- 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 Thursday’s D-League assignments and recalls from around the NBA:
- The Nets recalled point guard Yogi Ferrell and forward Chris McCullough from the Long Island Nets in time for their game against the Bucks, according to a team press release. Ferrell and McCullough started for Long Island earlier in the day in the team’s 114-104 victory over Santa Cruz in Brooklyn. Ferrell recorded a double-double with 18 points and 10 assists, while McCullough totaled 20 points, nine rebounds and four assists.
- As expected, Nerlens Noel was recalled from the D-League today by the Sixers, the team announced in a press release. Noel figures to go back and forth between the NBA club and the Delaware 87ers as he continues to rehab his knee injury and works toward a return.
- Speaking of going back and forth between the NBA and the D-League, the Raptors once again assigned Bruno Caboclo and Fred VanVleet to their NBADL affiliate today, per the team (Twitter link). Given the close proximity the Raptors and Raptors 905, Caboclo and VanVleet are among the league leaders in D-League assignments so far this season.
- The Bucks have recalled guard Rashad Vaughn from the Westchester Knicks, according to a press release from the club. Milwaukee doesn’t control its own NBADL affiliate, so Vaughn played for New York’s affiliate, and has averaged just 16.6 minutes per game for the quad in three games this year — if the Bucks had their own D-League team, Vaughn likely would have seen more playing time.