- The Mavericks welcomed Dirk Nowitzki back tonight in a move that should take the burden off some of the other starters, Sefko writes in a separate story. Harrison Barnes is second in the NBA in minutes played at 38.1 per game, and teammate Wesley Matthews is fourth at 36.9. The Mavs are always concerned about Matthews after the torn Achilles he suffered in 2015. “It’s not the injury history, it’s the length of the season,” Carlisle said. “There’s a cumulative effect of guys being out there too much. But there’s no substitute for a warrior like him who is the best perimeter defender we’ve got and hits big shots. His value to our team is unmistakable. I just got to find a little more rest for him, that’s all.”
- Sefko suggested the Bucks’ Khris Middleton as a potential trade target if the Mavericks are able to make a playoff push. In a question-and-answer session, the writer said Middleton would be the kind of building block Dallas needs, but added that he had no inside information to suggest that such a deal had been discussed.
- The team is hoping Harris will be back in a week to 10 days, tweets Earl K. Sneed of Mavs.com. Harris hasn’t played yet this season because of a sprained right big toe and he will wear a carbon plate in his shoe for protection.
Here are Friday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Clippers recalled forward Diamond Stone from the D-League earlier today, the team announced. Stone appeared in four games for the Santa Cruz Warriors, where he was sent via the flexible assignment rule, and averaged 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.0 block in 17.0 minutes of action per outing.
- The Sixers sent Nerlens Noel to their D-League affiliate in Delaware earlier today in order for the big man to participate in the 87ers’ practice, the team announced. The center was subsequently recalled this afternoon, Jessica Camerato of CSNPhilly.com tweets.
- The Hawks have recalled small forward DeAndre’ Bembry from the D-League, the team announced via press release. Bembry’s stint in the D-League was spent with the Salt Lake City Stars, Utah’s affiliate, since Atlanta does not possess an affiliate of its own. The 2016 first-rounder has appeared in seven games for the Hawks this season, averaging 1.3 points on 33.3% shooting.
- Chris McCullough has been assigned to the Nets‘ D-League affiliate, the team announced via press release. McCullough has averaged 18.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 29.1 minutes per contest in six games on assignment with Long Island this season.
- The Pelicans sent rookie forward Cheick Diallo to the Austin Spurs of the NBA Development League via to the flexible assignment system, the team announced. Diallo has appeared in six games with Austin already this campaign, averaging 14.3 points on .553 shooting from the floor, 6.7 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game.