; players are not,” said Celtics president Danny Ainge“Draft picks are always assets.”
  • Steven A. Cohen has decided not to make a bid for the Nets, according to Scott Soshnick of Bloomberg News (Twitter link). The billionaire hedge fund manager reportedly had meetings with the group handling the sale, but elected not to pursue the team. Cohen has a net worth of approximately $10 billion, but recently pleaded guilty to insider trading charges. Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov has claimed he hired a group called Evercore simply to assess the team’s value, but many believe he would sell at the right price.

Southwest Notes: Green, Wright, Shved, Spurs

January 10 at 9:05pm CST By Arthur Hill

Jeff Green is a worthwhile gamble for the Grizzlies, claims Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal. Memphis is expected to acquire Green from the Celtics in a three-team deal that’s on track to become official when the NBA office reopens Monday. Citing an unidentified scout who calls Green a “a high-end complementary player,” Calkins contends that’s just what the Grizzlies need to match up with the elite teams in the West. “If the trade does happen, getting a guy like [Green] would obviously help us, and we all know that,” said Memphis guard Mike Conley. “We’re trying to keep up just as much as everyone else.”

There’s more from the Southwest Division:

  • The Mavericks could regret their decision to part with Brandan Wright, opines Tom Ziller of SB Nation. The young center was sent to Boston as part of the Rajon Rondo deal, but on Friday the Celtics shipped him to the Suns. Not only does that strengthen a potential playoff foe for the Mavericks, it puts him in a winning environment and makes him less likely to return to Dallas when he becomes a free agent in July.
  • Alexey Shved, who came to the Rockets in a December 19th trade involving the Wolves and Sixers, returned from a left ankle sprain Saturday and should get some playing time, reports Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle. Coach Kevin McHale is already a fan of the Russian guard. “He has great vision, he has great height, he really drives to pass,” McHale said. “He is a pass-first guy. We will try to find a way to fit him into our rotation.”
  • Stan Van Gundy is looking to the Spurs as a model as he tries to build a winner in Detroit, reports David Mayo of MLive. The Pistons’ coach/president has long been a fan of the way the defending champs conduct their business. “There’s all kinds of things that you can learn from this organization,” Van Gundy said. “The hard thing is trying to actually execute and do what they’ve done. It’s not like they’ve got a secret formula that no one else can follow. They’ve just done it better than everybody else.”